Friday, January 4, 2008

Raiders of a lost art

Like that? Raiders of a lost art...? Yeah, me either.

But you will enjoy Vanity Fair's piece on the upcoming Indiana Jones film.

Light on plot details, but solid assurances that every effort has been made to deliver the experience we're expecting. Spielberg even held special sessions with his new DP to emulate the previous films' now vintage look.

They've also resisted change in the editing booth.
"...Quick-cutting is very effective in some movies, like the Bourne pictures, but you sacrifice geography when you go for quick-cutting. ... Indy is a little more old-fashioned than the modern-day action adventure.”
In other words, no shaky-cam style "upgrades." Another smart move. I don't mind the phenomenon itself as much as many out there, but it doesn't belong here.

Or forget the new film and enjoy this for the biographical fun, including how Spielberg and Lucas became friends, exactly when and where they came up with the idea for Indiana Jones, etc.

I'm convinced you could learn more about movies by cleaning toilets at Amblin when Spielberg's around than at four years of film school. Whatever you think of his politics, the man is a genius when it comes to his craft. And he rattles it off like he's ordering pancakes at IHOP.
"...The script, Spielberg says, can provide the blockbuster pace. 'Part of the speed is the story,' he says. 'If you build a fast engine, you don’t need fast cutting, because the story’s being told fluidly, and the pages are just turning very quickly. You first of all need a script that’s written in the express lane, and if it’s not, there’s nothing you can do in the editing room to make it move faster. You need room for character, you need room for relationships, for personal conflict, you need room for comedy, but that all has to happen on a moving sidewalk.' ”
Lucas on the other hand is confirmed as more lucky than great.

It's not that he isn't exceptionally talented. American Graffiti remains one of the best films ever shot. But his wise choice to insulate himself from Hollywood after Star Wars has also sealed him off from reality. (Observe his self-deluded defense of Jar-Jar among other things.) Clearly, tragically a man among yes-men.

Don't miss the Web-exclusive Q&A's with Spielberg and Lucas for some of the best stuff here.

No comments: