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Lost co-creator and Prometheus writer Damon Lindelof writes a gooey love letter to Raiders of the Lost Ark

09.02.2011

When it comes to practically perfect, classic films that helped solidify our love for the medium as something a little more than disposable entertainment, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK sits atop most of our collective lists - a rousing adventure film that helped define the tastes of an entire generation of movie geeks.

One of those geeks, co-creator of "Lost" and PROMETHEUS screenwriter Damon Lindelof, decided he would like to share his feelings for this perfect film the way so many smitten men do with the objects of their affection - through a love letter. Here's an excerpt:

Dear “Raiders of the Lost Ark,”

You are awesome. God, you are awesome.

I have seen you, in your entirety, more than one hundred times. I know there are folks out there that have seen you more than that, but they don’t know you like I do.

I really know you. I know what music you listen to and where your scars are. I know that you like to be kissed where it doesn’t hurt. And I’m sorry if that seems a little “creepy,” but hey, you’re into snakes and melt people’s faces off, so we’re speaking the same language, are we not?

So what, exactly, is it that I love most about you, “Raiders of the Lost Ark”? Man … I don’t even know where to start. But let’s get past the obvious stuff that all your other admirers seem so dazzled by (the whip!!!) and talk about what truly makes you unique.

I could go on for pages about just the little things. Like the sound you make when Indy punches someone in the face. Or that Marion’s superpower is drinking. And don’t even get me started on the coat hanger. Where did that Nazi even get that thing? Did he special-order it? “I need somezing that vill terrify people when I take it out, but then give them a false zense of relief when I reveal it is simply somezing on vich to hang my coat.” Seriously. The best. But I know you’ve probably heard it all before and therefore, I’ll stick to the big stuff. First and foremost…

I love you because Indiana Jones is a nerd. Granted, a highly capable nerd who knows how to ride horses and fight real good, but still, at his core, Indy is an academic who’s motivated purely by his desire to find and retrieve really cool stuff so he can put it in a museum where other nerds can appreciate it. Also, he wears glasses and gets nervous when hot female students write the words “Love You” on their eyelids. Do you have any idea how much commitment is involved in writing “Love You” on your eyelids? It’s really hard! Not that I’ve ever done it.

Because I haven’t.

And while we’re on the subject of Dr. Jones, here’s another thing I love about him. He’s actually scared of stuff. This doesn’t seem like something that should be celebrated, but it’s actually quite rare for the hero of a movie to be scared of anything. Do you know what Green Lantern is afraid of? Fear. He is afraid of being afraid. Does that even make sense? Here’s what makes sense to be afraid of — Hissing Cobras and Gigantic Bald Nazis with mustaches trying to kill you. And it was perfectly OK for me to be scared of them because Indy was too.


You can read the rest of the Lindelof's love letter to RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK over at LA Times' Hero Complex RIGHT HERE.

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Extra Tidbit: So, what's your "perfect" film?

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8:41AM on 08/15/2012
Enter the Dragon.
Enter the Dragon.
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10:20PM on 09/03/2011
Extra Tidbit:
The Sting
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The Sting
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12:17PM on 09/03/2011
Goodfellas
Goodfellas
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+1
6:51AM on 09/03/2011
Se7en
Se7en
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4:32AM on 09/03/2011
Actually, what you all wanted to say is:
Pulp Fiction.
Actually, what you all wanted to say is:
Pulp Fiction.
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9:08PM on 09/02/2011

Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the 8th Demention

oh yeah.... and Robot Jox too.
oh yeah.... and Robot Jox too.
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6:32PM on 09/02/2011
Back to the Future
Back to the Future
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6:06PM on 09/02/2011
The Last of the Mohicans
The Last of the Mohicans
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5:55PM on 09/02/2011
Die Hard
Die Hard
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4:40PM on 09/02/2011
Good Will Hunting
Good Will Hunting
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3:47PM on 09/02/2011

Extra Tidbit

Jurassic Park.
Jurassic Park.
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2:08PM on 09/02/2011

Extra tidbit

JAWS
JAWS
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+1
12:35PM on 09/02/2011
Extra Tidbit: E.T.
Although Raiders and Empire Strikes Back are right up there with it
Extra Tidbit: E.T.
Although Raiders and Empire Strikes Back are right up there with it
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+3
12:19PM on 09/02/2011
Extra Tidbit: Raiders; Blade Runner; Good, Bad and the Ugly
Extra Tidbit: Raiders; Blade Runner; Good, Bad and the Ugly
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+6
11:41AM on 09/02/2011

Extra Tidbit

Die Hard
Die Hard
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4:12PM on 09/02/2011
yeah that's another action flick that's pretty damn perfect
yeah that's another action flick that's pretty damn perfect
10:30AM on 09/02/2011

Extra Tidbit

Se7en
Se7en
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-3
9:43AM on 09/02/2011
It's nice to see him express his appreciation for a classic, but this strikes me as a completely self-indulgent piece of writing. He is trying to publicly associate himself with the film beyond the level of fandom.

Take the biggest "fanboy" filmmaker today, Guillermo del Toro. Do you think he would write a love letter for the LA Times to "The Wolfman" or "Nosferatu"? I doubt it - he is too busy making movies. That's how a filmmaker should express his love for other films, by making good
It's nice to see him express his appreciation for a classic, but this strikes me as a completely self-indulgent piece of writing. He is trying to publicly associate himself with the film beyond the level of fandom.

Take the biggest "fanboy" filmmaker today, Guillermo del Toro. Do you think he would write a love letter for the LA Times to "The Wolfman" or "Nosferatu"? I doubt it - he is too busy making movies. That's how a filmmaker should express his love for other films, by making good movies and letting his cinematic influences guide him. Bryan Singer didn't write a public, geeky, confessional missive to "Superman" (implying that he is banging the works of Richard Donner), he made "Superman Returns." It wasn't great, but everyone recognized it as his "love letter" to the original. "Raiders" itself is a love letter from Spielberg and Lucas to the adventure films that they grew up with. They may have written literal love letters to these movies in their diaries, but cinematic tributes are for the public. Lindelof's letter is juvenile and self-indulgent, something just a fan - and not a filmmaker - would write.

I am willing to let the guy redeem himself after the debacle of "Lost" (also nice to see him acknowledge the fan reaction to its ending), but stuff like this in't helping. I also don't appreciate him half-seriously putting himself above other fans ("they don't know you like I do"), while misquoting the last line as "top people" instead of "top men." Biggest fan?
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10:02AM on 09/02/2011
Writing a love letter is an act of self-indulgence. But so is writing a supercilious comment about how a man needs to redeem himself in your eyes, while owing you nothing at all. It's a well-written, entertaining, funny piece of writing, and perhaps you should ponder on the inherent frustration and lack of humor that shows throughout your post. You come off as really sad and angry. Sorry about "Lost", mate.

You need a rebound.
Writing a love letter is an act of self-indulgence. But so is writing a supercilious comment about how a man needs to redeem himself in your eyes, while owing you nothing at all. It's a well-written, entertaining, funny piece of writing, and perhaps you should ponder on the inherent frustration and lack of humor that shows throughout your post. You come off as really sad and angry. Sorry about "Lost", mate.

You need a rebound.
10:28AM on 09/02/2011
@SpaceZombie, of course my comment is self-indulgent, nearly everyone's is. That's the point of the thumbs up and down, right? To have people validate your opinion?

I make no attempt to mask my frustration. As a fan of Lost I devoted a lot of time to the show and in the end it was unsatisfying. This is not an extreme reaction. But I never said that Lindelof owes me anything; no artist (filmmaker) owes anything to his audience. But to criticize my hope that he redeems himself is ridiculous.
@SpaceZombie, of course my comment is self-indulgent, nearly everyone's is. That's the point of the thumbs up and down, right? To have people validate your opinion?

I make no attempt to mask my frustration. As a fan of Lost I devoted a lot of time to the show and in the end it was unsatisfying. This is not an extreme reaction. But I never said that Lindelof owes me anything; no artist (filmmaker) owes anything to his audience. But to criticize my hope that he redeems himself is ridiculous. Every fan has this experience, and judges artists on their past performances. If I just gave this a red box and said "I don't like Lindelof," would you have the same reaction? I think you're reading some self-righteousness into my post that wasn't there.

I just see this letter as something amateur. I want to see the guy be a filmmaker AND a fan, like del Toro and Spielberg and his buddy Abrams.
2:29PM on 09/04/2011
@ SpaceZombieMoe
So Lindelof doesn't owe Higgs anything, yet every other producer in the world owes the Joblo users original content, no sequels, no remakes, no recasts etc.
Please, if moviefans agree on one thing it's that movieproducers owe them everything, because fans know better what's good for movies than producers.
Moviefans were disappointed when Heath Ledger was announced as the Joker, moviefans were disappointed when Daniel Craig was cast as James Bond, moviefans thought a movie
@ SpaceZombieMoe
So Lindelof doesn't owe Higgs anything, yet every other producer in the world owes the Joblo users original content, no sequels, no remakes, no recasts etc.
Please, if moviefans agree on one thing it's that movieproducers owe them everything, because fans know better what's good for movies than producers.
Moviefans were disappointed when Heath Ledger was announced as the Joker, moviefans were disappointed when Daniel Craig was cast as James Bond, moviefans thought a movie about Facebook would be ridiculous. And we all know how that turned out. Moviefans complain nonstop about how Hollywood owes them everything and are not treating their own property the right way. Fortunately the greatest independent director George Lucas as a moviefan does everything the right way. No money grubbing producers where he's from.

Btw I agree completely with Higgs that this loveletter is way too self-indulgent, especially the part where he think he's better than other fans. Every fan thinks he's a bigger fan than the rest.

Btw two, Lindelof already owed moviefans no Alien prequel so he scratched that title from his script and scribbled Prometheus on it.
8:57AM on 09/02/2011

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

My favorite movie of all time. It took everything I love about Raiders and threw in Sean Goddamn Connery.
My favorite movie of all time. It took everything I love about Raiders and threw in Sean Goddamn Connery.
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8:24AM on 09/02/2011
Extra Tidbit: Robocop and Being John Malkovich.
Extra Tidbit: Robocop and Being John Malkovich.
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8:07AM on 09/02/2011
Extra tidbit: Ghostbusters (the first one), Back to the Future trilogy, and Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
Extra tidbit: Ghostbusters (the first one), Back to the Future trilogy, and Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
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7:52AM on 09/02/2011
Tidbit: Blade Runner or Das Boot
Tidbit: Blade Runner or Das Boot
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7:43AM on 09/02/2011
Extra Tidbit:
Back To The Future

BTW, of course I adore Indy as well. :)
Extra Tidbit:
Back To The Future

BTW, of course I adore Indy as well. :)
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7:27AM on 09/02/2011

My letter...

Dear Raiders,
I'd make love to you if it was physically possible.
Love Elder
XO
Dear Raiders,
I'd make love to you if it was physically possible.
Love Elder
XO
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+0
6:40AM on 09/02/2011

(;

LOVE IT !
LOVE IT !
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