A documentary on Steven Spielberg, filmmaker. Includes interviews with relatives, film critics, peers and people who have worked with him.A documentary on Steven Spielberg, filmmaker. Includes interviews with relatives, film critics, peers and people who have worked with him.A documentary on Steven Spielberg, filmmaker. Includes interviews with relatives, film critics, peers and people who have worked with him.
I'm glad this one on Spielberg via Susan Lacy (a veteran go-to for American Masters docs) goes the full route on the career and the man in as much depth as possible. Though it lacks much about Hook, Lost World and Always (the latter's not here at all, the former is mentioned for five seconds as an example of 'sometimes he has failed'), I think I need what is presented here as the man's own words on his work, and his colleagues, AND especially the critical community, from Hoberman to AO Scott. You actually get a sense of not only Spielberg's growth or... No, wait, growth is the wrong word since he was already doing what he did so well in 74 and 74 & 75 and even Duel (that shot of the truck going off the bridge is a gorgeous monster movie moment in all cinema), more like a maturity and an expanding sense of what a movie can be. He has his complexities - who else can have Jurassic Park and Munich in his resume - but the critics point that out along with the objective fact that he is to film the major force in Hollywood in the past 45 years.
But it would be one thing if it is all "its the greatest guy ever" etc. This shows that Spielberg hasn't always known what to do on every film; seeing him making Schindlers List and Saving Private Ryan, his two Oscar wins, one gets the sense he had to figure out what to do day to day, and yet that also came out of many years of *doing* it, of understanding and getting even deeper than he already was. This doc does a great job is giving to the audience, whether they've known this about Spielberg before or not, that making ET and Schindler's List were no more or less exceptional efforts on what humanity is all about in all of its highs and lows, its just that an audience will take Nazis more seriously than aliens.
Or... Who knows? But through every anecdote and story from Spielberg, his sisters and parents, his fellow (now elder) "movie brats" who were as Lucas describes their version of Paris in the 1920s (and I think hes right), there's a full portrait of everything with this man. And that's what is the same and yet done unique unto itself as the De Palma and Lumet films. It's not *too* glossed over about what hes been in life (as someone admits about him, "hes a nerd. A lovable nerd, but still a nerd") and yet it cant help but be inspiring and I hope will be an inspiration for future filmmakers who didn't live through seeing Jurassic Park or Ryan or Minority Report or even Lincoln (one of those films that is still somehow underrated despite being a commercial and critical hit) in a first run. It didn't all come out of nowhere ultimately; the message that one comes away with is that passion and inspiration is crucial, but hard work and not showing fear in the process (though one may have it) is key.
- Oct 8, 2017