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A new, beautiful way to watch 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'

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Director Steven Soderbergh is a student of staging, the act of arranging a scene in a very particular way. It's a hard skill to master. He goes into detail about this aspect of films in a recent blog post.

I value the ability to stage something well because when it’s done well its pleasures are huge, and most people don’t do it well, which indicates it must not be easy to master (it’s frightening how many opportunities there are to do something wrong in a sequence or a group of scenes. Minefields EVERYWHERE. Fincher said it: there’s potentially a hundred different ways to shoot something but at the end of the day there’s really only two, and one of them is wrong). Of course understanding story, character, and performance are crucial to directing well, but I operate under the theory a movie should work with the sound off, and under that theory, staging becomes Paramount.

This isn't a big deal, directors talk shop all the time. The next step is amazing though, as Soderbergh took Raiders of the Lost Ark, removed the audio and coloring, and presented the entire film with a new soundtrack in order to call attention to how well the film is staged. Raiders is already an amazing movie, but this presentation gives you a new appreciation for how well it was put together, and how masterfully it was directed.

"At some point you will say to yourself or someone THIS LOOKS AMAZING IN BLACK AND WHITE and it’s because Douglas Slocombe shot THE LAVENDAR HILL MOB and the THE SERVANT and his stark, high-contrast lighting style was eye-popping regardless of medium," Soderbergh wrote.

He also admits this isn't something he's really "allowed" to do, so enjoy it while you can. This is an amazing way to gain more appreciation for a classic film. I can't embed it here, so go over to the original blog post and give it a watch. Put it on a big screen, and take what amounts to a master class in the art of staging.

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