Cannes 2023: Harrison Ford, the eternal hero

Cannes 2023: Harrison Ford, the eternal hero

Let’s be honest. When we learned, four years ago, that a new opus of the adventures of Indiana Jones would see the light of day, we immediately thought: that’s it, they are giving us a la James Bond, they are reviving it. franchise with a new actor. Except that, in the process, we learned that Harrison Ford was reprising his role. And there, to be honest, we didn’t believe it. “Indy” almost octogenarian, it was impossible. Our disbelief was confirmed when it was announced to us that Spielberg would not be in the game, then when the Covid pandemic spread over the planet, and therefore over Hollywood, it seemed to postpone the project indefinitely. And yet, in 2021, news broke: filming was starting. A shot surrounded by secrecy worthy of those of the cold war. The secret that fueled all the speculation. So sure that James Mangold, the chosen director, had to share the official declaration: yes, Harrison Ford had returned his legendary costume, camping the hero in the evening of his life.

Last month, the trailer was uploaded; we see nazis, jet wars, cavalry processions, strange antiques, just like the old days. All to the beat of “Pity for the devil” by Mawe, sorry. Then the poster was revealed: a hat, a whip, an instantly recognizable look, a lovely vintage pencil-style look. And the madness returned. Now, a few days from the film’s world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, and seven weeks from its theatrical release, impatience has reached its peak.

An example of generations

The explanation is simple: nostalgia, comrades. Already, last year, the stratospheric success of Top Gun (1.5 billion dollars at the world box office, leaves), which Tom Cruise wore, thirty-six years later, the uniform of the Maverick picture showed that it is possible to sit in one movie room of fifty things moved by. a memory of their youth and young people wishing to see hypersonic jets flying in the sky, like in a video game. And, this spring, an unexpected victory was won Super Mario Bros. (which is on the way to a billion in revenue), even though he was born in the early 1980s, has proven it: now retro is very modern. IndianaJones may, should meet the same fate. Mainly because it is also carried by a generational figure, the timeless Harrison Ford.

In 1984, Harrison Ford once again slipped into the skin of “Indy” for the second part of the saga, “The Temple of Doom”.Paramount Pictures Diltz/Bridgeman pictures

Consider: the man was born during the Second World War, he was eighteen years old when John Fitzgerald Kennedy became president, in other words forever. And rightly so, it seems to be forever. He is old, of course, but we are old, and he is better than us. His trademark scar on his chin, the stigmata of a fatal car accident in his early twenties, gives him a sort of youth. Her unusual smile proves that charm never goes out of style. Leaked photos prove that Borsalino’s tired and dusty Fedora still fits him like a glove. The digital palette used extensively in the opening sequence of the new opus even gives the strange impression that we are dealing with a new Dorian Gray. In fact, his familiar face is a landmark in a world that is changing so fast. He is a comforter, madeleine. He is the hero who inspires confidence, who reassures.

The sagas he participated in (Indiana Jones, therefore, but also Star Wars Or blade runner) obviously had something to do with it. They have written it down, frozen in our memories. They created memories. They made him this restrained character, patient, kind, this charming savior and cause of humanity.

One who breaks injustice

However, it is not fair to remember that things had started badly and that success took a long time to happen. Young Harrison, an average student, a high school student who barely finished, a student without stature or tenacity, dreams in a Wisconsin that does not prepare for reality and even less for celebrity. And now, at the age of twenty, he took part, almost by chance, in a drama class. There, to his surprise, he has a revelation: he will become an actor. So he arrives in Los Angeles, where he goes to shows without being able to stay. When he does impress, it’s in brief appearances in long-forgotten TV movies, or taking on nonsensical roles in movies. While he complains about the inferiority of the lines he has to defend and the impossibility where he finds himself emphasizing what he sees as his talent, the producers consider him more transparent, and at worst it is painful. The truth sets itself little by little on him: conversion is necessary, if only to feed his family (at the same time, he has become a husband and a father). He becomes a carpenter (no, not a story), while still playing regularly. Then he sympathizes with the casting director, with whom he works. The latter introduces him to a stranger, named George Lucas, the same man who, in 1977, offered him to play Han Solo, in Star Wars which he is about to do.

In 1982, the actor approved, for Ridley Scott, the role of Rick Deckard, in the science fiction film “Blade Runner”.Granger/Bridgeman Pictures

Therefore, he had to wait fifteen years before he was recognized. And again, luck will be for many. Perhaps, moreover, after the fact, this inherent difficulty and this late luck partly explain his aura. We love the stranger, the one who didn’t have all the cards in hand, the one who was rejected, faced the truth, yet endured before benefiting from the help of fate: we recognize ourselves in him, he embodies victory over fate. that’s not a given for those of us not named Harrison Ford.

The sagas he participated in have written about him, frozen in our memories. They created memories.

With his big-hearted, bubbly character having a blast in the world of science fiction, he became a worldwide hit. Being a star at thirty-five years, when many others have won the Grail at twenty in the role, will save him from the dangers and traps inherent in fame: he has his head on his shoulders, he will not be shocked, take it. big head, flame, play the diva, multiply the swagger, make the front page of the tabloids. This will also count for him and explains his blunt side.

Especially since he will still have to force fate. George Lucas, who is preparing a new saga paying homage to adventure films and having as his main character a brave archaeologist (follow my eyes), is reluctant to hire him. He also chooses another actor. And it is only thanks to the final elimination that the responsibility falls on him. So, even at this stage of his career (he’s about to turn forty), he’s won again The Dollar Strikes Backe), Harrison Ford is not the first choice, which we want. The rest of his career will give him a better revenge.

The actor embodies, in 1977, the intrepid Han Solo, in

The actor embodies, in 1977, the intrepid Han Solo, in “Star Wars”, the first part of the “Star Wars” saga.Screen Production/Photononstop

Over the next twenty years, he played leading roles, collected blockbusters, toured with the biggest: Steven Spielberg, Roman Polanski, Mike Nichols, Alan J. Pakula, Sydney Pollack, Robert Zemeckis, Kathryn Bigelow. He was even called the “star of the century” at the box office. We love him as a classic hero, as a voter of wrongdoing, as a tortured innocent, as a loyal soldier, as a steadfast companion. He is the one we can rely on, the one who breaks injustice, the one who restores the most affected situations. We would like to have him as a husband, brother, father, friend.

However, in the night of sixty years, the good order will come to a brutal halt. He, a famous icon par excellence, with an irresistible flair, perhaps resting, examines bad choices, rejects films that will work (Traffic of Soderbergh, in the middle of the storm,A patriot) or duties that will indicate their interpreter (Syria) and recorded many commercial failures. Others, like George Clooney, took his place. We grumble: but, deep down, he’s such a good actor? Isn’t his performance too small? It is said that he has only been nominated for an Oscar once, that he is not particularly reliable in romantic comedies, that he has never dared to play bad guys. They judge it to be too old, they declare it finished. And, when he agrees to shoot the fourth part of the adventures of his favorite character, everyone understands that it is a desperate attempt to return to the front. Another failure: the film is tired of critics and fans. Then we say to ourselves: he will have a sad and painful end to his career of Robert Mitchum or Charlton Heston. Otherwise, we will only see him now, the grandfather is defending the environment, the old mission.

But his tenacity and forged reputation over the years will be the best of this bad sign. He knows it: he is recognized among all. It’s his strength. And it’s a collective thought. It is his capital. So go for five IndianaJones. But this time, he puts all the trumpets on his side, looks at the grain, insists that the situation is not available and counts on popular nostalgia. And suddenly, at eighty, it becomes fashionable again. So hype that he signs a contract with Apple for a series where he plays quick-witted and less endearing. Very much in the picture that is announced in the next credits Captain America ; will play the President of the United States, as in Air Force Oneand like Joe Biden, his junior by four months.

Because we are never dead. And especially not him.

Harrison Ford in five cult films

Star Warsand George Lucas (1977) the first part of the saga Star Wars. Harrison Ford will then play in five of the nine opus in total.

Apocalypse Nowby Francis Ford Coppola (1979)

Raiders of the Lost Ark : Indiana Jones, by Steven Spielberg (1981)

Blade Runner, by Ridley Scott (1982)

Air Force Oneby Wolfgang Petersen (1997)