Wednesday, August 25, 2021, 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
ON SITE: $25 for members, $35 for non-members
REMOTE CLASSROOM: $15 for members, $20 for non-members
Instructor: Paul Wright, Ph.D., Department of English, Cabrini University
Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), arguably the finest action-adventure film ever made, celebrates its fortieth anniversary this year. To mark it, we invite you to join us for an engaging seminar on the alchemy that turned a playful homage to Hollywood serials and Saturday-matinee cliffhangers into a new kind of film that redefined action cinema for decades to come.
In addition to Spielberg, then at the absolute top of his blockbuster game, the other talents behind the genesis of Raiders were individually responsible for some of the most important films of the 1970s and beyond. It comes to life with action set-pieces and a story that percolated for years in the mind of George Lucas (American Graffiti, Star Wars), and was given narrative focus with the brilliant addition of the Ark of the Covenant by Philip Kaufman (Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Right Stuff). Raiders also outshines lesser action films for being a beautifully written character study thanks to the screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back, Body Heat). Star Harrison Ford, hot off his work as Han Solo, turns in a career-defining performance—never has there been a better match of character and actor sensibility.
Four decades on, this nostalgic tribute to the cinematic thrills its creators enjoyed when they were young may, itself, seem like an artifact from a bygone era. Yet, when one recalls how Raiders so deftly blends the sharpest and most economical delineation of character with go-for-broke action, bold stunt work, and striking special effects used sparingly and to best purpose, it is easy to see why it remains the gold standard of the modern adventure film.
Just want to see the movie? Additional screening dates and showtimes will be announced on Tuesday, August 17.
Cinema Classics Seminars offer an entertaining and engaging way to learn more about some of the true classics of world cinema. All students receive an introductory lecture before the film and a guided discussion after the film. In addition, those who attend the seminar on site at BMFI receive a ticket to see it on the big screen, as well as popcorn and a drink.
Please note: There are two ways to attend in this seminar:
Please email BMFI education coordinator Jill Malcolm with any questions.