Raiders of the Lost Ark, make no mistake, is a film that trades on nostalgia – mostly for the action sci-fi serials of the 30s, which in turn were escapist entertainments extolling herculean dashing do-gooders, loyal dames, a time when no matter what happened or obstacle faced, everything was going to be just fine. Times, people and places that never were. A nostalgia for nostalgia. What a strange and appropriate fate then that Raiders itself becomes a very token of the nostalgia it glorifies. How many times has one heard/said/thought ‘They just don’t make ‘em like Raiders anymore.’ Or ‘remember when action films were good – like Raiders.’ Or ‘I remember the first time I saw Raiders…’ A nostalgia for nostalgia for nostalgia. Re-watching the film again up on the big screen for the very first time (as part of The LA Times Hero Complex 30th Anniversary Screening), I’m struck not by just how good the film is (because it is the seminal action adventure film), but more so by how sometimes the past really is just as rose tinted as you imagined/remember. Raiders of the Lost Ark is filmic proof.
After the screening, Steven Spielberg appeared for a Q&A with a surprise mystery guest (Harrison Ford). They talked about making the film, will they do Indiana Jones 5, “fixing” E.T. , and a lot more. For the bullet point highlights of Q&A, hit the jump.