These forums may contain mild adult content and are not associated with EON, Sony or any other companies and do not reflect their views.
 
HomeHome  RegisterRegister  Log in  

Share | 
 

 Steven Spielberg: humanist visionary or infantile hack?

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
Go to page : Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
AuthorMessage
Largo's Shark
Moderator
Moderator


Posts : 10600
Member Since : 2011-03-14

PostSubject: Re: Steven Spielberg: humanist visionary or infantile hack?   Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:52 am

Couldn't disagree with that essay more. Especially "Damn the Geneva Conventions, implies Ryan, as every eye in the theater clouds over for capital-lettered concepts of patriotism: Valor, Honor, Courage, and Sacrifice."

Talk about misreading. Reminds me of the idiotic quote about the houseboat murder scene in MUNICH that Ambler kept bringing up.

"We are drawn into an erotic complicity with them when they confront a beautiful freelance assassin at her home on a barge in Holland. She has killed a comrade of theirs, possibly on a contract for the KGB, and now they've come to extract revenge. Naked beneath her housecoat after emerging from a shower, she attempts to distract them by revealing her breasts. They pump a couple of bullets into her using silencers, and after she's staggered around, they give her the coup de grâce as her nude body slumps in a chair. It's like something out of Mickey Spillane."

Reverse Shot "get" Spielberg more than many (and I've read some far worse reviews of SAVING PRIVATE RYAN than this), but sometimes they can be way off base. This is a good example.
Back to top Go down
Salomé
Chief Executive
Chief Executive
avatar

Posts : 2075
Member Since : 2011-03-17

PostSubject: Re: Steven Spielberg: humanist visionary or infantile hack?   Fri Aug 10, 2012 5:13 pm

It seems odd to attack Ryan on the D-Day sequence,when what follows after that is far more worthy of criticism. The writing once the survivors set out to find Ryan departs from any and all realism. The final half hour especially is a one long conveyor belt of contrived nonsense that must have appeared as utter (and borderline insulting) trite to all the veterans who actually lived through the European theater.
Back to top Go down
Largo's Shark
Moderator
Moderator


Posts : 10600
Member Since : 2011-03-14

PostSubject: Re: Steven Spielberg: humanist visionary or infantile hack?   Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:32 am

Back to top Go down
boldfinger
Correspondent
Correspondent
avatar

Posts : 112
Member Since : 2013-09-13
Location : 1h north of the Alps

PostSubject: Re: Steven Spielberg: humanist visionary or infantile hack?   Wed Sep 25, 2013 6:12 am

Spielberg has the entertaining quality to inspire Alejandro Jodorowsky to tell the audience of this year´s Munich Filmfest that "Spielberg is the son of Disney and f**ks Mickey Mouse". Then again, this description could say more about Jodorowsky than about Spielberg. Still, it was a very entertaining interview, apart from that one exclamation too.

I understand Spielberg differently, but I guess I don´t understand enough of him or his work to properly criticise him one way or the other. Jaws was and still is brilliant. None of his recent films attracted me.

I would say he certainly has some humane elements in his films.
Visionary, well not just that, but he´s also got some taste visually.
Infantile or hack I wouldn´t know where to find in his films.
He surely knows the business very well.
Back to top Go down
Largo's Shark
Moderator
Moderator


Posts : 10600
Member Since : 2011-03-14

PostSubject: Re: Steven Spielberg: humanist visionary or infantile hack?   Sat Oct 18, 2014 3:02 pm

Back to top Go down
Makeshift Python
Chief Executive
Chief Executive
avatar

Posts : 6800
Member Since : 2011-03-14
Location : Up

PostSubject: Re: Steven Spielberg: humanist visionary or infantile hack?   Sat Oct 18, 2014 3:20 pm

Great poster, but WAR OF THE WORLD and MUNICH ought to be switched.
Back to top Go down
Erica Ambler
Chief Executive
Chief Executive


Posts : 4996
Member Since : 2011-08-05

PostSubject: Re: Steven Spielberg: humanist visionary or infantile hack?   Sat Oct 18, 2014 7:32 pm

You're asking whether the man behind Transformers is an infantile hack? I'd say he's one of the greats in his area, up there with Mattel and Hasbro.
Back to top Go down
Salomé
Chief Executive
Chief Executive
avatar

Posts : 2075
Member Since : 2011-03-17

PostSubject: Re: Steven Spielberg: humanist visionary or infantile hack?   Sat Oct 18, 2014 7:36 pm

I see his producing of those features as more of a cynical moneygrab.

Likewise his complaining about the current studio system (where every feature is a big-budget behemoth). He himself started this process in the early 1980s. We are just feeling the effects of the snowball he pushed off the hill with E.T.
Back to top Go down
Erica Ambler
Chief Executive
Chief Executive


Posts : 4996
Member Since : 2011-08-05

PostSubject: Re: Steven Spielberg: humanist visionary or infantile hack?   Sat Oct 18, 2014 7:40 pm

Salomé wrote:
I see his producing of those features as more of a cynical moneygrab.

Likewise his complaining about the current studio system (where every feature is a big-budget behemoth). He himself started this process in the early 1980s. We are just feeling the effects of the snowball he pushed off the hill with E.T.

Yes, the corruption started when Fox let Lucas keep the merchandising on Star Wars.  Suddenly he was 10 times richer than Spielberg. Thus the dark ET gave way to plush/fast food/shits its nappy ET.

Spielberg is only an artist in the way Damien Hurst is an artist. Money grab sums it up pretty well.
Back to top Go down
Largo's Shark
Moderator
Moderator


Posts : 10600
Member Since : 2011-03-14

PostSubject: Re: Steven Spielberg: humanist visionary or infantile hack?   Sun Oct 19, 2014 6:53 am

I don't rate Spielberg as a producer. Aside from BACK TO THE FUTURE and a few other exceptions, he just finances dreck. But I disagree with Ambler in that it somehow invalidates THE SUGARLAND EXPRESS, CE3K, E.T., THE COLOR PURPLE, EMPIRE OF THE SUN, SCHINDLER'S LIST, AMISTAD, A.I., THE TERMINAL or MUNICH. All wonderful films.
Back to top Go down
Salomé
Chief Executive
Chief Executive
avatar

Posts : 2075
Member Since : 2011-03-17

PostSubject: Re: Steven Spielberg: humanist visionary or infantile hack?   Sun Oct 19, 2014 7:56 pm

I think we discussed the issues with Schindler's List before. Who was it who posted Terry Gilliam's perfect summary of the problem? It might have been Ambler.

Spielberg made two great movies (Duel, Jaws) and a handful I find interesting but are ultimately imperfect (e.g. Munich). The large majority of his post-1970s work is pretty interchangeable with other big-budget studio fare.
Back to top Go down
Erica Ambler
Chief Executive
Chief Executive


Posts : 4996
Member Since : 2011-08-05

PostSubject: Re: Steven Spielberg: humanist visionary or infantile hack?   Sun Oct 19, 2014 8:38 pm

It was actually Kubrick via Raphael via Gilliam:


Quote :

[Spielberg] gives you answers even if the answers are stupid.

30 years since I first saw Vertigo and I'm still thinking about it.

And I agree about Duel, Ops. Fantastic little film I've seen many times, but that's down to Matheson and Hitchcock, who Speilberg aped throughout the film. He'd yet to develop his own distinctive and childlike style. Shame no one told him how repulsive that is in an adult.


Last edited by Erica Ambler on Sun Oct 19, 2014 9:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
Makeshift Python
Chief Executive
Chief Executive
avatar

Posts : 6800
Member Since : 2011-03-14
Location : Up

PostSubject: Re: Steven Spielberg: humanist visionary or infantile hack?   Sun Oct 19, 2014 9:02 pm

Gilliam seemed to have missed the point of the film. It's a tribute to a man who did what good he could in the face of evil, and even in the end it's not all sunshine and rainbows because of the acknowledgement that as many people he was able to save, too many have died.

However, I do agree that Spielberg tends to wrap his other films up too nicely. One that comes to mind is the end of WAR OF THE WORLDS where Tom Cruise's son is miraculously alive and well.
Back to top Go down
Erica Ambler
Chief Executive
Chief Executive


Posts : 4996
Member Since : 2011-08-05

PostSubject: Re: Steven Spielberg: humanist visionary or infantile hack?   Sun Oct 19, 2014 9:07 pm

The quote is out of context. Kubrick was talking about how Schindler's List torpedoed his own Holocaust project. It would have been a film in which Jews go to the showers to die not to wash.

See no evil, hear no evil ...
Back to top Go down
Largo's Shark
Moderator
Moderator


Posts : 10600
Member Since : 2011-03-14

PostSubject: Re: Steven Spielberg: humanist visionary or infantile hack?   Mon Oct 20, 2014 2:42 am

Salomé wrote:
I think we discussed the issues with Schindler's List before. Who was it who posted Terry Gilliam's perfect summary of the problem? It might have been Ambler.

Gilliam's critique of SCHINDLER'S LIST is fairly insipid. The film is simply portraying one flawed man's struggle to save lives in the face of unthinkable inhumanity -- Schindler and his ark. t's not a thesis on the Shoah and it was never intended to be.

The 'I could have saved more' scene is not a nice little ribbon bow, or an answer. It's a gut-wrenching blow, despite  Itzhak Stern's consolation. Oscar Schindler's realizes what he's sacrificed for the temporal value of money -- his 30 pieces of silver.

Gilliam seems to be placing Kubrick's misanthropy against Spielberg's humanism, as if the former is more valid than the later.

Salomé wrote:
Spielberg made two great movies (Duel, Jaws) and a handful I find interesting but are ultimately imperfect (e.g. Munich).

DUEL is an effective and taut thriller for its limited budget, raised by Denis Weaver's superb performance. JAWS is of course a classic of its kind, but Spielberg went on to do so much better. For some reason, the anti-Spielberg crowd seems to latch on to these two as his only 'authentic' pictures. Maybe it's because they're ultimately shallow B movies.

Salomé wrote:
The large majority of his post-1970s work is pretty interchangeable with other big-budget studio fare.

All I see is pale imitators, with all the depth and subtlety of a Hallmark card. Ron Howard, Robert Zemeckis, Chris Columbus, Joe Johnston, JJ Abrams et al.

Quote :
[Spielberg] gives you answers even if the answers are stupid.

The ending of A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE doesn't leave me with any answers, only questions. Maybe that's down to Kubrick's influence, but it's one of the most heartbreaking and conflicted resolutions to any Spielberg film.

And what about EMPIRE OF THE SUN - the excellent J. G. Ballard adaptation? Jim is forever tortured by his experiences in the camp and barely recognizes his parents. Again, more questions than answers.

Erica Ambler wrote:
He'd yet to develop his own distinctive and childlike style.

You're right. Childlike rather than childish.

Truffaut was another childlike director and man, which is no doubt why Spielberg cast him in CE3K. Untainted by repulsive cynicism, seeing the world with a sense of unprejudiced wonder.
Back to top Go down
Control
Chief Executive
Chief Executive
avatar

Posts : 5137
Member Since : 2010-05-13
Location : Slumber, Inc.

PostSubject: Re: Steven Spielberg: humanist visionary or infantile hack?   Mon Oct 20, 2014 5:05 am

Truffaut didn't always give you the answers, though. And only a handful of his films were about children and/or wonder. I think Truffaut did great with showing realistic relationships between the characters in his films, dealing with love, maturity, betrayal and death. With most of his films you're left thinking.
Back to top Go down
Largo's Shark
Moderator
Moderator


Posts : 10600
Member Since : 2011-03-14

PostSubject: Re: Steven Spielberg: humanist visionary or infantile hack?   Mon Oct 20, 2014 5:09 am

As does Spielberg. SUGARLAND EXPRESS, THE COLOR PURPLE, CATCH ME IF YOU CAN and MUNICH are all about the complexities and dysfunctions of human (adult) relationships. Children are only in the periphery.
Back to top Go down
Salomé
Chief Executive
Chief Executive
avatar

Posts : 2075
Member Since : 2011-03-17

PostSubject: Re: Steven Spielberg: humanist visionary or infantile hack?   Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:54 am

Makeshift Python wrote:
Gilliam seemed to have missed the point of the film. It's a tribute to a man who did what good he could in the face of evil, and even in the end it's not all sunshine and rainbows because of the acknowledgement that as many people he was able to save, too many have died.

However, I do agree that Spielberg tends to wrap his other films up too nicely. One that comes to mind is the end of WAR OF THE WORLDS where Tom Cruise's son is miraculously alive and well.

That was precisely Gilliam/Kubricks point. The Holocaust is a failure of humanity on a massive scale. You cannot properly chronicle such a tragedy by focusing on what is an unlikely and unrepresentative "success" story.
Back to top Go down
Makeshift Python
Chief Executive
Chief Executive
avatar

Posts : 6800
Member Since : 2011-03-14
Location : Up

PostSubject: Re: Steven Spielberg: humanist visionary or infantile hack?   Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:12 am

Salomé wrote:
Makeshift Python wrote:
Gilliam seemed to have missed the point of the film. It's a tribute to a man who did what good he could in the face of evil, and even in the end it's not all sunshine and rainbows because of the acknowledgement that as many people he was able to save, too many have died.

However, I do agree that Spielberg tends to wrap his other films up too nicely. One that comes to mind is the end of WAR OF THE WORLDS where Tom Cruise's son is miraculously alive and well.

That was precisely Gilliam/Kubricks point. The Holocaust is a failure of humanity on a massive scale. You cannot properly chronicle such a tragedy by focusing on what is an unlikely and unrepresentative "success" story.

I disagree. I think Sharky summed it up better than I could.

Largo's Shark wrote:
Salomé wrote:
I think we discussed the issues with Schindler's List before. Who was it who posted Terry Gilliam's perfect summary of the problem? It might have been Ambler.

Gilliam's critique of SCHINDLER'S LIST is fairly insipid. The film is simply portraying one flawed man's struggle to save lives in the face of unthinkable inhumanity -- Schindler and his ark. t's not a thesis on the Shoah and it was never intended to be.

The 'I could have saved more' scene is not a nice little ribbon bow, or an answer. It's a gut-wrenching blow, despite  Itzhak Stern's consolation. Oscar Schindler's realizes what he's sacrificed for the temporal value of money -- his 30 pieces of silver.

Gilliam seems to be placing Kubrick's misanthropy against Spielberg's humanism, as if the former is more valid than the later.
Back to top Go down
Control
Chief Executive
Chief Executive
avatar

Posts : 5137
Member Since : 2010-05-13
Location : Slumber, Inc.

PostSubject: Re: Steven Spielberg: humanist visionary or infantile hack?   Mon Nov 17, 2014 3:14 am

I recently watched THE TERMINAL, which is one of the Spielberg films that I very much enjoy. I'm sure 99% of you think it's trash, but I can live with that.

This film holds some nice examples of Spielberg's "feel bad/feel good" trademark, but also goes against his normal style. The basic story itself is pretty interesting: a foreigner is stranded in JFK airport and needs to make a living there until he can go home. This isn't too farfetched, as I know my uncle was stranded in Heathrow for nearly a week after 9/11, where he needed to stay in the airport and sleep under an escalator because he never knew when they'd call the next flight to the USA.

On top of Spielberg's story, the main character is in the US for a reason: to obtain a jazz musician's autograph for his father's jazz autograph collection. By the end of the film, he's about to be hurled out of the US without the autograph, but all of the airport's staff stick up for him and somehow let him into the country. The top NSA officer in the airport even gives him his jacket. Sweet, ain't it?

This is where the movie falls short. I don't understand how Spielberg believes that the audience will have more sympathy for a character who succeeds in an extraordinary situation with all of the odds against him. In reality, if a foreigner was faced with this issue, he'd be on the first plane back to Europe without his autograph or a shower. I think there is more room for allowing the audience to feel for the character in a situation like that.

I wish the film would have ended like that. It's not because I'm a pessimist, but I think it would have drawn out more emotion, rather than having Tom Hanks getting the autograph and jumping into a yellow cab at the end. It's so fucking cliche, it's not even funny. Not only does he get into a yellow cab, but we see him driving through Times Square (the worst part of New York City) before the credits roll.

Alternatively, Tom Hank's character could have been sitting in a cramped airplane seat, contemplating his experience in JFK and failure to get the autograph for his deceased dad's collection. That reflection would have been relatable for the audience, as well.

It's too bad, because other parts of the film don't follow the normal Spielbergian formula. For example, Viktor's friend Gupta is deported. Also, Viktor is able to get a kiss from the leading lady (Catherine Zeta-Jones), but she doesn't bother sticking with Viktor and goes back to her former lover. He's the person she complains to Viktor about through out the whole film, which, as most of the men here may know, is a very realistic scenario. I believe it's called "the friend zone".

I like the movie. I just wanted more out of the ending. I think it would have set the film apart from the rest of Spielberg's fluff films. Williams wrote a great score to this. I've seen it written off as "Williams on autopilot", but I think it's far from the truth. For the film and script he was given, the score fits perfectly. And it sounds pretty damn good. Alfred Hitchcock said that half of PSYCHO's success was due to Bernard Herrmann's score. I'm wondering if some of Spielberg's success is due to William's music, which has given personality to all of his films.
Back to top Go down
Largo's Shark
Moderator
Moderator


Posts : 10600
Member Since : 2011-03-14

PostSubject: Re: Steven Spielberg: humanist visionary or infantile hack?   Mon Nov 17, 2014 4:21 am

I agree with you about THE TERMINAL. I feel the same way about MINORITY REPORT's ending - that's where I can understand Gilliam's 'everything tied into a neat bow' complaint.
Back to top Go down
Erica Ambler
Chief Executive
Chief Executive


Posts : 4996
Member Since : 2011-08-05

PostSubject: Re: Steven Spielberg: humanist visionary or infantile hack?   Mon Nov 17, 2014 4:52 am

In my original  pitch for Terminal, Hanks is shipped off to Guantanamo Bay and repeatedly waterboarded and sodomised by the guards. Unfortunately, Toy King said my story lacked a redemptive arc and the WGA denied me story credit.
Back to top Go down
Control
Chief Executive
Chief Executive
avatar

Posts : 5137
Member Since : 2010-05-13
Location : Slumber, Inc.

PostSubject: Re: Steven Spielberg: humanist visionary or infantile hack?   Mon Nov 17, 2014 4:56 am

That's probably not too far off from what would happen today.

And, of course, the TSA would perform a full cavity search prior to shipping Hanks to Guantanamo.
Back to top Go down
Erica Ambler
Chief Executive
Chief Executive


Posts : 4996
Member Since : 2011-08-05

PostSubject: Re: Steven Spielberg: humanist visionary or infantile hack?   Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:01 am

Control wrote:
That's probably not too far off from what would happen today.

You calling me a liar, Brown?
Back to top Go down
Control
Chief Executive
Chief Executive
avatar

Posts : 5137
Member Since : 2010-05-13
Location : Slumber, Inc.

PostSubject: Re: Steven Spielberg: humanist visionary or infantile hack?   Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:12 am

I believe it. Maybe you should have pitched it to Von Trier, instead.
Back to top Go down
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Steven Spielberg: humanist visionary or infantile hack?   

Back to top Go down
 
Steven Spielberg: humanist visionary or infantile hack?
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 2 of 3Go to page : Previous  1, 2, 3  Next

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Bond And Beyond :: Beyond :: Film News & Film Discussion-
Jump to: