Steven Soderbergh creates a black & white version of Raiders of the Lost Ark, for ‘educational purposes’
In one of the more unusual stories to cross our paths this week, director Steven Soderbergh has published an intriguing post on his website featuring a version of Steven Spielberg’s classic Indiana Jones film, Raiders of the Lost Ark, rendered completely in black & white and with the dialogue removed, replacing the sound with a selection of music. The end result is something that, in places, resembles an old Charlie Chaplin or Buster Keaton film.
So why has he taken it upon himself to render a new version of the film? Well, as he explains in the post, he is basically just highlighting the genius of Steven Spielberg's filmmaking skills, particularly with regard to the film's staging and lighting.
In a post that seems aimed towards budding filmmakers, Soderbergh points out how well arranged each aspect of the scenes are, from placement of props , through the camera angles to the high contrast lighting employed, and challenges filmmakers to recreate the scenes. As he points out of the staging in the film: "no matter how fast the cuts come, you always know exactly where you are—that’s high level visual math shit."
Read the rest of Soderbergh's post and watch the video for yourselves here. (We highly recommend the fight sequence at 1:17:00 for some proper silent movie slapstick fun...)