' ' Cinema Romantico: A 1960's Indiana Jones...

Thursday, March 17, 2016

A 1960's Indiana Jones...

And so it will come to pass in the year of our Lord 2019 that a fifth “Indiana Jones” movie will be released, 11 years after the last one, “Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”, a Steven Spielberg joint we all remember being met with a universal roar of derision until we realize it’s pulling down 78% on the never-not-inaccurate Rotten Tomatoes and that its reviews were more “Eh, okay, whatever” than “A Plague On All Your Houses!” Look, I wasn’t the most ardent fan of “Crystal Skull”, but the passage of time, as it’s wont to do, has allowed most of the film to fall away in my mind’s eye, leaving only fond thoughts of the Nuking the Fridge sequence (which apparently Steven Spielberg was forced to apologize for because no one bought that scene even if “Indiana Jones” movies aren’t, for the love of God, about “buying stuff”) and the glory of Indy finally acknowledging what will we all knew to be true - that is, Marion Ravenwood was always the only woman in these movies that mattered.

But then, our thoughts about “Crystal Skull” don’t matter just as our thoughts about the forthcoming new adventure don’t matter. As “No Country For Old Men’s” Uncle Ellis so aptly noted, “You can’t stop what’s coming.” And we can’t stop “Indy V” so best just to get right with the motion picture gods. And since it’s coming, it got me to thinking. It got me to thinking about how “Crystal Skull” bumped its timeframe up to the 1950’s, meaning that the Nazis were traded in for more Cold War appropriate villains and the big to-do revolved around extra-terrestrials. And so if we are to assume that this fifth installment will adhere to that same timeline advancement and bring our fine fedora-ed friend into the 1960’s then what oh what could “Indy V” be?

Cold War Thriller

Indiana Jones & the Sunken City. A search for an underwater city of the coast of Cuba leads our fearless archaeologist into the crosshairs of the Cuban Revolution and the ensuing Missile Crisis where submerged pyramids are revealed not as the archaeological discovery of a lifetime but subaquatic missile silos. Only Indiana Jones and American Olympic Gold Medal winning swimmer Lynn Burke (Amanda Seyfried) can save the world from catastrophe.

Swinging 60’s

Indiana Jones & the Queen of Mod. A late-life foray into aesthetic archaeology leads Our Man Indy to London of the Swinging 60’s where he finds himself very much not acting his age as he becomes embroiled in a Bond-ish spy caper as he attempts to rescue the original Mary Quant mini-skirt (“It belongs in a museum!”) from vile British gangsters.

Italian Auteurist

Indiana Jones & the Ancient Roman Jar. The discovery of an ancient Roman jar riddled with holes leads Indy to the capital of Italy where his search yields only questions, not answers, as he comes to see the unanswerable riddle of the holes as proof of the meaningless of existence and the uselessness of studying prehistory in the hopes of understanding it when nothing is understandable except for our inability to understand.

New Hollywood

Indiana Jones & the Quest for Gold Lake. When an archaeological dig suggests the myth of the Gold Rush-era Gold Lake might be true, Indy high-tails it to San Francisco, where he finds himself, grizzled growler, drawn into the counter-culture moment, and ultimately a violent New Left group that radicalizes him and consequently convinces him to find the gold to fund their operations to off the pigs. (No gold is found. No pigs are offed. Indy goes off the grid.)

British Kitchen Sink

Indiana Jones & the Drab Apartment. After being brought up on charges of crimes against antiquities and fired from the University of Chicago, Indy takes a position at MOLA in London which basically consists of just sitting in a basement office, reading National Geographic and staying out of the way. Disillusioned with life, as his marriage struggles and money becomes tight, the silver screen's most daring adventurer is relegated to deadbeat status on the corner stool at the pub drunkenly telling people about that one time he found a priceless golden idol.

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