Steven Soderbergh Removed the Color & Sound from 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' to Explore Spielberg's Staging
Soderbergh has done another one of his recuts/remixes, this time turning his attention to Steven Spielberg's Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Why do this? I'll let Soderbergh explain:
So I want you to watch this movie and think only about staging, how the shots are built and laid out, what the rules of movement are, what the cutting patterns are. See if you can reproduce the thought process that resulted in these choices by asking yourself: why was each shot—whether short or long—held for that exact length of time and placed in that order? Sounds like fun, right? It actually is. To me. Oh, and I’ve removed all sound and color from the film, apart from a score designed to aid you in your quest to just study the visual staging aspect. Wait, WHAT? HOW COULD YOU DO THIS? Well, I’m not saying I’m like, ALLOWED to do this, I’m just saying this is what I do when I try to learn about staging, and this filmmaker forgot more about staging by the time he made his first feature than I know to this day (for example, no matter how fast the cuts come, you always know exactly where you are—that’s high level visual math shit).
Here's the film (if this doesn't load correctly it's also available to watch here on Soderbergh's site):
Soderbergh is very much a student of cinema, and experiments like this can really help to see what specific elements do for a movie. A film is the sum of all of its parts, but the best filmmakers know how to bring it all together in a very special way.