‘Raiders of the Lost Ark,’ The Soderbergh Version (Link to Video)

A lesson in filmmaking and cinematography
October 11, 2014 Updated: October 12, 2014

If you haven’t seen or heard of it already, you soon will. A version of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” as a silent film in black and white has made it to the Interwebs and it isn’t some quirky film-student who cut, edited, and uploaded it. It is the none other than one of the filmmaking greats of our millennial days, Steven Soderbergh.

Soderbergh’s in-camera edits accentuate and pay tribute to Stephen Spielberg, who directed the original Indiana Jones movies. They show Spielberg’s film to be a masterpiece and work of art.

Other elements are highlighted as the film is stripped of the witty words of Harrison Ford playing the grumpy, fedora-wearing, artifact-finding Indiana, and without the Academy Award-winning music of John Williams. Soderbergh, slots in the sounds of Trent Reznor’s musical score from “The Social Network” to provide the audible accents to the most important element of “Raiders”staging!

“I’m assuming the phrase ‘staging’ came out of the theatre world, but it’s equally at home (and useful) in the movie world, since the term (roughly defined) refers to how all the various elements of a given scene or piece are aligned, arranged, and coordinated,” Soderbergh wrote on his website.

“In movies the role of editing adds something unique: the opportunity to extend and/or expand a visual (or narrative) idea to the limits of one’s imagination—a crazy idea that works today is tomorrow’s normal,” he said.

Soderbergh uses high-contrast lighting style of renowned cinematographer Douglas Slocombe as well as the black-and-white format to allow the elements of staging to be more pronounced. He provides a hat tip to another famed director, David Fincher, whose “Gone Girl” has hit continual critical praise since its wide release.

“Fincher said it: there’s potentially a hundred different ways to shoot something but at the end of the day there’s really only two, and one of them is wrong!”

After a full and much needed viewing of “Raiders” in Soderberghian style, one can most definitely see that Spielberg and Slocombe got it right!

For the full movie version click here: “Raiders

The film will queue through black screen until the full movie introduction begins.