As I’ll be heading off to Korea tomorrow for BiFan I came into the studio on Wednesday rather than Friday to talk about the week’s new releases. Unfortunately that meant I had not yet seen Marvel’s Ant-Man, which has not been press screened, but had plenty to say about Raman Hui’s Monster Hunt and Ira Sachs’ Love Is Strange.
Another classic, screened as part of Toho Cinemas 10am club here in Tokyo, Raiders Of The Lost Ark is much cherished film for many cinema lovers, especially those old enough to have seen the original theatrical release.
While some aspects of the film’s visual style have not aged well and the momentum of the film is held back by a shrill and monotonous performance from Karen Allen as Marion Ravenwood there is still so much to enjoy in Harrison Ford’s sensual and gritty performance as Indiana Jones, along with excellent supporting roles from John Rhys-Davies as the Egyptian archaeological digger Sallah, Denholm Elliott as Dr. Marcus Brody, buyer of Jones’ archaeological finds and Alfred Molina in his screen debut as a jungle guide.
And, of course, one has to marvel at John William’s brilliant score, which fills, underpins and adds drama to almost every scene.
Raiders Of The Lost Ark still has so much swagger and matinee-style bravura that it’s easy look past the film’s few limitations. This is solidly entreating cinema that has earned its place in many people’s hearts and deeply influenced the shape of action and adventure films right up to this day.