Monday, May 19, 2008

Indiana Jones and Me

by Julia Buckley

I took my sons to Blockbuster over the weekend to pick out a couple of movies. Inside we were confronted by a huge Indiana Jones display: posters, limited edition prints, popcorn holders with scenes from the movie. I wandered over and lingered in front of it.

"Boys," I said. "Look at all this cool stuff."

They glanced at it, not that impressed. "Yeah," said my older son.

"Look at this neat poster. It's for the new movie. Only five dollars. Don't you want one?"


I ran an affectionate finger over the plastic wrap. "Are you sure? Look what a great poster it is. He looks just like he did in the first movie."

The boys moved on, and I realized that I hadn't wanted the poster for them. I had wanted it for me. Once I faced this realization, I bought the poster, and when I got home I hung it in my office.

All you have to do is watch tv news to see the significance of the debut of the new Indiana Jones movie, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. People are going nuts for this fourth installment; they're digging out their fedoras and bull whips, their Indie action figures, their leather jackets. They're marching around outside of theaters looking as goofy as those parents who dress up on Halloween. But I understand how they feel. It's about nostalgia.

I fell in love with this character long ago, back in the 80s when I saw Raiders of the Lost Ark in the theatre and knew, deep down, that Harrison Ford was the man for me. (I had already suspected it when I saw Star Wars). The arrival of the new movie brings back that wonderful rush of pleasure that seeing the movie brought. Added to the exciting mix is the return of Karen Allen, who played Marian Ravenwood in the first movie and then sort of disappeared from Indiana Jones history. Now she's back, 56 years old and as pretty as ever, playing Marian and bringing us fans back to that wonderful first movie, the best of the three.

As a writer, I see the perfection of the Raiders story: the kind that catches you from the very start and then never stops shocking you until the very last ironic frame. It's a masterpiece of storytelling, of cinema, and yes, of mystery.

The local news here suggested that there had been some "negative buzz" about the movie, whatever that means, but it would be awfully hard for this movie to disappoint people like me, who have been waiting for years to see this reunion, and will be cheering the moment Indie appears on screen and adjusts his hat over his eyes.

Who's with me? It opens this weekend. I'll get the popcorn (and yes, I did buy the limited edition Indiana Jones popcorn holders). I may be a sucker for Harrison Ford, but I know I'm not the only one.


Anonymous said...

*waving hand* Here's another sucker!
I just can't wait. And I didn't know you could buy the movie poster... I want one too.

My husband has just admitted that the aviator jacket that hangs in our hall closet was purchased because of Indiana Jones. It doesn't quite fit (he bought it at age 16) but there's no getting rid of it.

Julia Buckley said...

Hurrah! I'll save you a seat.

I do think, based on discussions I've had with people about the movie, that it had perhaps an even bigger impact on men (and boys) than it did on women.

Indie is a gender-inclusive fantasy.

caryn said...

A hand up and waving! I can't wait! It's the perfect movie to open over a holiday weekend too as virtually anyone can go to this movie from youngsters to grannies. I saw Harrison Ford on Jeno last week and he was being all coy about the movie, but my gosh, how can anything with Ford playing Indiana Jones not be a hit?

Julia Buckley said...

I can't imagine, Caryn. The only sad part is that when I've seen it, I'll never get to see it for the first time again. Frost was right: Nothing Gold Can Stay.

Anonymous said...

Okay, add me to the group. Indiana Jones fan from way back.

Julia Buckley said...

Sharon! Come to my house and we'll have a party. (Notice I have you making the cross-country journey).

Kim Smith said...

*sucker sucker*!!!

I am almost squirming I am so excited about this movie!!

Joyce Tremel said...

I'm a day late, but count me in!

Anyone who is in the Pittsburgh area might be interested in this:

Julia Buckley said...

We'll count you in, Joyce! And I can't get that link to work. What is it?