- Gebundene Ausgabe: 278 Seiten
- Verlag: Sterling (2. Oktober 2012)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1402796501
- ISBN-13: 978-1402796500
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 3,8 x 26 x 30,5 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 315.436 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Steven Spielberg: A Retrospective (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 2. Oktober 2012
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Steven Spielberg: A Retrospective With a foreword by Spielberg himself! From the irresistible fantasy of "E.T." to the gritty realism of "Saving Private Ryan," Steven Spielberg has created movie magic. Renowned critic Richard Schickel gives us the definitive illustrated monograph on this Oscar(R)-winning Hollywood icon, whose prolific and successful career few directors have equaled. The book culminates with the long-awaited "Lin Full description
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If anything else, the book is worth purchasing for the photos. The photos are wonderful to look at, some that have never been available in public before, while others range from sentiment from genuinely funny to haunting to awe-inspiring. But while these photos are fabulous to view, the real strength in "A Retrospective" is Spielberg himself, who is shown to be an insightful, passionate filmmaker not afraid to admit his flaws and defend himself and the work he takes great pride in. Spielberg is not the kind of person to publicly respond to criticisms or needless bashing a la Tarantino, but here he reveals his justifications for the so-called critiques labeled at his work. For example, although he was chided for the cemetery sequences that book-ended "Saving Private Ryan", Spielberg defended these sequences by saying that he did them for the veteran soldiers, that he was honoring their fathers and grandfathers who served in the deadliest war in mankind history. Similarly, for "Schindler's List", Spielberg cites the widely panned moment of the film when the girl in the read coat walks down the Krakow ghetto as a symbol of the world's failure to intervene in the extermination of Holocaust Jews. He also reacts to the controversial ending to "A.I.", the infamous sci-fi tale that was originally brought up by Stanley Kubrick.
But while Spielberg can talk a good game, Schickel is a disappointment. Schickel is known to be a mixed bag: he can write good books like his biographies on Elia Kazan and D.W. Griffith and books that aren't worthy anybody's time ("The Disney Version", "Eastwood"). Here, he's surprisingly tame. Unlike the "Conversations With Scorsese", Schickel fails to engage Spielberg (and by large extension the readers) into getting to the heart of the films. Not only that, but Schickel has little to say about the movies and when he does, it feels by-the-books. For example, he dismissed "Always" simply as a "mild misfire", rather than the full-blown turkey that it was. In the case of "War of the Worlds", Schickel cites the burning train sequence as the pivotal image that makes the movie good (apparently, he never saw the ending). And the best Schickel could muster about the disappointing "Jurassic Park" sequel was that it lacked substance but is not to be dismissed. In fact, the only movies Schickel genuinely expresses his honest opinion and defend are, ironically, the movies widely regarded as Spielberg's weakest movies: "Empire of the Sun", "The Terminal" and "War Horse".
Most disappointingly, we rarely hear about the influences (or consequences, depending on who you ask) Spielberg's movies had on the cinematic landscape. We never get comments on how "Saving Private Ryan" became the standard for future war movies and that it annually airs on cable TV uncut on Memorial Day. Or how "Raiders of the Lost Ark" re-wrote the book on how the film action movies. The notorious incident during the shooting of the "Twilight Zone" movies is scarcely mentioned (in fact, Spielberg's "Kick the Can" episode is only discussed in a meager two sentences with no photos). There's little discussion on the political controversies surrounding "The Color Purple", "Amistad" or even "Schindler's List". The negative reaction towards the fourth Indiana Jones movie is barely sketched, not to mention on how that film spawned the godawful "South Park" episode where the creators constantly and endlessly remind viewers that Spielberg and Lucas had "raped" Indiana Jones (as if we viewers didn't get it the first two times). Most of all, we don't even hear how not only "Jaws" kick-started the blockbuster mentality, but that it spawned "The Jaws Log", which many filmmakers consider the Holy Bible of film-making. In the end, one gets the impression that Schickel is not only playing safe but that he's playing cozy with Spielberg, fearing that he may say something to offend him.
So Schickel's "A Retrospective" is far from a definitive book about Spielberg, but it's definitely worth purchasing for the photos and for Spielberg's quotes and comments. But if you want a critical study about Spielberg that is more honest, rich with fascinating detail and genuinely informative, you're better off just picking up "Citizen Spielberg" by Lester Friedman.
What this is is an overview by professional critic Richard Schickel. I don't always listen to critics because I often disagree, but I am still curious and, since they watch a lot of movies, they do have some background. I found it an interesting read that gave me a good deal to think about. He has talked to Spielberg quite a good deal and I found what he had to say informative and entertaining. And that's enough for me.