Yesterday I went to see a matinee performance of Raiders of the Lost Ark at the local cinema. It’s a popular film, to be sure, but I didn’t really expect there to be many people watching it at Sunday lunchtime, especially since Clapham is known for its bars and clubs. You can tell where this post is going – it turned out that the performance almost sold out. Pretty much everyone was of the intellectual urban hipster variety, keen to sample the glorious movie in full size. Their age was such that I doubt any of them (myself included) could’ve seen it at the cinema.
I’ll tell you how much I like the Indiana Jones movies: I dressed up as Jones himself for not one, but two Halloweens. Granted, the second time was because I couldn’t think of another costume and I happened to have all the requisite materials to hand (hat, shirt, whip, etc), but the thought was there. To me, Indiana Jones is one of the ‘best’ heros around – not just tough, but intelligent (a college professor!), self-deprecating and funny. Certainly represents the best of America.
As for Raiders of the Lost Ark, it’s one of those movies that makes you tut severely and demand why modern directors can’t equal such elegant storytelling and wonderful suspense even when they have untold amounts of more money (for that matter, why can’t Spielberg himself do it?). Ah well. It’s good enough that we have it at all.
(On a side note, when digital projection of movies becomes commonplace, I anticipate that there will be far, far more screenings of classic movies. It doesn’t make financial sense to get a reel in for just one showing, but when you’re just downloading bits, you can show anything you want, any time you want – if the movie studios don’t screw it up, that is…)