The “hero” as a concept or storytelling device is, and always has been, fluid. Some of us prefer the pure altruist—the Superman who does right simply because he knows what right is. Others need their heroes to be flawed or tragic, like Hamlet—angling for the light even as their blemishes define them. Others hanker for antiheroes, preferring Taxi Driver’s Travis Bickle, a psychotic knight in rusty armor. Indiana Jones is enigmatic in his heroism; vacillating between all heroic traits, occasionally embodying all at once. His position as an archaeologist leads him to scour the globe in the interest of saving and protecting precious antiquities. Yet isn’t the quest for history-defining curios inherently a quest of self-triumph? Dr. Jones, over the course of his story, is at once selfless and selfish, motivated one minute by his moral compass, and the next by the fame and glory latent in uncovering history’s secrets.
Tag Archives: Harrison Ford
“What makes us human?” is one of those base existentialisms that we’re all a bit too cynical to actually consider. It’s the type of query that for us to truly acknowledge the significance of, must be presented subtly and in the guise of “art.” It is thusly that Ridley Scott‘s masterpiece Blade Runner is so successful in its theme. Only once you have parted the curtains of a neo-noir and dystopic 2019 Los Angeles, only once you have passed through the door that is Scott’s and Douglas Trumbull’s remarkable achievement in visual effects, only once you’ve tiptoed past Vangelis’ eerily sinister neo-classical score do you arrive at the heart of this Philip K. Dick adaptation. Blade Runner is precisely an interrogation of what it means to be human, or perhaps more specifically, what it means to question this humanity.