Friday, May 20, 2011

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Here begins the Indiana Jones trilogy. That’s right, I said trilogy. I don’t count the latest venture as anything more than a pathetic attempt to make more money out of a franchise. Anyways. In this tale of heroism we see our beloved Indy go on a venture to get the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis do. The Ark of the Covenant is an artifact, which is believed to hold the original Ten Commandments.
Okay I am nerd (this is probably not so surprising and well shouldn’t be). So I do have previous knowledge of Indiana Jones, but I found that I had only seen this one. Watching the movies in order of their release was very interesting. I am stickler for consistency. It truly bothers me is sequels don’t match the original. For instance if there is a character trait set in a first movie and suddenly that disappears that is no good for me. It is very frustrating. Anyways. Here are a few basics that are set up. Don’t worry no spoilers. A. Indiana Jones is a professor who works with a museum. B. Indiana does not like snakes. C. He knows how to use a whip. These are major facts that can’t really change in the sequels or else it will be very irritating. Other characteristics are variables that could change.
As we discussed in class the soundtrack and mise en scene are very strong in this film. At every turn there is music to underscore and manipulate how you feel. This is particularly interesting when you reflect on the film ethically. Indy isn’t exactly the best ethical role model. He steals things from cultures. True this is for a museum, but cultural property issues are an extreme issue in the Art community. You are made to like a character that is morally questionable, but he is fighting Nazis (which makes it fine right?).
So should you bother watching this movie?? YES. YES. And YES. It is definitely a great example of its genre and just fun to watch.

Here is a link to the trailer:

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