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INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion - Printable Version

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RE: INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion - arjen rudd - 01-13-2021

Schwartz and I did an podcast episode on the Adventure genre, in part inspired by this thread.


RE: INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion - kyle reese 2 - 01-13-2021

I'm more excited for the Machine Games/Bethesda Indiana Jones game than I am for this movie. And that's taking into account that Wolfenstein 2 was awful.

If the entire movie us Indiana racing in Le Mans, then we might be cooking with gas.


RE: INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion - Belloq87 - 01-13-2021

(01-13-2021, 04:20 PM)arjen rudd Wrote: Schwartz and I did an podcast episode on the Adventure genre, in part inspired by this thread.

Great conversation.

In terms of classification, I think it really comes down to tone and intent. Does the movie want us to be having a good time with what we’re seeing, or does it want us to have a more subdued/complex reaction? If the former, it’s probably an adventure movie. Is the movie high-energy and viscerally exciting, or does it strive for realism? If the former, it’s probably an adventure movie.


RE: INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion - Overlord - 01-13-2021

(01-13-2021, 08:15 PM)Belloq87 Wrote:
(01-13-2021, 04:20 PM)arjen rudd Wrote: Schwartz and I did an podcast episode on the Adventure genre, in part inspired by this thread.

Great conversation.

In terms of classification, I think it really comes down to tone and intent.  Does the movie want us to be having a good time with what we’re seeing, or does it want us to have a more subdued/complex reaction?  If the former, it’s probably an adventure movie.  Is the movie high-energy and viscerally exciting, or does it strive for realism?  If the former, it’s probably an adventure movie.

Neither tone, energy-level, realism, or audience reaction defines an adventure movie.

"Adventure" films are movies whose stories predominantly contain plot and characterization elements that fall within the "adventure film" genre.


RE: INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion - arjen rudd - 01-13-2021

I’d agree that Adventure movies traditionally have a certain tone, etc, except when they don’t. I mentioned Aguirre in the show, and that’s certainly an Adventure movie. It’s just an absolutely hellish one.

But genre rarely has concrete definitions. What are those plot and characterization elements, is the question.


RE: INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion - Overlord - 01-13-2021

(01-13-2021, 08:24 PM)arjen rudd Wrote: But genre rarely has concrete definitions. What are those plot and characterization elements, is the question.

Lines get blurred and media can cross genres, but "rarely has concrete definitions?"  I don't think so.

Some good starting links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adventure_fiction
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adventure_film


RE: INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion - arjen rudd - 01-13-2021

I mean, I read those. You don’t have to listen to the thing, but it’s what we’re talking about in it.

The basic idea is that anything you say an Adventure movie has to have, there’s generally several counterpoint examples, and because it’s one of the oldest kind of stories, the definition changes over time.


RE: INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion - freeman - 01-13-2021

I actually like the Nuketown sequence. It's the raft falling out of the plane taken to the extreme.


RE: INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion - commodorejohn - 01-13-2021

I don't hate it or love it, really. The film has way bigger problems than one miscalibrated bit of goofiness.


RE: INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion - Overlord - 01-13-2021

(01-13-2021, 08:38 PM)arjen rudd Wrote: I mean, I read those. You don’t have to listen to the thing, but it’s what we’re talking about in it.

The basic idea is that anything you say an Adventure movie has to have, there’s generally several counterpoint examples, and because it’s one of the oldest kind of stories, the definition changes over time.

You should have these podcasts transcribed.  I'm one of those folks that really prefer the written word for this type of content.

I don't think the "adventure" genre has changed all that much.  It's one of the oldest, as you say.  Can you name some of these "counterpoint" films that you consider to be adventure movies BUT which don't fall within the classical definition?

In deciding what genre a media work falls into I typically approach it like this: Take a film and imagine what it would be like if you stripped away the traditional elements of a particular genre.  If you find it's simply impossible to coherent to do so, or if the work would be rendered unrecognizable by the changes, then you know you've pinpointed the correct genre.


RE: INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion - Nooj - 01-13-2021

I haven't listened to the movie yet (which I'm looking forward to)...

but in terms of similar discussions I've had about how this particular genre differentiates itself from the broader "ACTION MOVIE" genre...

...I've often joked that it basically comes down to the score. If the score has a sense of ROMANCE to it (and I'm not talking about lovey-dovey-kiss-kiss romance), it's probably an example of an ADVENTURE MOVIE.

No doubt there are exceptions to this silly bit of compartmentalization heheheh


RE: INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion - Overlord - 01-13-2021

(01-13-2021, 09:27 PM)Nooj Wrote: but in terms of similar discussions I've had about how this particular genre differentiates itself from the broader "ACTION MOVIE" genre...

...I've often joked that it basically comes down to the score.  If the score has a sense of ROMANCE to it (and I'm not talking about lovey-dovey-kiss-kiss romance), it's probably an example of an ADVENTURE MOVIE.

Are you being serious?

For most adventure films you could strip away the "action" beats and the overall structure, form, etc. would still be immediately recognizable (if a lot less fun).  I don't think there's nearly as much of an overlap as you think.  There are umpteen action films that are largely bereft of "adventure" components and the same can be said of adventure films that don't feature much, if any, action.


RE: INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion - arjen rudd - 01-13-2021

Probably the easiest thing to say an Adventure story requires is a travel component. The protagonist venturing out into unfamiliar lands. This is pretty secure in most Adventure stories you can name, whether it be globe trotting story like an Indiana Jones movie, or just a trek into someplace unknown, but still local (say, The Goonies). And yet, the counterpoint example would be maybe the most famous Adventure hero of all time, Robin Hood. He's very locally situated in Sherwood Forest, an area he knows so well he's outfitted it for defense. The farthest he ever really goes is Nottingham and the surrounding environs. He's been to the Crusades, but that not really the focus, and is rarely even shown. It's preamble.

You could say Robin Hood proves Adventure stories aren't about travel, but the trappings of Robin Hood don't overlap with Indy or the Goonies, which are both obviously Adventure stories as well.


RE: INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion - Overlord - 01-13-2021

(01-13-2021, 09:43 PM)arjen rudd Wrote: Probably the easiest thing to say an Adventure story requires is a travel component. The protagonist venturing out into unfamiliar lands. This is pretty secure in most Adventure stories you can name, whether it be globe trotting story like an Indiana Jones movie, or just a trek into someplace unknown, but still local (say, The Goonies). And yet, the counterpoint example would be maybe the most famous Adventure hero of all time, Robin Hood. He's very locally situated in Sherwood Forest, an area he knows so well he's outfitted it for defense. The farthest he ever really goes is Nottingham and the surrounding environs. He's been to the Crusades, but that not really the focus, and is rarely even shown. It's preamble.

You could say Robin Hood proves Adventure stories aren't about travel, but the trappings of Robin Hood don't overlap with Indy or the Goonies, which are both obviously Adventure stories as well.

I disagree with the foundation of your entire premise. I would contend that travel is a fairly significant component in Robin Hood.  The traipsing in and out of Sherwood Forest (itself a myth-shrouded and mysterious place) by Robin Hood, his Merry Men, or strangers of one sort or another is common-place.  Robin Hood and his gang travel to (and often escape from) exotic locales such as enemy castles, lavish tournaments, or to ambush a caravan.

**The more I think about this, the more baffled I am. Robin Hood is CONSTANTLY traveling to, and often escaping from, interesting or exotic locations, often trying to recover a person or item of value. It's a defining characteristic of his adventures.


RE: INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion - arjen rudd - 01-13-2021

I disagree with you, in that case. The main action of Robin Hood stories is localized to one County in England, and any distances traveled are more or less not deemed important enough to comment on. Unless the suggestion is that more than one location = travel, in which case everything but intimate chamber pieces are indeed adventure stories.

But the Travel isn't even really the important part. The thing that characterizes it as Adventure, to my reading, is that it's unknown to the protagonist. The broadening of horizons, the discovery, that's the engine the fuels Robert Louis Stevenson or Jules Verne or Indy or the Goonies. And again, Robin Hood succeeds because he knows the woods so well, and the castles and tourneys, etc.

Also, I'm not actually trying to correct you, or definitively define anything. My whole point is that it's hard to do that! And that genre classifications aren't set in stone. For another example, take the classic Adventure yarn The Last of the Mohicans. Why isn't that a Western? Because of the time period it takes place in? If so, is Hell or High Water also not a Western?


RE: INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion - Overlord - 01-13-2021

(01-13-2021, 10:20 PM)arjen rudd Wrote: I disagree with you, in that case. The main action of Robin Hood stories is localized to one County in England, and any distances traveled are more or less not deemed important enough to comment on ....

The distance traveled is not the key element, it's that the quest to strange, exotic, unknown, and/or dangerous locations dominates the events the story.  If someone finds a door under their home that leads to a multi-level underground palace filled with traps and dangers and treasure, and they have to find a way out, they may not traverse more than a quarter mile in total but they've definitely gone on an adventure. 

Robin Hood decides to go to a tournament.  Sure, it's only half a day's ride from Sherwood, but it will have strange sights, he isn't sure what he will find, there may be mischief or danger of any sort, and he has to explore and quest for the purpose of his journey.

I don't want to get bogged down in semantics here, but "travel" for the purposes of the adventure genre equates to:

1.)Leaving the comfort zone of home and hearth
2.)A strong and pervading element of the unknown, which can be broadly defined
3.)The journey is required to achieve an objective, and that objective may be as simple as rescuing someone or retrieving an item

**Anyone with significant backpacking/hiking/camping experience will scoff at the notion that traveling through a forest, like Sherwood, isn't an "adventure" because it is known to you.  Wild animals, random dangers, hell, bandits ... you never know.  A few years ago I took my kids on a hike we'd done a dozen times.  This time a family of coyotes got upset at our presence and starting yipping and baying constantly (scared the shit out of my kids ... it was actually extremely disconcerting and we hightailed it out of there).  You may know the paths, but the element of the unknown is generally always present when traveling the wilds.


RE: INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion - Nooj - 01-13-2021

(01-13-2021, 09:31 PM)Overlord Wrote: Are you being serious?

(01-13-2021, 09:27 PM)Nooj Wrote: I've often joked that it basically comes down to the score. 


are YOU being serious?


RE: INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion - arjen rudd - 01-13-2021

I feel like what you're saying is exactly what I'm saying, in the second paragraph, and also a genre signifier unrelated to actual travel. A mystical place is another aspect of the genre, whether it's where the hero arrives at journey's end (The Temple of the Grail Knight) or the place the hero sleeps and eats every day (Sherwood Forest). Also, not a requirement for the Adventure story.


RE: INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion - Overlord - 01-13-2021

(01-13-2021, 10:46 PM)arjen rudd Wrote: I feel like what you're saying is exactly what I'm saying ...

Maybe. 

Are you saying that Robin Hood doesn't contain the "travel" element often foundational to the adventure genre?  If that's what you are saying I disagree entirely, for the reasons I've stated in my prior few posts.  

Now, if I've misunderstood and you're actually indicating the opposite (that Robin Hood does contain the "travel" aspect endemic to adventure media) my apologies.


RE: INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion - arjen rudd - 01-13-2021

(01-13-2021, 10:33 PM)The Overlord Wrote: 1.)Leaving the comfort zone of home and hearth
2.)A strong and pervading element of the unknown, which can be broadly defined
3.)The journey is required to achieve an objective, and that objective may be as simple as rescuing someone or retrieving an item

My original point was regarding literal travel, as many Adventure films are about a Quest that literally crosses spatial distance into the unknown. I agree that these are hallmarks of Adventure stories (although not all Adventure stories necessarily). The Campbell Hero’s Journey is nothing so much as a blueprint for adventure. I don’t agree that these are all neatly summed up as aspects of travel, or that Robin Hood particularly traffics in all these things.

Sherwood Forest is, presumably, a wild place and less comfortable than the castle Robin of Locksley is accustomed to. But it’s not classically presented as such, at least not to Robin and his Merry Men. Quote the opposite, in fact. They know it like the back of their hand, always able to escape to it, plot ambushes within it, and build a fully functional society that wants for nothing inside it. It is by no means unknown to them, no matter how scary the woods might be. The only time I can ever recall it being presented as such in any movie would be for less than ten minutes in the Costner film (which is openly embracing all sorts of non-canonical ‘adventure movie’ elements). Usually, we catch up with Robin in media res. And really, it’s his familiarity and expertise within his world that makes him the hero, equally adept in court and in the wilds. He never fights a bear, or anything.

We could go back and forth on this, which I love, and is why I pitched the episode, but the only way I can see Robin Hood as something that offers traveling as a main motif is if I grant that the protagonist is the reader/viewer, traveling to a long ago time that never was. And that transporting quality could actually be said to be a genre signifier as well, even if it’s common to a lot of stories, when you get right down to it. A courtroom drama can function that way.

And again, the unknown is the significant part to be. The Goonies is restricted to the Oregon coastline where all the characters grew up, but it’s also a journey into the unknown. That’s only true for Robin Hood in that he doesn’t have ESP. All his travels are within his known sphere of understanding.


RE: INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion - bradito - 01-14-2021

I always thought action movies were just adventure movies with more violence. But please continue...


RE: INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion - mr. stockslivevan - 01-14-2021

This is reminding me of discussions of James Bond, and how the series was easily defined as an adventure series until the Brosnan era shifted it more to an action series with increased set pieces and machine gun play.


RE: INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion - Overlord - 01-14-2021

(01-14-2021, 12:33 AM)bradito Wrote: I always thought action movies were just adventure movies with more violence. But please continue...

The distinction is covered in the PhD level screenwriting curriculum.


RE: INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion - commodorejohn - 01-14-2021

(01-14-2021, 01:41 AM)mr. stockslivevan Wrote: This is reminding me of discussions of James Bond, and how the series was easily defined as an adventure series until the Brosnan era shifted it more to an action series with increased set pieces and machine gun play.
Which also touches on the whole emergence of the modern "action movie" as a distinct quasi-genre. There's a whole essay to be written about the shift in style and focus from the progenitors in the '60s and '70s (and their roots in earlier films) to the post-Terminator, post-Die Hard definition which is more or less what we're still operating on, but it would be a job for someone more studied in film history than myself.


RE: INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion - bradito - 01-14-2021

Ahem, Die Hard is a Christmas movie.


RE: INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion - hammerhead - 01-14-2021

But is it an adventure movie?


RE: INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion - bradito - 01-14-2021

Who is the antagonist? Freeman would say the building.


RE: INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion - hammerhead - 01-14-2021

According to the screenwriters, their big breakthrough was to approach Gruber as protagonist and McClane as antagonist.


RE: INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion - Belloq87 - 01-14-2021

DIE HARD calls itself an adventure right on the poster. "40 STORIES OF SHEER ADVENTURE!" I don't think I really consider it one, myself, but who am I to argue with that marketing?

I think an element I look for in an adventure story is some kind of quest or journey being undertaken. I'm sure there are examples of movies that I'd classify as adventures that don't tick that box, but most probably would.


RE: INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion - arjen rudd - 01-14-2021

Yes, good, all this


RE: INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion - bradito - 01-14-2021

(01-14-2021, 02:11 AM)hammerhead Wrote: According to the screenwriters, their big breakthrough was to approach Gruber as protagonist and McClane as antagonist.

It's weird when writers misunderstamd the movie they're writing.

"Who's the protagonist in that movie where the cop travels across the country to visit his estranged wife in a last-ditch attempt to save his struggling marriage, except terrorists show up right after they have an argument and now he has to thwart their plans, save his wife and tell her that he's sorry? Is it the cop? No, it's clearly the main terrorist who sits in an office for most of Act Two."

@_@


RE: INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion - mr. stockslivevan - 01-14-2021

(01-14-2021, 02:24 AM)Belloq87 Wrote: DIE HARD calls itself an adventure right on the poster.  "40 STORIES OF SHEER ADVENTURE!"  I don't think I really consider it one, myself, but who am I to argue with that marketing?

Fox probably thought of it as more like THE TOWERING INFERNO, only instead of a disaster film it had a terrorist plot.


RE: INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion - Belloq87 - 01-14-2021

It's clearly part of the same "mayhem in a skyscraper" lineage.


RE: INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion - freeman - 01-14-2021

(01-14-2021, 02:32 AM)bradito Wrote:
(01-14-2021, 02:11 AM)hammerhead Wrote: According to the screenwriters, their big breakthrough was to approach Gruber as protagonist and McClane as antagonist.

It's weird when writers misunderstamd the movie they're writing.

"Who's the protagonist in that movie where the cop travels across the country to visit his estranged wife in a last-ditch attempt to save his struggling marriage, except terrorists show up right after they have an argument and now he has to thwart their plans, save his wife and tell her that he's sorry? Is it the cop? No, it's clearly the main terrorist who sits in an office for most of Act Two."

@_@

Maybe that perspective helped generate the "John is a huge pain in the ass" dynamic, or the Gruber McClane meet and greet.

(shrug)


RE: INDIANA JONES and you're actually fucking serious pre-release discussion - Nooj - 01-14-2021

(01-14-2021, 02:32 AM)bradito Wrote: It's weird when writers misunderstamd the movie they're writing.

"Who's the protagonist in that movie where the cop travels across the country to visit his estranged wife in a last-ditch attempt to save his struggling marriage, except terrorists show up right after they have an argument and now he has to thwart their plans, save his wife and tell her that he's sorry? Is it the cop? No, it's clearly the main terrorist who sits in an office for most of Act Two."

@_@

I mean, if misunderstandings result in more movies like DIE HARD....

MISUNDERSTAND AWAYYYY!!!