Soderbergh: study Raiders of the Lost Ark as a silent black & white film


1 Like

On the one hand, wow! The visual composition stands out as exceptional when put in this context.

On the other, the electronic soundtrack has no place here, like Queen and Moroder in “Metropolis”, yuck.


Yeah, it’s a shame they couldn’t just have the Raider’s score, which would also be interesting to hear isolated like that.

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 LAVENDER HILL MOB and the THE SERVANT and his stark, high-contrast lighting style was eye-popping regardless of medium.

Wow! Lavender Hill Mob is awesome (origin of Orbital’s “Even a stopped clock…” sample), as were most Ealing Studios productions. Interestingly he wasn’t on The Ladykillers, which is where the Coen brothers learned everything they know.


I’m only a few minutes in, but isn’t that NIN?

Cool idea…can’t watch: music no good.

To everyone bitching about the music, you are SERIOUSLY missing the point. The music is only there so you don’t get bored watching 2 hours of silence. Ambient sound at best. This has been done so you are not distracted by William’s bombastic score (one of my personal favs) nor any of the dialog and story. This is an exercise in framing, staging and lighting.


How much credit does George Lucas get for the editing? Much of Speilburg’s later work seems to have sequences where the final cut was left to an intern. There were absurd continuity bloopers in Private Ryan (, the final fight in War Of The Worlds seems to be little more than an animated version of the story board, and I can’t even guess what he was going for in Lincoln when he showed Lincoln and Grant sitting on the porch and WTF was the light supposed to be doing? Nobody would mistake any of his later work for Francis Ford Coppola.

1 Like

Even if one is to grant that ambient sound or background music could be seen as preferable to none at all, the complaint still remains that the music chosen for that purpose here is completely awful.

It clashes astoundingly, and I have a hard time imaginging less fitting music to play to fill the silence. A very, very poor choice, which makes silence seem far preferable.


How very strange. I find it fits just fine.

Did you watch past the first five minutes? He doesn’t just loop the same track. It changes each scene/setting, more or less.

Couple of interesting things I’ve noticed so far:

When Indy goes to brush the spiders off his back, there’s a cut and his back is deep shadow when he actually brushes with the coiled whip. When he does the same for the henchman, Indy’s torso obscures the spiders as he swings the whip, and then it cuts to a very low shot of spiders hitting the ground. This is presumably because they used live tarantulas, which don’t take falls very well. Cunningly cut.

Back at the university, I remember the one student flirting with Dr. Jones, but I never noticed before that at least 80% of the class is raptly gazing co-eds. I think there were only two or three visible male students in a packed classroom. :smile:


Did you notice the henchman was Alfred Molina, though?


Real “silent films” had musical accompaniment as well, though it was often performed live along with the film. There was a bit of art to playing to the action, which is why a “score” that fit the film would be better and a more accurate representation than a bunch of songs crammed together as background. I will say it would have been a lot more effort and possibly cost for those that put this together.

Edited to add: I get the point about visual staging, but telling me to focus on it and then providing completely incongruent music is going to distract me more from the staging than telling me to focus on it in the first place.


I think the music works fine. Perhaps there are better choices, and if anyone would like to make them, they can mute the video and listen to their own playlist.


Good point. [Runs out to hire an organ player].

1 Like

Help is at hand! :slight_smile:


Did you know it’s possible to open Youtube in two windows at the very same time? Not only that, but you can mute the one and hide the other… and make your own damn soundtrack.

I still don’t get why you feel the music MUST match the piece and not clash. This is what Soderbergh put on there. It is his experiment. Why not just enjoy the educational look at one of the finest pieces of cinema ever created and not bitch about it? Oh that’s right, its the internet…someone has to complain about something.


And yet, one could easily say that you are going exactly what you decry.

I don’t like the musical choice. You like it. That’s all well and good - but I’m just as entitled to say I don’t like it as you are to say you do, so kindly take your hypocritical, self-important dismissal of my opinion and stuff it.

I’d like to see the storyboards superimposed on this, too.

1 Like

Wasn’t Soderbergh the one crying fowl about movie piracy a few years ago.
Since when did he support creative commons

Anyone know where this music comes from? (I’m still in the opening Temple scene). I’m going to let this play in a small window in the corner of my screen all day. Good work music.