Why do we love movies? Why is it an artistic medium that, arguably more so than any other, captures the imaginations of people all across the planet? These are questions that have been plumbed in depth by all manner of film critics and film historians. One slightly newer question worthy of dissection regards the re-releasing of classic films into multiplexes, often in fancier formats than were available upon its initial release. Stalwarts may rattle the sabers of purism and decry the prospect. However, there is an argument to be made that there are some films that would greatly benefit from this revisit to theaters. This week, Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark enjoys a theatrical IMAX re-release — and it deserves a second look on the big screen.
Detractors will wash their hands at the appearance of the word IMAX, but the format is perfectly suited to a film like Raiders. Going back to those critical examinations of our collective adoration for motion pictures, one of the phrases you’re bound to see again and again is “larger than life.” While IMAX does literally augment the image area and require a larger size of film, it’s not simply a case of everything bigger being inherently better.
In this case, the phrase larger than life extends beyond the literal sense and speaks to the escapism offered by the silver screen. Raiders of the Lost Ark is at its heart a classic style adventure story modeled after the movie serials of the 1930s and 1940s. These were thrilling, sweeping action films that played in segments before the feature presentation in old movie houses. These serials were meant to transport the audiences, who had not the benefit of the Internet, to worlds much grander and more exciting than the one they knew. Read the entire article on Hollywood.com's website.