Entertainment

Lost and found

GRAEME MCRANOR, 24 HOURS

I first saw Raiders of the Lost Ark in a tiny theatre in Wenatchee, Washington, back in the summer of 1981. I remember the humidity, the coaster-sized cockroaches and the sweet Oakley handgrips I bought for the handlebars on my Mongoose BMX bike.

The handgrips didn't last long but the film made a lasting impression - I wanted to be an archaeologist!

That film, of course, affected a lot of kids similarly. But for 11-year-old Chris Strompolos of St. Louis, it was slightly more profound.

"When I saw the movie, the character of Indiana Jones completely changed my world," he told theraider.net in 2005. "I tended to live in a fantasy world anyway and was coming off my Star Wars fascination. I wanted nothing more than to be Indiana Jones, inhabit his world and be able to have the same chances and choices he did. So, I set out on doing that."

Strompolos recruited a couple of classmates, Eric Zala and Jayson Lamb, and the trio set out to recreate the movie, shot by shot, in 1982.

Seven years later, it was in the can.

Meanwhile, back in Vancouver, another young boy couldn't shake the original film from his head.

"I was 10 years old when the first film came out," says Jason Kuryto, who now owns and operates Kick-Start Cardio, a company that provides fitness and wellness programs for corporate clients here in the city.

"Pretty much every major event that happened through my teens - my first kiss, first time bungee-jumping, first time public speaking - I had the Indiana Jones soundtrack running through my head. I've got most, if not all, of the first two movies memorized line for line."

Kuryto first heard about Strompolos' film, Raiders: The Adaptation, when he read about the trio in a 2004 Vanity Fair article.

"Most of us spend our childhoods pretending to be other people, or saying how cool it would be to do something like make our own movie," says Kuryto. "These guys stopped talking and actually did it. Not only that, but it turned out to be good."

So good, in fact, that Steven Spielberg called it "an inspiration to even me."

And the story so inspired Kuryto that he scoured the film listings for the last four years, hoping for a Vancouver screening. Frustrated, he finally took matters into his own hands. "When [Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull] finally got the green light last year, I thought it was time for me to take action, so I looked these guys up online and asked if they'd ever been to Vancouver."

Cue the Indiana Jones soundtrack.

Raiders: The Adaptation

Tonight at 7 p.m. (one show only)

Park Theatre

3440 Cambie St. Vancouver

$12, 604-709-3456

www.festivalcinemas.ca