With an iconic opening action sequence that traumatized yours truly as a toddler (most four-year-olds have yet to confront human mortality, let alone at the hands of a massive, unstoppable boulder), Raiders of the Lost Ark
marked the birth of a new classic that spawned three sequels spanning as many decades, much in the vein of the film serials of the ’30s and ’40s that served as its inspiration.
Born out of a partnership between George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, both underdogs who had hit it big with scrappy productions in the mid-’70s (if you’re drawing a blank, those were Star Wars
), Raiders of the Lost Ark
hits a pitch-perfect balance between adventure, romance and a hefty dose of levity (“Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?”), thanks in large part to Harrison Ford’s portrayal of adventuring archaeologist Indiana “That belongs in a museum!” Jones. The film’s stunning imagery and art direction nabbed it five Oscars, with impressive effects that instill nostalgia for a time before most film and TV was coated in a shiny CGI-finish.
For all of the above and more, Raiders of the Lost Ark
is a fitting opener for this year’s TPR Cinema Tuesday series. This summer’s selections include everything from Alfred Hitchcock to David Fincher, plus the return of the popular Oscar Shorts program, and will finish with a bang with another early ’80s hit: The Blues Brothers.
$10-$15, 7:30pm Tue May 28, Santikos Bijou, 4522 Fredericksburg Rd., (210) 614-8977, tpr.org.
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