33 years ago today, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom came out in theaters. The movie written by George Lucas, directed by Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford, the star role, did incredibly well. This movie helped cement all three of their careers into super stardom. There is however significant criticism for how dark the movie is. There is human sacrifice, heart extraction, monkey brain buffets – in a sense – horrific scenes. Why is this so much unlike the other two movies?* George Lucas’ and Steven Spielberg’s personal life.
While they were making the movie, Lucas was going through a divorce and was very unhappy. He claims that he was not his normal self. On top of this, Spielberg had just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and provided no counter balance to the darkness Lucas was feeling. This is a fascinating reflection from Lucas. Each of us is carrying a burden at different times. I wonder how that effects our outlook, our demeanor, our general way of life. When we look back on these events will we be able to assess a pattern in our choices, our work, our life, and our art? Maybe we will find solace that others see these trends in their lives too and let ourselves off the hook.
*I don’t count the 4th Indiana Jones because it was so bad. Just terrible. I like to pretend that it doesn’t exist. Easier that way to appreciate the first three.