Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Hot Docs 2015: Raiders!

“Did you get the shot?,” asks an explosive technician after he regains consciousness after being knocked out by a plane that blows up five-feet away from him. Growing up in a middle-class household in Mississippi in the Eighties two teenagers, both from divorced parents, escape the sadness and boredom of their lives by deciding to re-create shot-by-shot Raiders of the Lost Ark. What’s so incredible is, with the help of many other kids in the neighborhood, they actually manage pull it off, even though by the end of filming the two friends had stopped talking to each other. Now that they’re both older and they’ve have the chance to reunite they decide to take time off from their work and live to recreate the ending that they couldn’t have filmed at the time: a huge brawl in front of a plane and camel which involves some serious pyrotechnics.

It goes without saying that Steven Spielberg has influenced countless people worldwide throughout successive generations. What’s so impressive here is to see how even when his earlier films were just getting released that they could so profoundly affect these boys and affect them for life. For a few scenes alone this documentary is worth seeing: after sending Spielberg a VHS tape the principal creators of the Raiders Adaptation are invited to Universal Studios to meet the master. This is every Spielbergian dream and you can live it vicariously for a few minutes. 

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