Film Micrœview #194: Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

05.03.2015 § Leave a comment

Rating: Dr. Pepper.

Unchecked objectification of women aside, and some discomfiting indiscriminate killing of brown people aside to the tune of “you can’t do this to me, I’m an American!” aside… this is still an all-time classic action adventure movie, if not THE. Almost every scene is famous, and deservedly so. Three great scenes, and no bad ones? Ha. More like three good scenes, and all the rest great ones.

A recent episode of Big Bang Theory proposes that Indy is extraneous to the story, since if he wasn’t there, the Nazis still eventually would have found the ark, opened it, and died. I know it’s a throwaway joke, but surprisingly interesting. Nonetheless I disagree, as then the ark never would have ended up in American hands (how did Indy get off the Greek island WITH THE ARK, by the way, with a Nazi submarine base still located there?)

I wish I could find and read everything that’s ever been written about the very ending of this movie, the stashing of the ark in a endless warehouse. It has always stricken me as the perfect ending. Indy is no saint, and shares greed with the Frenchman and the Nazis. But Americans here do not analyze the ark to weaponize it (shades of Oppenheimer project?). Also reminds me of a message in DFW’s The Pale King, where in the modern era truths are buried in plain sight, in seas of mundaneness, boredom, and repetition; no one would ever take the time to find the ark in that warehouse, so it is the modern equivalent of burying deep in the earth with a treasure map.

I’d also like to read anything unpacking this “Jewish ritual” comment the Nazi makes to the Frenchman just before the climactic sequence.

Also who knew Indy worked at Stanford? I think that’s the implication of him leaving from the Bay Area during the map sequence.

Also, who knew Alfred Molina played the “adios amigo” guy?


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