As Cool As A Fruitstand

…and maybe as strange. A movie blog.

Sunday Reading #1: the Indy issue

Posted by Hedwig on May 24, 2008

What’s this I see? A new feature? Brand spanking new?

You are correct, reader. As you might have noticed, posting frequency has been below optimal, for various reasons. And to get it back up, what better than a) making a new feature, b) putting a day in the title to force me to get to it more or less weekly, and c) giving me something to post when I can’t think of any original content.

So yes, I’ve avoided linkage so far, only sometimes posting articles of interest on my tumbling log, but I do come across quite some interesting stuff you might be interested. You might, of course, also have seen it already. But who know, I might be able to provide some interesting reading material for your lazy Sunday. Sometimes, like today, the articles will have a common topic, sometimes it will be a random assortment. As for its weekliness, I make no promises, but I will do my best.

Now, what is there to read about Indiana Jones and related topics on the interwebs? My job was made easy for me thanks to a blog-a-thon, but still, I have some more surprises.

As a reaction to Craig’s comment, SPOILER WARNING for Crystal Skull in effect. Don’t want to be spoiled? Read only the links in italics, and skip the video.

  • Smitten With a Whip: over at the House Next Door, Odienator, Matt Zoller Seitz himself, and Keith Uhlich each prefer a different film in the original trilogy. Rather than fight about it, they wrote up appreciations, and make each and every one of the three sound wonderful, and worth pondering. ADDED: an awesome, complex, insightful, etc. piece by Keith Uhlich on Migration and Exodus. Don’t forget to read the first comment, by Matt Zoller Seitz. This is why I love the House.
  • Benjamin Wright at Aspect Ratio has two absolutely great pieces up. The first, “Cutting for Clarity, written before the release of Crystal Skull, is a razor sharp analysis of Spielberg’s editing style, that made me notice some things in the latest Indy I surely would have missed otherwise. And the second is a perfect companion, comparing the reception of all four Indiana Jones films, and weighing in on stylistic consistency – and its consequences – between the films.
  • Speaking of Spielberg: The Onion AV Club just released one of their wonderful primers about him. An overview of his career, both highs and lows, and an appreciation of his evolution as a craftsman forever balancing on the sharp edge between art and entertainment. On a slightly related note, they had a feature called Throw Me The Idol”: 16 elusive objects of desire. The idol itself isn’t on it, but the ark is. That, and Pulp Fiction makes the list twice.
  • Armond White wrote an absolutely sprawling review of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, referencing a dozen other movies (I’m not exaggerating) and even quoting Godard. It’s a fascinating read, even if – as so often with White – he makes you want to jump up and protest just about as often as he makes you nod appreciatively.
  • Walter Chaw at Film Freak Central has a review that mirrors my sentiments almost perfectly….except he’s a bit more bitter. And he hated Karen Allen. And he’s way more articulate than I’ll ever be.
  • Last, but absolutely not least, is Edward Copeland’s breakdown of an action scene in Raiders. The one with the plane, the big bald nazi, and the fuel truck. You know the one. Or well, you think you do – you truly will once you’re finished reading.
  • I know I have to stop adding things now, but I just read Alexander’s take, and it belongs here. He looks at families, in particular, both in Crystal Skull, and in many other Spielberg movies.

For extra credit, there’s a very angry Aussie (HE readers have probably watched this already)

Enjoy the weekend! And check back after it for that other weekly feature: a Gloria Grahame double feature with The Big Heat and In a Lonely Place.

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5 Responses to “Sunday Reading #1: the Indy issue”

  1. D’oh! I cracked and started reading Indy reviews and stumbled into a couple of pretty major spoilers. I’m not complaining mind you, it’s my own fault. Serves me right for peeking in the first place.

  2. Kaj said

    Gloria Grahame! Great.

    I read that Armond White’s review the other day, and was amazed: the man spouts more bullshit than the most imaginative of my film professors. Lots of fun to read though, and there’s truth in between the delusions and ass kissing.

  3. Hedwig, thank you so very much for linking my review.

    Uhlich’s is awesome, and I was remarkably pleased to see Matt Zoller Seitz fawn over the film. Makes me think that I’m missing a lot, even though I really, fundamentally, liked it. (Natch, it’s Spielberg.)

    The Armond White review has some excellent passages (Spielberg as the true great filmmaker fighting to retrieve his audience from the clutches of Gore Verbinski and company–excessively simplistic on White’s part, in many ways, but there’s some truth to it, darn it) but it’s so sprawling, as you note, Hedwig, that it gives me a headache by the time I finish it.

    Walter Chaw–an addiction, I love reading him, even if I find myself frequently disagreeing. Regarding Spielberg, he understands that Catch Me If You Can is a major work, which is a meme that needs to get out there, but the rest of his ’00s looks at Spielberg are confused and surprisingly shallow considering how deep he usually is.

    This is fun, reviewing the reviewers! Hope nobody is too hard on me. 🙂

  4. You know, I wasn’t complaing about you leading me to spoilers, just so we’re clear.

  5. Immanent said

    Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Immanent!

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