Put this silent, black & white recut of Raiders of the Lost Ark on at your next hipster party

Well that’s immediately what I thought to do with this, at least. Steven Soderbergh supposedly retired from filmmaking last year, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been busy. His latest side project is this strange recut of Steven Spielberg’s The Raiders of the Lost Ark. You can find it on Soderbergh’s website, extension765.com.

You can watch the fully edited film, along with an interesting lesson on how to stage a scene. Soderbergh’s version of Raiders serves to show “how all the various elements of a given scene or piece are aligned, arranged and coordinated.” If you are remotely interested in how truly great movies come together, the essay is well worth a read:

So I want you to watch this movie and think only about staging, how the shots are built and laid out, what the rules of movement are, what the cutting patterns are. See if you can reproduce the thought process that resulted in these choices by asking yourself: why was each shot—whether short or long—held for that exact length of time and placed in that order? Sounds like fun, right? It actually is. To me. Oh, and I’ve removed all sound and color from the film, apart from a score designed to aid you in your quest to just study the visual staging aspect. Wait, WHAT? HOW COULD YOU DO THIS? Well, I’m not saying I’m like, ALLOWED to do this, I’m just saying this is what I do when I try to learn about staging, and this filmmaker forgot more about staging by the time he made his first feature than I know to this day (for example, no matter how fast the cuts come, you always know exactly where you are—that’s high level visual math shit).

Or you can just enjoy the fact that Raiders still looks incredible in black & white. Maybe throw it on the TV at your next friendly gathering. I did the same thing with Christmas Vacation last year. It was… less impressive, but I still felt super-artsy and deep about it.