James Mangold, director of Indiana Jones 5: "George Lucas’s original idea was brilliant, eccentric and wonderful"

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Between the first and the last Indiana fit exactly 42 years and 16 days. In 1981, the world was not only another but, really, it was beginning to be another. In January, Republican Ronald Reagan became president of the United States and a few months later he survived an attack. IBM marketed its first personal computer and Prince Charles of England married Lady Diana Spencer. Tejero, a gentleman with a three-cornered hat, was shooting at the future of a European democracy in its infancy and a strange guy named Ali Agca was shooting at the Pope. NASA launched the Columbia space shuttle and the first DeLorean was marketed, even if it was without a flux capacitor (or fluzo).

In those, the most improbable of archaeologists burst onto the billboards of half the world, the same one that now returns and that makes it somewhat older, much more tired, but exactly as angry with the universe. So he’s still alive. indiana jones and the dial of fate which opens this Wednesday, is not only the fifth installment of one of the sagas that has best defined recent popular cinema, it is also, in essence, the material of which time itself is made. It is so.

“George Lucas’s original idea was brilliant, eccentric and wonderfully original,” reflects director James Mangold from Cannes in a first attempt to define the universality and immortality of the character in question. Mangold, director before a revision of the superhero genre as visceral and eccentric as Loganis now in charge of replacing nothing more and nothing less than Steven Spielberg, authentic father of the creature as responsible for each of the previous installments of Indiana. And he continues: «In reality, nothing makes sense on paper. He is an incredibly brave guy and an outrageously coward at the same time. He comes off as brilliant in every single action of his as he is just plain stupid. He wears a whip and a hat, but he is a university professor. Probably, it all comes down to the fact that all the beautiful things that motivate and excite us are necessarily contradictory. Indiana is still a guy full of jealousy and weaknesses. You try to do the right thing, but you don’t always get it. It is not clear where his ability ends and where it is just his luck ». It is clear.

The something more than just expected film that now hits the billboard accepts each of the paradoxes that the new director points out and even doubles them. Despite the nostalgia that inhabits it and gives it meaning, the dial of fate she does not give up questioning herself and even demanding her place of exception among so many muscular superheroes with perfect biceps that flood the movie theaters. Harrison Ford tells, he did it at the Cannes Film Festival where the film was presented in the city and the world, that the challenge consisted in offering something new, in not repeating itself, but without giving up the old. And here, without a doubt, the key. Indiana, watch out, it’s obviously old now. He is not old, nor older, nor inhabitant of that embarrassing euphemism called the third age. “He always wanted to develop the character at the age where he is completely unarmed. I wanted to see him in absolute solitude and helpless, at that age when one day you wake up with an empty glass in your hand. After all, the true heroes in this society are the elderly.” told Ford himself.

And Mangold does not deny him the reason: «I remember that when Spielberg, Ford and Kathleen Kennedy (producer) offered me the project, there was a dissonance between the age of the character and that of the protagonist himself. They wanted to somehow hide the fact that Ford is already 80 years old. The idea was to rejuvenate him and take ten years off. And I saw clearly that this was a mistake. Why hide? Enough of this absurd veneration of youth. What seems incongruous, an elderly hero, was really the draw. Does anyone want to see another young strongman kicking bad guys in the ass? The point was to incorporate into the contradictions of Indiana being an 80-year-old guy facing a life crisis. Heroism, far from diminishing, grows.

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