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SPIELBERG, Steven

The audience’s director. The father of modern cinema. Always ‘the wide-eyed wunderkind’. Paradoxically, the eternal child of Hollywood is now making more mature films than any of your so-called Dogme school of directors. Criticise Schindler’s List at your peril. ‘I have to say I thought the girl in the red coat was a case of too much chutzpah for such a serious subject.’ ‘Pah! If Kubrick had pulled that one you’d be rolling out the critical red carpet!’ ‘You’ve got me there.’ See KUBRICK, Stanley. Always ‘draw a discreet veil’ over AI. ‘Seen The Terminal lately?’ ‘We’re going to need a bigger veil!’ ‘Delightful!’

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Glenn Aylett

    August 14, 2022 at 12:58 pm

    Duel, made when Spielberg was fresh out of film school and on a small budget, towers over better known films like Jaws. It’s basically Dennis Gentle Ben Weaver being terrorised by a mysterious truck driver in a desert and a mix of thriller, road movie and horror. Originally destined to be yet another ABC television movie, Duel rapidly became recognised as a great and had a cinematic release. Duel proved you didn’t need to have an all star cast( its basically Weaver and a couple of bit part actors) or a huge budget to make a classic film.

  2. Sidney Balmoral James

    August 14, 2022 at 7:32 pm

    Agree about the wonderful Duel (also the Columbo episode Murder by the Book), but always find Spielberg an unattractive director – he is exceptionally good at what he does, but there’s not much heart or depth in the adventure films, and they are often so macabre as to make one question his judgement: his best adventure, Raiders, is so violent it should be an 18. Temple of Doom has hideous scenes of human sacrifice, War of the Worlds has frightening sequences of mass annihilation. Even Ready Player One has a long, bravura Shining sequence which isn’t suitable for children. Oh, and I forgot, the scene in AI when humanoid robots are dismembered, have acid poured on them etc. Even when the film isn’t gruesome, there are quite harrowing scenes of family strife (Sugarland Express, Close Encounters). His serious films are very obvious and heavy, without that spark one finds in the best directors, and can be fatuous (Munich, The Terminal, Bridge of Spies). Nowadays seems to be over fond of casting Mark Rylance. With that said, ET is a masterpiece and should have won the Best Picture Oscar, rather than Gandhi.

  3. Richardpd

    August 14, 2022 at 10:56 pm

    I also agree that Duel is very good, being a classic “less is more” film, with Dennis Weaver carrying it almost single handedly.

    ET is one of my favourite films, & was the first Blu Ray I bought.

  4. Glenn Aylett

    August 15, 2022 at 7:24 pm

    Duel is one of my favourite films, from the first time I saw it in 1983, to when I recorded it on video in 1986 and watched it four times in a week. It’s very much less is more as Richardpd points out, but the end scene with the truck going over the cliff is as good as anything in a Bond movie.

  5. Richardpd

    August 15, 2022 at 11:01 pm

    Yes it’s a well executed & satisfying stunt, & was reused in an episode of The Incredible Hulk, which I imagine Steven Spielberg wasn’t pleased about.

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