If in the private screening of Star Wars that George Lucas organised before its premiere for some of his fellow golden boys directors (Scorsese, Milius, Coppola, De Palma, etc.), they laughed in his face for having made a, ahem, “puppet movie” (always according to Peter Birskind, of course) it’s because before that there was THX 1138.
What was George doing embracing that amusement park sci-fi when the future he had devised in his debut was an absolutely dystopian tomorrow? THX 1138 was a film that cleaned its aesthetics, with everything so white, so pristine, to force the contrast between its look and its contents. Everything in the film had a hyper-clean and not harmful look, precisely, because it was meant to mean the exact opposite.