Honestly, if you're going to do a series on great directors, there's one name that can't be overlooked. Whether it is great directors of all time or just the 20th century, or this generation. His films have taken us beyond the stars, to the future, through our imagination, pre and post slavery America, and so on, and so on. No matter the degree with which you agree with his lollipop in the sky antics of filmmaking, it can't be denied that he has earned his spot amongst the greats. And, I count him as one of my favorites. Deny it, if you want. But, you do know the name – Steven Spielberg.
Few directors today have been laying down the hits for nearly 40 years and still keep rolling out banner years and blockbuster films. To name them all would take up more column inches than allotted for this article. So, I'll just hit the highlights.
1975 - Where it all started. JAWS wasn't Steven Spielberg's first film. But, I'd bet he'd agree it's where he popped his cherry. Disaster after disaster he had to triumph in order to complete the famous shark flick. And, in the end, he came out on top. Five percent of the box office, and a killer classic, and, suddenly, you're a mainstream golden boy ready for a sophomore project. Two years later, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND. And close out the decade with a lesser know 1941. But, that's okay. That's what the 80's are for...
1981 – RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. A red hot Harrison Ford, Nazi's, and a treasure hunt that spanned the globe. WINNING! So much so, that you follow it up with three sequels over the next 30 years.
1982 – E.T. For nearly 15 years it was the highest grossing movie of all time. And, I think that's all that really needs to be said about that.
1985 – THE COLOR PURPLE. Honestly, I've always been convinced that Spielberg did this film just to show he wasn't just a one trick pony. But, I saw an interview he gave where he really didn't think he should do it. That, even with his greatness secured, he seemed unworthy to tackle the sensitive subject matter. I had appreciated his work up until that point, now I appreciated him as a person. And, in my opinion, the movie was better for it. And, the Spielberg show was far from over.
1993 – You always think that maybe the greats will have a moment when they finally begin to sputter to their conclusion after a few hash jobs. As though they're just filling the time until eventual retirement. But, with Spielberg, his "off season" usually is just the extra-long wind up before the knockout blow. So, in 93' he did a double tap with the box office behemoth, JURASSIC PARK, and the awards collecting machine, SCHINDLER'S LIST. No one would have faulted him were it his swan song. Instead, it seemed to be his second wind. Boosting his notoriety and setting up what would be the future of filmmaking with the new studio DreamWorks.
Where Spielberg is going next, is anyone's guess. With across the board projects like SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, MINORITY REPORT, WAR HORSE, CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, THE TERMINAL, MUNICH, and LINCOLN under his belt, it is pretty obvious that the corporation known as Steven Spielberg still has one more ace in the hole to share with the movie watching public. His resume is the very definition of cinema success. And, there doesn't seem to be any slow down with this giant. And, I, for one, want to be there for the rest of the ride.
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Feb 10, 2013 11:26 AM
|My favorite Spielberg movie is 1941. It just shows that even Spielberg trips now and then. It's the only movie in the Spielberg inventory that not only has screaming as the main dialogue, but has the only John Williams score that's accented by explosions. It is really a fun movie.|
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