Watch Steven Soderbergh’s black and white Indiana Jones edit


Presumably for Steven Soderbergh, being retired means being able to fiddle with projects that weren’t his own. He’s currently the pseudonym DP Peter Andrews on Magic Mike XXL, he recently re-cut Michael Cimino’s grab bag of an epic Heaven’s Gate, and now he’s used Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark in order to educate people on “staging” in cinema.

He’s done so by removing the color and dialogue from the first Indiana Jones classic and replacing the John Williams score with portions of Trent Reznor’s The Social Network soundtrack.

Yes, that’s the full movie, and you can watch it via his website Extension 765.

Staging, Soderbergh explains, “refers to how all the various elements of a given scene or piece are aligned, arranged, and coordinated. In movies the role of editing adds something unique: the opportunity to extend and/or expand a visual (or narrative) idea to the limits of one’s imagination—a crazy idea that works today is tomorrow’s normal.”

Thus, this version is intended to be used as a teaching tool to understand how Spielberg picks his shots and always lets you know where you are, perhaps better than any other director living.

“I operate under the theory a movie should work with the sound off, and under that theory, staging becomes paramount,” Soderbergh writes. “So I want you to watch this movie and think only about staging, how the shots are built and laid out, what the rules of movement are, what the cutting patterns are. See if you can reproduce the thought process that resulted in these choices by asking yourself: why was each shot—whether short or long—held for that exact length of time and placed in that order?”

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