Thursday, December 23, 2010

12 Days of Favorites: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

The story of Love & Squalor begins many years before the fateful meeting of Wilde.Dash and M, long before the almost nightly movie marathons on uncomfortable and rank smelling dorm furniture and Sound of Music sing-a-longs. From the mid 80’s on, unaware of each others’ presence, M and Wilde.Dash were bonding with family, not over board games or a large family meal (ok, there was a lot of that too), but over the likes of Woody Allen and Walter Pidgeon. The holidays in said families were filled with the usual Christmas fair, but also with strange family film favorites and traditions. So hang your stockings with care and when your sister starts complaining about your billionth viewing of It’s a Wonderful Life and how boooooring it is, spend your 12 Days of Christmas with the movies that have followed Love & Squalor from infancy to bloggerhood.

I really didn't want to bring up ties to George Lucas more than once (at least Spielberg directed this one), but my history with Indiana Jones is undeniable. It started with a set of Time Life videos about ancient archeology narrated by John Rhys-Davies. As my obsession grew, I began collecting articles about ancient Egypt and Sumer, and pasted them to my closet doors alongside the unicorns and the American Girl Dolls. I became very serious (I'm still mad that I missed a traveling Egyptian exhibit due to a bad case of chicken pox) about the whole thing, taking many unsupervised missions to neighborhood creeks and collecting fossils (the closest thing I had to archeology was paleontology). Last Crusade came at just the right time, setting off a chain reaction. When I saw a young Indy take the historical reigns I related. I saw my future shimmer before me, sailing off to hunt the world's artifacts, Rhys-Davies and Marcus Brody in tow. It took me to the places I craved to see, the underworld of hidden catacombs, secret, old European libraries, and on to Petra or Al Khazneh, which in my little mind, seemed like the most magical, exotic place I could ever visit. Twenty-odd years later, I still feel the way I did as a budding historian, and am proud to say that I'm finally making it in the Indiana Jones business, minus the Nazi's and undead Knights Templar of course....but something tells me they aren't worth all the trouble.

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