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New Escapist Column! On “Raiders of the Lost Ark” as a Theme Park Ride and a Cinematic Marvel…

I published a new In the Frame piece at The Escapist this evening. Given that Raiders of the Lost Ark turned forty years old this summer, it seemed like a good opportunity to take a look back at Steven Spielberg’s defining summer blockbuster.

In particular, Raiders of the Lost Ark is proof that it is possible for a “theme park ride” of a summer blockbuster to also function as a distillation of cinema. Everything in Raiders of the Lost Ark moves with singular purpose towards the same goal. It is a visceral and impressive technical accomplishment, but the craft involved in works in service of big ideas about the power of imagery and iconography. Form and function are indistinguishable, what the film is about becoming inseparable from how it is about it. Raiders of the Lost Ark is a triumph of filmmaking.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

Non Review Review: Cliffhanger

I picked up Cliffhanger on bluray because it was €9 and because I’d never seen it before. My aunt and uncle both suggested that the film would look absolutely stunning in high definition – and they were right. Say waht you (and even I) will about Renny Harlin’s storytelling ability or his difficulties with actors, he does shoot good scenery. The scenery gives the best performance in the film, with the aerial photography give a huge sense of scale to proceedings. Nice mountains, shame about the movie.

No, don't let go! Being in the movie isn't THAT bad...

No, don't let go! Being in the movie isn't THAT bad...

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