Posted on Wednesday, January 6th, 2016 by Jacob Hall
I have a soft spot for Drafthouse Films, one of the few film distribution companies whose ongoing mission statement seems to be “Oh, this movie is really good and/or weird, let’s buy it.” How else do you explain their astonishing library of movies, which includes everything from The Look of Silence and Miami Connection to The Overnighters and Dangerous Men? Now, they’ve gone and picked up another winner: Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made.
Raiders! is a documentary chronicling the kids who spent seven years shooting a shot-for-shot remake of Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark, only to abandon the project with one sequence left. Then, decades later, they reunite to finish their project. It’s warm, sweet, funny, and surprisingly melancholy. Find additional details, including an early trailer for the film, below.
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In 1981, when Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark was released, everyone was changed by the world of Indiana Jones. However, few changed as much as Chris Strompolos and Eric Zala. The then teenagers decided they wanted to remake the film, shot by shot and did so over the course of the next seven years. It’s a story that’s very well known on the Internet because the Internet pretty much brought it to the masses. The end game of that story is a new documentary called Raiders!, directed by Jeremy Coon and Tim Skousen, which not only documents the process and struggles behind the original version of the remake, but incorporates new footage as Strompolos and Zala come back decades later to complete the one scene they were never able to do: the airplane fight scene.
Raiders! had its world premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival over the weekend and you can continue to read our Raiders of the Lost Ark documentary review below. Read More »
In 1982, a group of kids wanted to make a movie. Not just any movie, however. They wanted to make Raiders of the Lost Ark. That’s exactly what they did. Shot for shot, Chris Strompolos and Eric Zala attempted to recreate Steven Spielberg‘s masterpiece. It took seven years.
They didn’t quite finish at the time, but eventually fandom took over. Years later the remake began to take on a life of its own. The Internet got a hold of it, famous filmmakers championed it, a book was written and eventually, the old friends decided to shoot the one scene they couldn’t do when they started – the airplane fight.
That full story is told in a new documentary called Raiders!, directed by Jeremy Coon and Tim Skousen. It’ll premiere at next month’s South by Southwest film festival. Now, a trailer has been released. Check out the Raiders documentary trailer below. Read More »
Though you may not know their names, odds are you’ve heard the story of Chris Strompolos and Eric Zala. They’re the two long-time friends who, at the age of 11, set out to make a shot by shot remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark. And they did! It took them seven years, but their homemade version of Steven Spielberg‘s 1981 masterpiece has since become a cult classic, screening at small festivals and repertory houses before being documented in the book Raiders by Alan Eisenstock. Now, in a beautiful twist of fate, Hollywood has bought the rights to that book and plan to make Strompolos and Zala’s filmmaking adventure into an adventure film of its own.
Jeremy Coon, who produced Napoleon Dynamite, has just optioned the rights to Eisenstock’s book. He plans to first direct a documentary about the story, then turn that into a narrative feature. Strompolos and Zala are attached as producers and their life rights are part of the deal. Read More »
Last year, as Alexander Payne was getting going on The Descendants, we got word that he was also planning an adaptation of the graphic novel Wilson, by Ghost World and Art School Confidential creator Daniel Clowes. We haven’t heard much about that project in a bit, but now Clowes says that the film is still in the works, and will be Payne’s next film after the black and white father/son roadtrip movie Nebraska. While I wouldn’t take the “next movie after Nebraska” idea as gospel, it is good to know the project isn’t dead. Sadly, some other Clowes film projects are dead; we’ll run down all the current status reports after the break. Read More »