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Macro analysis of ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’

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I have chosen to base my macro analysis on the classic action/adventure movie the Raiders of the Lost Ark. The film directed by Steven Spielberg an up and coming director with hits such as Jaws and Close encounters of the third kind under his belt. He made a trilogy of Indiana Jones movies Raiders of the Lost Ark, Temple of Doom and the Last Crusade. This film starred Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones it also starred Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, John Rhys-Davies and Denholm Elliot.

The story plotline is described as this: Archaeologist Indiana Jones Must retrieve the Mythical Lost Ark of the Covenant before It gets into the hands of Adolf Hitler who plans on using its power to guarantee his global conquest’ Macro analysis concentrates on two things Narrative and Genre. Narrative being the story told using film. I have chosen the opening sequence of the Raiders of the lost Ark because I think it defines the Genre of the film. The Genre being action/adventure, the main character in the film is Indiana Jones we know this because it says this on the video box.

The opening scene shows Indy and a small group of Mexicans walking through a tropical jungle you can tell this by the sound of birds in the background. You don’t see Indy’s face until later on which gives him a sense of mystery about him. You then see one of the Mexicans uncover a stone idol where lots of bats fly out he runs off screaming at this point Indy walks up to examines it showing no fear. You are then introduced to a lush tropical lake where they collect water. One of the Mexicans is about to double cross him he pulls out a revolver and points it our unsuspecting hero.

Indy hears the click of the gun turns round and whips it out of his hand, which I found really exciting, as you didn’t know what he was going to do and it comes as unexpected. Indy then comes out from the shadow of the tree and you finally see his face, which is a really clever lighting trick, as it seems to really give him an action hero perspective/look. Indy and one companion then approach a cave and enter with lit torches they fumble through some spider webs where upon Indy and his companion are covered in huge spiders.

The thing about this film that I love is Indy is a normal person not a muscle bound hero not a hero who has super powers, just a person. This makes you connect with him, as you could be him hypothetically which is a good quality and it brings in audiences. The cave they walk in is full of traps to obviously guard something we don’t know what yet but its going to be something valuable. The first trap is a light sensitive one where if you go into the light a spike trap is set off. They set it off to get it out of the way, where suddenly it jumps out with an already bloody corpse on it this provokes a sudden jump of fear into the audience.

The next trap is a pit where upon Indy whips across and his companion does as well but he needs a little help from Indy. The last trap a pressure pad room with shooting spikes and what Indy is after a gold idol at the end. When he gets the idol a whole series of doors start closing and they both have to leg it. With spikes flying past and doors closing. His companion then double cross’s him and runs off with the idol Indy barely makes it to past the chasm but after he does his companion is found impaled on spikes the idol on the floor.

This is typical of the action/adventure genre where good triumphs over evil he double-crossed Indy, he dies in the end. The next scene is one of the most famous action scenes in the movies most people know it due to good word of mouth which is all important nowadays as bad word of mouth ruins the films revenue. The scene is Indy running away from a boulder then flying out the entrance rolling down a little hill to be greeted by one of his enemies and the tribesmen he controls.

You can tell this is his enemy by the comment “only if they knew as well as I do” making it seem they have always been competitors. The tribesmen then chase him over the fields to his plane where he swings on a tree vine to safety. The story is relatively easy to follow, as you know he is an archaeologist so you know he is looking for something. The characters are introduced but not as well as they could be but the story or the way the film conveys it is you are not supposed to know just yet it leaves a air of mystery around him which you can later on unravel.

I particularly love this film and am neither disgusted at any point nor confused. It has got both unrestricted and restricted narrative, which is good as it helps the story. It follows Todorov’s basic story line where an initial equilibrium is set and it is then followed by conflict and then resolution or new equilibrium. As action/adventures go it is what I fully expected of one action, romance, and double-crossing, and evil villains. The genre indicators for the clip I chose were rife.

The most obvious one being death defying harrowing escapes from traps which is common in action films. A lot of chase sequences and the whip plays a vital role. Swinging over chasms and swinging on vines in the jungle are all aspects of adventure films, the location is a significant adventure location. The predator was set in a jungle another hard-hitting action film with muscle bound gun-ho soldiers. I really love this film and for the reasons above it defines action/adventure.

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