Sunday, April 12, 2009

george lucas is effing brilliant.

what genius, to come up with such epic stories: star wars and indiana jones. both are full of adventure and comedy, heart and soul, metaphor and symmetry. star wars is spiritual and meaningful, its depth is belied by its science fiction setting and high-flying adventure, but the notion of the force, of the spiritual master, of the green man, of the perceived duality between good and evil, as well as that duality's essential complementarity, all have firm grounding in the study of gnosis.

the star wars movies famously take their cue from joseph campbell's study of the 'hero myth', and indiana jones is wonderfully comic and non-stop adventure. he's the american james bond (fleming's bond, not connery's), in a way: supremely knowledgable, supremely capable, and supremely brash. harrison ford really is quite wonderful, he's both han solo and indiana jones, a thrill-seeking and brazenly cocksure adventurer, motivated by self-interest, but ever-ready to don the mantle of reluctant hero.

the opening scene of 'temple of doom' mixes east and west with an american girl singing an english song in chinese, then brings in mystery as we see indy's body moving down stairs, given a passing warning as he sits down to confront a table of mobsters, as connery did in dr no, dashing in a white tuxedo; the adventure just begins as he barters for the prize which he collected the night before, which, as we learn from a bandaged hand, one of the chinese had attempted to steal. the details make it exciting and fun, delivered slowly and subtly, as we see the barter taking place over a revolving tray, the artefact and the money being exchanged round and round, when indy finally imbibes a poison, and the club goes wild, the diamond and the antidote both rolling around on the floor, being chased by the girl and indy, both of whom want one of those items. the excitement level is maintained as they jump out a window and fall directly into indy's white car, given chase by the chinese, until indy escapes them by jumping into a freight plane, which he doesn't know is owned by the mobster himself!

what a brilliant storyteller he is, a master of vernacular adventure, mr lucas - inventor of some of the most enduring, popular, and relevant american characters, and reviver of inspired and innately exciting stories.


James said...

I like the tie in with Campbell-

Although you should have mentioned something about Jar Jar Binks :)

M said...

haha ... yea def he's the most vital character.

yes you always liked campbell ...

did you see i linked your site from mine?