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Saccharine sentimentality, fawning and ultimately boring
This could have been great, especially given the access the filmmakers obviously had and the stature of the people interviewed. Instead it's an overlong, boring and unimaginatively grovelling look at Spielberg's life and career. Apart from a few tantalizing clips of a young Spielberg at work there's absolutely nothing new here and it just sinks into an extended EPK-level parade of sycophantic comments and backslapping, intended, it seems, more to curry favor with Hollywood establishment power than to offer any perception or insight into a master filmmaker, his films and his methods. Like the syrupy sentimentality of Spielberg at his worst, this is more of a protracted, tedious, sugar-coated eulogy than a perceptive and insightful documentary. It seems to me that the filmmakers are more fearful of incurring Spielberg's displeasure than presenting something engaging, new and compelling. What an awful waste of an incredible opportunity.
The White Bus (1967)
Surreal foreshadowing of Anderson's features
Cute, whacky and beautifully shot surrealistic short from Lindsay Anderson which clearly foreshadows if.... which followed a year later (plus O Lucky Man and Brittania Hospital too). The same cinematographer as on if.... plus the mix of black and white and colour shots.
Some key music sound cues from if... feature here for the first time plus the reading of the proverbs quote "wisdom is the principal thing..." which opens if....
There's also a bit of M Hulot's theme from Mon Oncle mixed in there plus some classic Tati-esque visual humor. I guess Mr Anderson had a whole lot of stuff already brewing that would come flowing out in force a little later.
Criterion definitely missed a trick not including this on the if.... DVD/Bluray - a little more relevant than the Oscar winning short about the deaf kids I'd say. All in all a charming, strange and chuckly way to spend forty minutes.
awesome - hysterical - hilarious!
i bought this DVD on impulse based on all the ravingly positive user comments at amazon.com. ever skeptical i figured nothing could be that funny, but it was under $10 and so i thought what the hell, something with so many raves has to be at least worth a smile right? wrong!! its hysterical, rolling on the floor laughing your ass off funny. rarely have i watched something that made me laugh and laugh and laugh so hard. a whole bunch of rednecks going through some insane communal sleep deprivation exercise. and what a bunch of characters! i swear they will live with me forever. the smiley-happy black dude, his shoes and his snicker bars - just classic. it also has an ending/climax that couldn't have been better if an Oscar winning scriptwriter created it. the video quality is something awful, but in this case content rules! you really have to see this movie...really!