Saturday, January 28, 2006

Teases 2

Steven Spielberg teases us in the openings of the Indiana Jones movies. Each movie opens with the end of some previous adventure. Thus the audience is immediately plunged into exciting action that poses intriguing story questions of great urgency. Will Indy get run over by that huge boulder? Will he reach the antidote in time? Will that rhinoceros neuter him? Spielberg definitely has our attention.

These little prologues aren't throw-away scenes though. They take advantage of the intense conflict to introduce us to the intriguing character of Indiana Jones, elegantly revealing its salient elements more through actions than words. Hence, as in literary fiction, the principle hook is the main character himself. These prologues also have symbolic and thematic significance relating to the story that follows and the trilogy as a whole. Each prologue ends with Indy returning to his other life as a professor of archeology, where he lands in the opening situation of the core conflict.

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