When American Graffiti, George Lucas’s sophomore feature directorial outing, was released in 1973, the initial reviews for the film, which is set in and around Lucas’s hometown of Modesto, California, in 1962, were achingly nostalgic, as if the concussive shocks that robbed America of its innocence between 1962 and 1973, from the escalation of America’s involvement in the Vietnam War and President John F. Kennedy’s assassination to Charles Manson and Watergate, had made the intervening period seem like an eternity.