Saturday, May 24, 2008

Saturday Afternoon Movie Matinee

"Harrison Ford and Cate Blanchett (are) second-rate actors, serving as the running dogs of the CIA. We need to deprive these people of the right of entering the country,"
-Andrei Gindos, member of the Russian Communist Party.

My favorite scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark:

At first, I wasn't particularly motivated to go see the new Indiana Jones movie. As I got older, I saw how cartoony it all was (I loved the first movie, but even as a teenager, when Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom came out, the action sequences were so far-fetched, it required a willing suspension of disbelief I just couldn't bring to the table) and it ruined much of the enjoyment.

Plus, I wasn't that interested in seeing an aging Harrison Ford cracking his whip (I thought he was supposed to have gained immortality from The Last Crusade?) for the sake of nostalgia. But then I heard about this:
Russian Communist party members condemned the new Indiana Jones' film on Friday as crude anti-Soviet propaganda that distorted history and called for it to be banned from Russian screens.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull stars Harrison Ford as an archeologist in 1957 competing with an evil KGB agent, played by Cate Blanchett, to find a skull endowed with mystic powers.

"What galls is how together with America we defeated Hitler, and how we sympathized when Bin Laden hit them. But they go ahead and scare kids with Communists. These people have no shame," said Viktor Perov, a Communist Party member in Russia's second city of St Petersburg.

Hmm....were the Russians really "together" with America when it came to Saddam Hussein? And should we still consider Russia "together" with America as we face current dangers, including Islamic terrorism?

"Scare kids with communists"? The Red Scare was real: A conservative estimate of 61 million in Soviet Russia, murdered by communism. Everywhere, around the world, they were testing and probing western resolve; of whether or not America was willing to defend its interests.

Other communists said the generation born after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union were being fed revisionist, Hollywood history. They advocated banning the Indiana Jones outright to prevent "ideological sabotage."

"Our movie-goers are teenagers who are completely unaware of what happened in 1957," St Petersburg Communist Party chief Sergei Malinkovich told Reuters.

"They will go to the cinema and will be sure that in 1957 we made trouble for the United States and almost started a nuclear war."

"It's rubbish ... In 1957 the communists did not run with crystal skulls throughout the U.S. Why should we agree to that sort of lie and let the West trick our youth?"

Vladimir Mukhin, another member of the local Communist Party, said in comments posted on the Internet site that he would ask Russia's Culture Ministry to ban the film for its "anti-Soviet propaganda."

It's a movie. A fantasy-adventure. Anyone who confuses a Steven Spielberg directed Indiana Jones narrative as a good substitute for opening up a history book, needs to have their brain examined.

So yesterday I went to see the movie. I might not have gone to see it, if not for the controversy stirring up my interest.

The action is fit for a cartoon, the plot juvenile. Take it for what it is- escapist entertainment- and you might have a good time. And it just might stimulate some interest in looking at the actual history of crystal skulls....and the communist Soviet Union.

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Blogger Karen said...

Well done, Word. Haven't seen it but will probably wait for it to be on a pay station on cable, like I do most of them anymore.

Happy Memorial Day weekend.

Saturday, May 24, 2008 3:53:00 PM  
Anonymous LostInTheSouth said...

You're dead on; it's not a documentary it's fiction. It appears Russia is a bit touchy when it comes to their Soviet era past. This is especially true when a movie sparks interest by the youth into looking at their countries own history.

Russian government types need to look at this movie for what it really is, Hollywood fiction, set in 1957; nothing more,Comrade.

Saturday, May 24, 2008 9:08:00 PM  
Blogger Gayle said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Sunday, May 25, 2008 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger Gayle said...

The History Channel did a documentary on the history of the Crystal Skulls, Wordsmith. It was pretty interesting.

I've been watching the series that Spielberg did on "Taken" (Science Fiction about space aliens and the incident at Roswell) and if I took Spielberg seriously this would have been one scary series. I can't see why the Russians would think that people are going to take an Indian Jones movie seriously. LOL!

I don't like James Bond movies for the same reason you didn't like Indiana Jones. You have to watch both with a complete "willing suspension of disbelief" for sure! But I've ordered the latest Indiana Jones movie on NetFlix. Sometimes pure fantasy is fun. I still don't like James Bond movies though. I wonder what the difference is? :)

Sunday, May 25, 2008 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...


I noticed the same thing about James Bond; especially during the Roger Moore years. Just way over-the-top in believability. I can suspend disbelief, if the real-world laws of physics still apply. Putting the characters into extraordinary circumstances doesn't bother me.

Sunday, May 25, 2008 11:56:00 AM  

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