May 25, 2008

Movie Sunday - Raiders of the Lost Ark

For this week's Movie Sunday, the choice of movie is a no-brainer: Raiders of the Lost Ark. With the fourth movie being released Thursday (today as I write this) and Milady loving all the "Indy" movies - we've even bought the tickets last weekend - I don't have to use too many neurons to decide which movie to highlight.

(Update: Milady and I caught the movie yesterday (Saturday) afternoon. We were a little surprised at the small crowd; for Ironman you couldn't get tickets for days and days. Yesterday, the theater was less than half full. Still, we both enjoyed the movie. I'd give it 3.5 of 5 stars.)

I first caught this movie as a double feature with Jaws at the Heights Theater, which I'm happy to say is still open. That was the first time I saw both movies for the first time, actually. Talk about a bargain. ;)

BTW, Archaeology magazine has an article on the Legend of the Crystal Skulls in the current issue. As a sidebar article, there's some information about the South American idol that Indiana Jones takes in the first video clip below:

In the opening scenes of Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Indiana Jones is hot on the trail of an extremely valuable golden idol created by an unidentified ancient South American culture. The goddess's image, which Jones deftly snatches from an altar (setting off a series of booby traps that culminate with an enormous boulder nearly crushing our hero), is of a woman in the act of giving birth. The golden figure was modeled on a purportedly Aztec greenstone carving called Tlazolteotl, considered to be a masterpiece by the Dumbarton Oaks Museum in Washington, D.C.

In my research into the object's acquisition history, I discovered that a Chinese dealer in Paris sold the figure in 1883 to a famous French mineralogist, Augustin Damour. His friend, Eugene Boban, advised Damour on the purchase. In examining the artifact's iconography, I found that the birthing position is unknown in documented pre-Columbian artifacts or depictions in codices. I have also used scanning electron microscopy to analyze the manufacture of the idol and have found there is ample evidence of the use of modern rotary cutting tools on the object's surface. In my opinion, the Tlazolteotl idol, like the crystal skulls, is a nineteenth-century fake.

Indiana: The Ark of the Covenant, the chest that the Hebrews used to carry around the Ten Commandments.
Major Eaton: What, you mean THE Ten Commandments?
Indiana: Yes, the actual Ten Commandments, the original stone tablets that Moses brought down from Mt. Horeb and smashed, if you believe in that sort of thing...
[the officers stare at him blankly]
Indiana: Didn't any of you guys ever go to Sunday school?

Marion: You're not the man I knew ten years ago.
Indiana: It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage.


Ronin said...

hey, we watched the latest indiana jones movie yesterday and i must say, of all the comeback movies of late, this was at least good.

worst of all had to be rambo 4.

JDsg said...

As I just wrote in my update, we also enjoyed this movie as well. To be honest, I've never really seen any of the Rambo movies; just a little bit from the first one when it was on TV once.