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Charles L. Walter C. Bestselling Series. Harry Potter. Popular Features. New Releases. The Films of Steven Spielberg. Free delivery worldwide. Expected to be delivered to Germany by Christmas. Despite Spielberg's notable successes, however, his films have not avoided controversy.


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The Films of Steven Spielberg provides for the first time a collection of critical writings by professional film critics about the director and his films, bringing together many articles and reviews scattered in often inaccessible specialist publications and professional journals.

The opinions vary from complimentary to critical, but they definitely provide a well-rounded view of the films and the director. This collection of essays, compiled for both film students and professionals in the film industry, attests to the influence of Spielberg and the films that have earned him a significant place in the history of cinema as one of America's most innovative and culturally important filmmakers.

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Get e-book The Films of Steven Spielberg (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series)

I Me Mine George Harrison. Transcendental Style in Film Paul Schrader. Louis Malle Hugo Frey. Andre TeChine Bill Marshall. Fabien Baron: Works Fabien Baron. Sculpting in Time Andrey Tarkovsky. Lynch on Lynch David Lynch. George Lucas Brian Jay Jones. The Making of Alien J. The Rules of Acting Michael Simkins. Agnes Varda Alison Smith. American Cinema of the s Wheeler W. A Magic Lantern Ingmar Bergman. Other books in this series. Mycroft Walter C.

The Films of Steven Spielberg : Charles L. P. Silet :

About Charles L. Silet Charles L. It is like a masterclass in suspense filmmaking, never repetitive in its effects, and so never predictable. Each shark attack, for example, is structured for quite different impact: the first emphases brutality and a Psycho -like audience implication in voyeurism; the second follows a series of red herrings, emphasising the paranoia of Brody Roy Scheider on the beach; the lead up to the attack in the pond uses repetition of imagery to subtly cue the audience to the fact that all is not quite as it appears.

Yet the film is not a miserable, brutalising experience as truly effective suspense films so often are: it thrills its audience rather than beating it into submission. His facility for shot composition and editing is at its most sure-footed, with the editing rhythms having an instinctive, musical quality. The approach to character and setting emphasises verisimilitude: Spielberg shows here the same feel for location and local colour that he demonstrated in Duel and Sugarland Express , using real settings and filling supporting roles with genuine locals.

Dialogue unfolds in long takes wherever possible: the confrontation between Brody, Hooper and the Mayor before the 4 th of July, for example, is played out in one long, uninterrupted tracking shot. The actors — with the notable exception of Robert Shaw — favour a naturalistic style, with many scenes benefiting from moments improvised during the long, drawn out shoot.

As a result, Jaws has a dramatic integrity that is unusual for genre cinema before or since. In applying the aesthetics of the New Hollywood to his potboiler plot, Spielberg made a classic out of genre material. Quite the opposite: it set a benchmark for blockbuster quality that, unfortunately, has rarely been matched since. The success of Jaws gave Spielberg clout. Close Encounters of the Third Kind , in , was his first film as a hot director, and its sweep is testament to the fact that he wanted it to make an impact.


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The resulting film is an ambitious but uneven work, too scruffy to be the unqualified masterpiece Spielberg wanted it to be. Even Spielberg seemed to sense this, fiddling with it in the editing room for years afterwards, not being satisfied until It is a curious blend: a domestic drama; a thriller about a government cover-up; a light horror film with a creepy science-fiction menace; and a globe-trotting, quasi-epic portrayal of the first contact between human and alien. It is also the quintessential special effects extravaganza.

Rarely has a film been constructed so consciously as a sound and light show: Close Encounters resolves most of its plot threads before the climax, with the conflicts that drive the plot melting away so that characters and audience can gape at the special effects in unison.

Bridge of Spies: Behind the Scenes Movie Broll - Tom Hanks Steven Spielberg

Ronnie is a creature of suburbia, dulled to greater possibilities by her consumerist existence: when Roy tries to describe a UFO to her by comparing it to an ice cream cone, she is more concerned with chronicling the various available ice creams than what he has to tell her. It begins on Sunday; you take your car to be washed.

And then you go off to the games room and you play the quarter games: Tank and the Pong and Flim-Flam. Afterwards you drive home, stopping at all the red lights, and the wife is waiting with dinner on. And you watch the prime time, which is pabulum and nothing more than watching a night light. And at the end of all that you go to sleep and you dream about making enough money to support weekend America. When Close Encounters becomes a special-effects extravaganza in its final act, Spielberg is, like Roy Neary, reaching for the sublime.

It is what blockbuster filmmaking at its best is all about: lifting the audience out of their everyday worries and exposing them to extraordinary events. Close Encounters changes before your eyes into a different kind of movie, and its transformation is a neat metaphor for the shifting preoccupations of American cinema.

This, more than the phenomenal success of Jaws , might be where the lingering resentment of Spielberg really started. To the extent that Hollywood blockbusters have been on an orgy of escapism in years since, they have tended to lose the taste for the low-key and everyday. The result is often distancing, as everything on screen is something the audience would never experience.

Having established this strong foothold in reality, they then take their heroes into a heightened level of existence that is more exciting, more spectacular, more emotional than the dull lives they live out each day. Yet seen for what they are, rather than what they spawned, the impulse in these early films to look up and yearn for greater things is something to be celebrated, not scorned. They would both gain and lose something from the transformation.

The latter is a classic of the action-adventure genre, still-much loved more than quarter of a century on. Yet the films are strikingly similar in many ways. Both are lavish period pieces, constructed around a series of elaborate set pieces. And both are relatively impersonal projects, stepping away from the real world setting that had been the jumping off point for his films before this time. There is no progression here from the mundane to the extraordinary: these films start big and finish big.

This is the newly established wunderkind trying his hand at big, old-style Hollywood entertainment on a grand scale. That Raiders worked so well, and so conspicuously misfired, is revealing about the strange alchemy that separates good films from bad. In retrospect, itreflects the distinctive sensibility of its screenwriters, Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale.

Zemeckis and Gale specialised in fast-paced, intricate, incident-laden scripts, and the sheer freneticism of their screenwriting was perhaps too much for a director as kinetic as Spielberg, with the resulting overkill making the film tired and grating. It is just that Spielberg approaches his humour obliquely: his films are most effortlessly funny when he is working towards another purpose.

Raiders of the Lost Ark provided ample demonstration of this. Chastened by the reception to , he turned to the security of a collaboration with George Lucas, who was still at the height of his post Star Wars fame.

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The film was further shaped by screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, who adeptly resuscitated the spirit of serials while avoiding their flaws. It is, however, an expert assembly. The film could have foundered on any of the same points that derailed , coming across as loud, infantile, or in poor taste.