on confidence

While watching “Indiana Jones: the Temple of Doom,” the other night, I couldn’t help but realize what a bad movie it is.  When I first saw it, as a kid in the eighties, I was not yet a seasoned critic, I watched it and probably liked it, can’t really remember.  So, the year was 1983, swashbuckling and bad dialogue were all the rage; and yet, damn, what a bad movie.  Plot holes you could drive a tank through, extended shots of Harrison Ford’s nostrils, and that awful, shrieking female lead, don’t remember her name (and hopefully, I won’t remember her performance much longer).  The little Asian-American kid from “The Goonies” is the best actor in “Temple of Doom,” and here he pretty much just revamps his Goonies role, but at the side of Professor Jones.  I don’t blame Harrison Ford for being a bad actor, that’s just who he is; neither do I blame the limited character actors who parade across stage like so many gong show failures.  Steven Spielberg is squarely to blame for this cinematic turd, and many others too.

We watched a special featurette after the drawn-out “epic,” and I realized that Indiana Jones, as a brand, is the result of Steven Spielberg’s ego.  He’s a smug bastard who has made a lot of money making bad movies.  In the featurette, he prances around barking orders in a sweaty t-shirt, god of his little empire.  Without his smugness, his absolute self-confidence, these steaming piles of action-pack would never have “graced” the silver screen.  He had to sell himself to studio executives, he had to get a whole creative team involved; someone who only half-believed in himself could not have done it.  The crappy plot lines, the lack of depth in every character, the bastardization of the Kali myth (a prominent theme), the animals injured in the making of “Indiana Jones, Temple of Doom:” all stem from Steven Speilberg’s inflated ego.

So here’s what I’m taking from this revelation: I can write and illustrate a children’s book, and get it published.  A crisis of self-confidence has held me up for far too long.  I have the plot, I have some sketches; now I start painting.  Yes, I don’t have so much time to work, but I have a few hours a week, and that should be enough.  Confidence has to be embraced, if it’s not an innate quality (and in me, it’s not); from here I begin my children’s book, on monsters.

About emvlovely

Oh, I live in an RV. I write poems, essays and prose. Thanks for reading my blog, good health to you!
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4 Responses to on confidence

  1. Joan Virgil says:

    Hi Raggedy Ann,

    Interesting take on Spielberg and his blockbuster movie(s). I don’t remember the Indiana movies being all that bad, although it’s been many years since I’ve seen them. I have to agree with your take on Spielberg’s ego; suppose that’s what propelled him to fame and fortune. He has done some great and important films, though – Lincoln and Shindler’s List come to mind.

    Can’t wait to see the children’s book project!

    • emvlovely says:

      Mom, I had forgotten all about “Schindler’s List,” a movie I’ve actually never seen. I must reconsider my position on S. Spielberg; perhaps he grew up a bit. And I didn’t know he directed “Lincoln” either; so out of the current movie loop. Thanks for pointing this out.

  2. Paul says:

    Jane and I were probably the only 2 people in America to have actually walked out on “IJ and the Temple of Doom.” The scene where some dude is coming after IJ with a whip, and IJ shoots him, just disgusted me as gratuitous and self-congratulatory cruelty. I walked out at that point; Jane left a little later. We never saw any of the other IJ movies. But Schindler’s List was excellent. Haven’t seen Lincoln, but want to.

    Karen Allen has a fiber arts store in the Berkshires — has lived there for many years. See http://www.karenallen-fiberarts.com/home.php.

    • emvlovely says:

      Thanks, Uncle Paul, it’s good to know I’m not the only IJ detractor. Was tempted to go into the plot holes, but it was a like a minefield; if I went in, I might not be coming out. Karen Allen’s craft is great, very interesting fabric art. Thanks for this too. ev

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