AFI's Master Class: The Art of Collaboration (Steven Spielberg and John Williams) (2011)
*** 1/2 (out of 4)
This first entry in Turner Classic Movies collaboration with the American Film Institute has director Steven Spielberg and composer John Williams sitting down to explain why they work so well together. This 50-minute interview has the two masters explaining some of their favorite music score from other artists, themselves and they then go into detail on why certain decisions were made. Towards the end of the interview they open up for questions from the students. This is a very entertaining documentary for a number of reasons but some of the best moments happen when the two are talking about the film's that have influenced them the most. It's strange to hear but Williams says he doesn't go to the movies a lot but he then talks about ON THE WATERFRONT and VERTIGO. Spielberg picks SPARTACUS as the score he most enjoys. Hearing the two discuss the reasons these scores work was very fascinating as was when they start talking about their own films together. Of course you have them discussing JAWS and how Spielberg thought the first time he heard the score. The Indiana Jones series is discussed as is E.T., CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND and even CATCH ME IF YOU CAN. It seems that both consider SCHINDLER'S LIST to be the best of their collaboration and considering the subject matter it's easy to see why. At just 50-minutes they never go into great detail about anything but I think they give you a clear vision of how they work together, the changes they've made over the years and how they go into the process of making a movie.
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