Tuesday 16 January 2018

Star Wars and Indy over Game of Thrones? Is cinema a lost art?

David Looby

David Looby
David Looby

FLICKING through channels on the idiot box Sunday night I came across a gem from the past, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

Seeing Indy grab his hat as the spikes came down surviving another jaws-of-death moment, brought me back to the golden era of action films, the 1980s.

The excitement at watching the Indiana Jones trilogy - which occasioned a memorable trip to the cinema to see Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in the late 80s - will never leave me. Having become hooked on Star Wars during a mind melting trip to the cinema while visiting relations in America in the mid-80s, the love affair has continued ever since, although the introduction of Jar Jar Binks and a few other characters along the way has shaken it somewhat.

The announcement that the latest Star Wars film will be released around Christmas time has got the Star Wars nerd in me buzzing.

In today's world of movie downloads and watching films and matches on laptops, it's sometimes easy to forget the magic of the big screen.

As a film lover, I'm ashamed to say I rarely get to the cinema these days as the gruelling schedule of parenthood and work doesn't allow such indulgence. When I hear a good film is about to hit the screens, I resolve to rent it on DVD one day, but that day never arrives.

Watching the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens sent goosegumps up my spine. That sweepnig music, the light sabres, Chewbacca for Christ's sake.

The child in me was reborn.

Watching Harrison Ford doing his thing, taking out entire armies of scantily clad men in ridiculous action sequences, before kissing a beautiful woman was a blast.

It's that sense of fun that is missing in today's cynical world.

Monday nights at this time of year have been stolen by Game of Thrones for many TV viewers.

This dark, brooding series in which the writer dispatches characters with giddy ease makes for compelling viewing. Now in its fifth season, with three more to go, there is a sense that the sky is the limit for this dragons, villians and heroes tale of power, greed and lust.

If Harrison Ford and the stars of yesteryear brought the audience along for the most exhilirating ride of their lives, the thrust of Game of Thrones is far more cerebral. You cannot argue with the amazing sets, the sweeping scenery and the acting as it's all excellent and in terms of TV viewing we've come a long way from Cagney and Lacey.

Watching the Temple of Doom I was struck with how well made and well directed films were, but above all how much fun they were.

Apparently inspired by the craven Plantagenets, the English and French royals who thought nothing about killing their parents, or lopping off heads for the fun of it, Game of Thrones is like some dark, rotating circus which throws up all kinds of freaks and ghouls, each more depraved than the last, hammering home the mantra that the world is cruel and no-one can be trusted.

Bring back the 80s I say and we can suffer the bad hair, the cheesy action sequences and the musical consequences!

Wexford People

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