Raiders of the Lost Ark

At the risk of this turning into Movies from the 80s Are Free, I’ll throw out that I went to see a revival of Raiders of the Lost Ark at Essex Cinemas last night. Rather than spending time on things that should be taken as read like how much I like Raiders of the Lost Ark and it’s packed with things I love about filmmaking, enjoy some scattered thoughts.

Why It’s Worth Seeing a Well-Loved Film in the Theater

I have two distinct examples of why seeing a film in its original large scale format can be advantageous. Both of these details I missed all the other times I saw Raiders of the Lost Ark — usually on a 12 inch television screen.

  • During the lecture scene at the college, one of the students has written “Love You” across her eyelids, blinking slowly and repeatedly at Indiana.
  • When Indy and Marion escape from the Well of Souls back into the daylight, you can see a laborer napping as they climb out of the hole. All that crazy stuff happening on top of the rise and he’s peacefully taking five.

This Doesn’t Seem Right

When Indiana chases after the ark of the covenant on horseback, a whole mass of laborers jump up and cheer, presumably because they’re happy he’s going to give the Nazis a headache. Later on, another crowd of locals — possibly organized by Sallah, but how, considering Indiana’s likely driven non-stop since hijacking the truck? — hide Indy and the ark from pursuers. Do they know what’s going to happen the ark, that it will be spirited out of the country?

The ark’s been stolen property since the Egyptians lifted it out of the temple of Solomon, but they’ve certainly held onto it the longest. Would they so easily get on board with it leaving the country? Sure, maybe thwarting the Nazis is more appealing to the crowd that Sallah rounds up, but the question still presented itself to me while watching the movie.


About Tyler

In the wilds of Vermont.
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