Steven Spielberg has probably directed more iconic films than anyone else alive. Now, HBO has released a documentary about the man and his methods.
What could be a rough hagiography is actually quite illuminating. Spielberg, interviewed extensively for the film, relates more than a few surprises, such as not only did his parents’ divorce influence large numbers of his movies, but also that he for years blamed the wrong parent for leaving. That influence more than anything actually led to the broken family scenes of Close Encounters but also was the original, alien-free premise for E.T.
Now, the film hardly covers all of Spielberg’s movies, but it does cover the big ones and a few surprises, such as how the failure of 1941 led Spielberg to team up with his longtime friend George Lucas for Raiders of the Lost Ark. Along the way, writer/director Susan Lucy interviews numerous cast members, producers, collaborators, and director friends, plus Spielberg’s sisters and parents, to bring a complete portrait of the man and how it has influenced his overall work.
I’d say give this a shot if you’re at all a fan of the man, his work, or the art of filmmaking. Ten out of ten background moments.
By the way, Spielberg is truly more of a film buff than I can ever claim to be. He loved Lawrence of Arabia from the very first and watched the movie on a weekly basis. Me? I found it dull and have only seen it once. I may need to revisit that some day.