Classic Action: One More Reason Why Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Will Be Amazing
Although he's one of the most well-known actors and impossible to actually talk with, Harrison Ford seems like a great interview. He's been doing a few interviews with major newspapers recently, including this great one with USA Today, but in this recent one with The Australian, he mentions a few noteworthy things regarding Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. After watching Raiders of the Lost Ark again last night and being reminded why I love the Indiana Jones series so much, hearing statements like the ones Ford makes below are the kind that are making me even more excited for Indy's return. There is so much doubt surrounding whether this movie will be as defined as the original three, but I'm pretty damn sure it will live up to their excellence in every way.
"If the person you play behaves heroically they also have to have humility and vulnerability and be deep enough in the shit of it all to have to save themselves. That's a character I prefer to play, a guy who's in over his head, who survives because of his tenacity, or his wit, or his dumb luck. That's more interesting." Indiana Jones is unquestionably one of the most iconic characters to ever grace the glorious big screen. The success of the last three movies was due in part to the gritty nature of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas's creation. With Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the concern running through the mind of those who aren't faithful fans, is that CGI will replace the practical effects that were used in the original three. Fortunately, that's not the case.
Ford confirms himself that, "there's not a lot of computer-generated imagery, it's mostly done with real physicality, real sets, some things put to scale." But here's where things get interesting and this is where I know Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is going to step out above some of this summer's other big blockbusters. "We didn't shoot it like a Matrix style where if you hit somebody they end up in this big space and you didn't feel the hurt, you don't feel the fear. I feel you very quickly lose emotional connection with the character if it's like that. We are more old school."
This quote was originally pointed out by Jeff Wells over at Hollywood Elsewhere who goes on to say that "the thing I've always disliked about martial-arts fight scenes is that nobody ever gets hurt" and that it is "the essence of boredom to watch guys slamming each other without end." While I won't completely agree, being a personal fan of movies like 300, this is the exact reason why I'm looking forward to Crystal Skull so much. There are so many great scenes in Raiders of the Lost Ark that weren't CGI creations from the mind of some computer user, but instead were practical life-threatening moments where in the end Indiana Jones still prevailed. That kind of actual fear for their life and heroism is what makes him such an unforgettable character.
A mere 19 years since Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and we're ready to re-introduce Indiana Jones to the world this summer. "We started talking about it 15 years ago and over that period of time three scripts have been produced. It took the three of us, George (Lucas), Steven (Spielberg) and I, to commit to course and none of us was fully satisfied with what was produced and then we were all doing different things." I'm confident that the time is right and that Steven Spielberg is still capable of pulling off a film that lives up to the brilliantly nostalgic nature of the three originals that defined a rugged hero who's loved by generations of moviegoers.
Even the New York Times chimes in on this idea, calling Spielberg's technique for filming action a "lost art." Spielberg explains that he cuts as little as possible from the action scenes because "every time the camera changes dynamic angles, you feel there's something wrong, that there's some cheating going on." Instead, he's going for a style like Charlie Chaplin or Buster Keaton, where "everything happening before the eyes of the audience, without a cut." Is there a more graceful filmmaker still making movies than Spielberg? From the sounds of it, this is the one movie we'll get this year that recalls such cinematic greats as Chaplin and Keaton.
As we slowly count down the days left until Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, I think it's best to leave you with this quote from Spielberg. This is just one more reason why this summer will be amazing.
"The idea is, there's no illusion; what you see is what you get. My movies have never been frenetically cut, the way a lot of action is done today. That's not a put-down; some of that quick cutting, like in 'The Bourne Ultimatum,' is fantastic, just takes my breath away. But to get the comedy I want in the Indy films, you have to be old-fashioned. I've studied a lot of the old movies that made me laugh, and you've got to stage things in full shots and let the audience be the editor. It's like every shot is a circus act." See you in theaters on May 22nd!