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Spielberg on Spielberg - Page 5

post #201 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boone Daniels View Post
 

My wife brought up a point that I hadn't really considered that I would be curious to hear thoughts about. She framed Spielberg's legacy, at least in part, as making modern filmmaking "for and about boys." Thinking about the history of filmmaking in the 1970s and 1980s, I can kind of see that - there has been a real move towards appealing to "thirteen year old boys" post Star Wars and Raiders, and especially in the modern blockbuster era, and women's stories and women's filmmakers have become increasingly marginalized as a result. You could argue that it's not Spielberg's fault entirely for what the industry did in response to him - but it's also worth looking at his influence and what he's used that power for. 

 

In thinking about this more, I realize that THE BFG was maybe the first time in decades that Spielberg had a female main character that he directed. I think you can also count THE POST. As a producer, he was slightly better - THE 100 FOOT JOURNEY in 2014 - but he's never produced a film directed by a woman, or even executive produced one.

 

Now, that's not to discount his long history of working with women writers and producers and collaborators - but I just thought it was a point that might be worth discussing. 

 

 

It is an interesting point, agreed.  However, I don't think that you can lay the blame of making movies only for thirteen year old boys at Spielberg's feet at all.  Jaws is arguable, but Close Encounters, Color Purple (which he was still wrong for), Empire of the Sun, Amistad, Munich, Lincoln... I'd argue that these are all aggressively anti-immature boy films. So, Raiders, Jurassic Park aside, I don't think he was actively courting that demographic.  And even with those, I'd argue that he was making those films for the Peter Pannish, boy-trapped-in-man's-body demographic that he so often identified with.

 

Regarding making films that focus on the male point of view, again, I agree with this, but he did try. Though that attempt was Color Purple.  Disappointing that he never went out of his way to produce something directed by a woman, but I wouldn't give him much grief over consistently shooting from a male perspective, as that's his perspective. Its the same reason that so much of his work includes a lost father figure or broken family, that's his perspective. I also don't think its a "for and about boys" thing - as box office receipts show, Spielberg makes movies that appeal to everyone. E.T. isn't just for boys because it features male leads.  

post #202 of 213

Yeah, from what I understand, Katherine Graham is the main character of The Post. One of his five films currently in development that could go at any time is about a female war photographer starring JLaw (I think it's set in the Bosnian War? Not sure, though), so maybe we're starting to enter a phase where he more consciously is seeking out female-led projects. I do think Color Purple may have scared him from trying to do films "outside his perspective," so to speak, for quite a while.

post #203 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dent6084 View Post
 

I do think Color Purple may have scared him from trying to do films "outside his perspective," so to speak, for quite a while.

 

Especially after watching this documentary, I feel you're absolutely right. Its this.

post #204 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moltisanti View Post
 

Best bit from the "movie brats" segment was the story of De Palma berating Lucas after watching the rough cut of STAR WARS.

 

Little geek-out moment for me:  realizing the brief bit of the Star Wars opening crawl they showed was the un-fucked with theatrical version (no "Episode IV A New Hope" at the top).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dent6084 View Post
 

I do think Color Purple may have scared him from trying to do films "outside his perspective," so to speak, for quite a while.

 

He does touch on that a bit, how Hollywood at first dismissed him as only being able to do one thing, then dismissing him again when he tried to do something other than that one thing.  "You're a one-trick pony and how dare you try to learn more tricks!"  Plus you look at the memorable Color Purple Oscar snub, Empire of the Sun getting overlooked as Hope and Glory became the critical darling "WWII childhood film," and the complete and total shrug Always received, and you can see why he leaned so hard into making Last Crusade feel comfortable and familiar; he was retreating.

 

In that sense, Hook becomes a sort of resignation, him thinking that if this is all anyone is going to accept from him, he's going to dive into it with both feet and REALLY give it to them.  And thematically, Hook is about a boy who grew up, wonders if he should have considering what it meant leaving behind, then realizes that yes, it was the right thing to do.  Which is exactly where Spielberg came out of on the other side of it.  In the same year, he did Jurassic Park and Schindler's List:  arguably the last gasp of his pure escapism and his first widely accepted "grown-up" film.  The child becomes the man.

post #205 of 213

Still watching the documentary! Lucas talks like Bart! 

 

Amblin? It's fine. 

--George Lucas

post #206 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boone Daniels View Post
he's never produced a film directed by a woman, or even executive produced one.

post #207 of 213

Okay, that's my bad. For some reason I missed that on his Wikipedia page. But that's one, that he executive produced, in nearly 30 years. 

post #208 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boone Daniels View Post
 

Okay, that's my bad. For some reason I missed that on his Wikipedia page. But that's one, that he executive produced, in nearly 30 years. 


Yeah, I wasn't attempting to disprove your entire argument.  Just a post for accuracy's sake!

post #209 of 213
Thread Starter 

Spielberg wasn't a credited producer, but before DEEP IMPACT Leder's THE PEACEMAKER was the first movie distributed by DreamWorks.

post #210 of 213

haha I am STILL watching this in like 10-15 minute chunks. 

 

It's so weird to me to remember that the JG Ballard of Empire of the Sun is also the JG Ballard of Crash, High Rise, and general science fiction giant. 

 

Writing that, it might be fun to have Spielberg reunite with Bale for a spiritual/quasi-sequel about that period in Ballard's life when he was just starting out, making the decision to be a full time writer, and then his wife dies, leaving him to raise his kids. 

post #211 of 213
post #212 of 213

The documentary ends on a very high note. I found myself very, unexpectedly, moved by Day Lewis talking about "shelf life." 

post #213 of 213

Spielberg is my favorite filmmaker. So anything related to him, I will watch. Several times. Finally got around to this and it's... fine.

 

Spielberg on Spielberg and Mark Kermode's BBC docu were infinitely better because they made a point to go into 1941 and how that humbled the man and made him a better filmmaker. Spielberg just glides over it and outright ignores his failures in general which does him a disservice.

 

It makes up for that with surprisingly candid confessions on his parent's divorce and his relationship with his father (the kind of stuff that would have been perfectly alright to keep private). Best of all, the legendary Home Movies of him, Lucas, Scorsese, Coppola, De Palma, Milius, etc. hanging out is shown. Dear God do I want a documentary on just those alone!

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