there are also lots of really (deliberately i assume) jarring elliptical cuts.
― flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Friday, 17 February 2012 21:18 (1 year ago) Permalink
yeah i rarely notice editing choices like that. i'd be interested in reading an analysis of some of the things he was doing stylistically - i couldn't really tell why he made certain decisions (like how he shot that beach fight), maybe it's really obvious from a certain perspective, he seems to have like a unifying aesthetic for each movie he does
― RudolfHitlerFtw (Hungry4Ass), Friday, 17 February 2012 21:59 (1 year ago) Permalink
I'd love to see a comparison between that scene and a "standard" action scene because it certainly felt different. i remember one particular cut that shifted the POV exactly 180 degrees, which certainly seemed unusual to my eyes.
― ryan, Friday, 17 February 2012 22:05 (1 year ago) Permalink
― Literal Facepalms (Dr Morbius), Friday, 17 February 2012 22:44 (1 year ago) Permalink
oh great people are actually talking about movies in an interesting and detailed way
― the jazz zinger (s1ocki), Friday, 17 February 2012 23:48 (1 year ago) Permalink
I just happen to like stayin on topic
― Literal Facepalms (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 18 February 2012 01:19 (1 year ago) Permalink
― dead-trius (Eric H.), Saturday, 18 February 2012 04:37 (1 year ago) Permalink
on the early TV work:
― Literal Facepalms (Dr Morbius), Monday, 19 March 2012 20:25 (1 year ago) Permalink
Some great essays on Spielberg, plus memorabilia and diary excerpts from Truffaut's acting stint on CE3K, in the February Cahiers.
― Lawanda Pageboy (Capitaine Jay Vee), Monday, 19 March 2012 23:02 (1 year ago) Permalink
Reverse Shot continues its Spielberg coverage: http://www.reverseshot.com/section/steven_spielberg
War of the Worlds
― GoT SPOILER ALERT (Gukbe), Thursday, 26 April 2012 16:15 (1 year ago) Permalink
Tom Hiddleston sure can wear an uniform (as he proved in The Deep Blue Sea).
― Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 8 May 2012 21:20 (1 year ago) Permalink
He played one of the sharks?
― bark ruffalo (latebloomer), Tuesday, 8 May 2012 22:57 (1 year ago) Permalink
He played Samuel L. Jackson.
― Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 8 May 2012 23:37 (1 year ago) Permalink
Goldman isn't a fan then..
― piscesx, Wednesday, 9 May 2012 00:09 (1 year ago) Permalink
ha i remember reading that in Premier. pretty OTM to be honest.
― bark ruffalo (latebloomer), Wednesday, 9 May 2012 00:35 (1 year ago) Permalink
Janusz Kaminski on 11 shots:
― saltwater incursion (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 14 November 2012 18:15 (7 months ago) Permalink
Munich"It's almost over-the-top to some degree, right?" admits Kaminski
― Bobby Ken Doll (Eric H.), Wednesday, 14 November 2012 19:19 (7 months ago) Permalink
and all the better for it.
― saltwater incursion (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 14 November 2012 19:21 (7 months ago) Permalink
What the hell. Ranked my favorite Spielbergs out in response to that Salon ranking and here's what I came up with:
01. A.I. Artificial Intelligence 200102. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial 198203. Munich 200504. War of the Worlds 200505. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom 198406. Close Encounters of the Third Kind 197707. Raiders of the Lost Ark 198108. Lincoln 201209. Schindler’s List 199310. Jurassic Park 199311. Minority Report 200212. War Horse 201113. Jaws 197514. Saving Private Ryan 199815. The Color Purple 198516. Catch Me If You Can 200217. The Lost World: Jurassic Park 199718. Amistad 199719. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull 200820. Hook 199121. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade 1989
Biggest blind spots still are Duel and Empire of the Sun.
― Bobby Ken Doll (Eric H.), Tuesday, 20 November 2012 14:41 (7 months ago) Permalink
Top 3 are always rotating, tho.
― Bobby Ken Doll (Eric H.), Tuesday, 20 November 2012 14:44 (7 months ago) Permalink
I'd place Jaws in the top ten instead of JP and our hierarchy differs but otherwise we're in perfect mind meld.
― the little prince of inane false binary hype (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 20 November 2012 14:46 (7 months ago) Permalink
our hierarchy differs
LOL, aside from that.
― Bobby Ken Doll (Eric H.), Tuesday, 20 November 2012 15:00 (7 months ago) Permalink
No love for Last Crusade then?
― I wish to incorporate disco into my small business (chap), Tuesday, 20 November 2012 15:43 (7 months ago) Permalink
The opposite, pretty much.
― Bobby Ken Doll (Eric H.), Tuesday, 20 November 2012 15:46 (7 months ago) Permalink
Tho Hook is probably admittedly likely worse.
Hook and Lost World would definitely not place in my top 20. Duel would, though. And Sugarland might squeak in at 20, just because of its look as a document of the 70s to me. I also have a soft spot for 1941, and may be the only person of whom this is true.
― super perv powder (Phil D.), Tuesday, 20 November 2012 15:49 (7 months ago) Permalink
kael's doom-is-the-best meme is the greatest trick the devil ever pulled, but jurassic park over jaws is a very very important truth.
― guys! we can keep on spending! (difficult listening hour), Tuesday, 20 November 2012 15:56 (7 months ago) Permalink
the kind of truth that's not actually true?
― (The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Tuesday, 20 November 2012 17:44 (7 months ago) Permalink
saving Empire of the Sun for a double bill w/ The King of Comedy, eh?
The worst thing I've seen by him is the Twilight Zone movie segment.
― saltwater incursion (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 20 November 2012 17:51 (7 months ago) Permalink
it is NOT worse than Hook or Always.
― the little prince of inane false binary hype (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 20 November 2012 17:52 (7 months ago) Permalink
all yall complaining about bad hacking scenes in skyfall need to appreciate the master of bad hacking scenes in jurassic park
― Philip Nunez, Tuesday, 20 November 2012 17:52 (7 months ago) Permalink
ive given Raiders a bunch of chances and aside from the truck chase i dont think very highly of it. i usually disagree with Kael when it comes to action flicks but she nails that one.
Jaws, ET, Munich, Schindly's, Close Encounters would be at the top of my list; Always, Lost World, Terminal at the bottom (and i can find something to like about all of those anyway)
― turds (Hungry4Ass), Tuesday, 20 November 2012 17:56 (7 months ago) Permalink
I have not seen Hook, JP2 or Always.
― saltwater incursion (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 20 November 2012 17:57 (7 months ago) Permalink
or Joan Crawford's "Night Gallery" which has gotta be better than several of the films
― Bobby Ken Doll (Eric H.), Tuesday, 20 November 2012 17:57 (7 months ago) Permalink
I've seen Always, but so long ago that I can't even remember it.
― Bobby Ken Doll (Eric H.), Tuesday, 20 November 2012 17:58 (7 months ago) Permalink
always is junk but spielberg really pumps that sucker full of movie magic. the filmmaking is virtuosic but there's no restraint (Lincoln really makes you appreciate how far he's come in that respect) - so you're sorta getting his best and worst, in that you see what happens when he uses his full powers on unredeemable material. there's some great, exciting parts that you cant imagine anyone doing better, but the story just doesn't deserve it.
― turds (Hungry4Ass), Tuesday, 20 November 2012 18:10 (7 months ago) Permalink
it was the '90s
― Number None, Tuesday, 20 November 2012 19:27 (7 months ago) Permalink
1.5 years after this:
― Bobby Ken Doll (Eric H.), Tuesday, 20 November 2012 19:40 (7 months ago) Permalink
she doesn't hack anything in jurassic park she just uses a computer w an admittedly goofy GUI. like, there are no pop-ups where skulls laugh at you. it is in fact a unix system. now there IS that pop-up in an earlier scene where a cartoon of wayne knight laughs at samuel l jackson but that sets up a great slj delivery ("PLEASE!") so it's excused.
― guys! we can keep on spending! (difficult listening hour), Tuesday, 20 November 2012 21:22 (7 months ago) Permalink
The full quote is, iirc, "PLEASE! God, I hate this hacker crap!"
― Bobby Ken Doll (Eric H.), Tuesday, 20 November 2012 21:31 (7 months ago) Permalink
if spielberg makes a movie about samuel l jackson fighting kid unix hackers, all manner of sins will be excused.
― Philip Nunez, Tuesday, 20 November 2012 21:53 (7 months ago) Permalink
SLJ smoking in Jurassic Park was one of the last times we saw anyone do it (a) indoors (b) in front of children
― the little prince of inane false binary hype (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 20 November 2012 22:45 (7 months ago) Permalink
debating his merits.
Tom Carson: If you compare my two pieces, it should be obvious that I think more highly of Schindler's List than I do of SPR. My problems with the former have to do with how the third act does, in my view, shunt aside the horror of mass death in favor of sentimentality about the handful of people Schindler saved. To my mind, there's an equation between that red coat and Dorothy's red ruby slippers—she's The One—and what about the thousands of children sent to the gas chambers who got stuck wearing gray that day? I'm as grateful as anyone that Anne Frank is famous because we have her testimony. But at some level, to single out an individual victim of the Holocaust is to deny the horror of its anonymity. Like, if the kid hadn't been so noticeable—and sorry, but she's as cute and tough as Shirley Temple, guiding our responses somewhat—Schindler's conscience wouldn't have been stirred?
By and large—because I do admire how Goeth is characterized, and we'll get to that—I also don't agree with you that the movie is really all that informative about the nature of anti-Semitism or how the Holocaust came to be, since a viewer without prior awareness wouldn't find much that explains either. Its power comes from re-creating the Holocaust's atrocities so intensely that you feel you're watching—or, if you're susceptible, almost experiencing—the real thing. That bothers me. We have a lot of newsreel documentation of the actual camps, and the paradox is that Spielberg's very scrupulous and horrific facsimile ends up having more authority for the audience because it's superior as filmmaking. There's something disturbing about the fake version replacing the documentary one at that level.
Matt Zoller Seitz: I don't agree. Where Spielberg excels is where narrative cinema itself excels: at helping you understand the physical, visceral experience of going through something, whether it's a mundane contemporary moment or some grand historical turning point. Where Spielberg flounders, I think, is when his films are trying to hard to put things in perspective, to put a frame around it. The strongest section of Amistad for me is that flashback to the Middle Passage, which conveys the full physical as well as moral (immoral) reality of the slave trade better than any mainstream American film or TV production ever had. The lived experience of being under fire and seeing people blown up around you is the most valuable and memorable part of Saving Private Ryan, although that film's "men on a mission" template tends to turn a story with Apocalypse Now/Dr. Strangelove absurdist aspects into something that feels, or plays, much more conventionally. The guys argue about the logic or necessity of saving this one guy, but the movie makes it clear from the very beginning that they're risking soldiers' lives for a symbolic or PR gesture. And even at the end, the film has a deceptively complex/simple way of asking if it was all worth it: it's concluding, I think, "Yes, it was worth it, in that they saved this one guy's life, and that's what you can take out of it—and maybe it's the only unambiguously positive thing to come out of it all."
But you're still aware that almost everyone else in the platoon died, and they all had lives, too, lives that were just as valuable as Ryan's.
The film is bracketed with those cemetery scenes, which are admittedly very sentimental and perhaps unnecessary from a plot standpoint, but even those aren't as straightforward as they initially read. We start and end with an image of the American flag, but it's not a robust, pristine, poster-ready image of a flag. The flag is tattered, and the sun is behind it. You see the flag, but you also see through the flag, a multi-valent image that might be—as odd as this sounds!—too subtle for the intended audience. Visually Spielberg is incredibly subtle, even when he's being loud and spectacular, but those kinds of subtleties tend to get lost in the din.
― Pope Rusty I (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 20 March 2013 16:30 (3 months ago) Permalink
My problems with the former have to do with how the third act does, in my view, shunt aside the horror of mass death in favor of sentimentality
This is the context that makes the ending of AI so powerful and weird.
― ryan, Wednesday, 20 March 2013 16:38 (3 months ago) Permalink
I hope you're not saying that ending is sentimental.
― Pope Rusty I (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 20 March 2013 16:46 (3 months ago) Permalink
it's overtly sentimental, it's certainly framed as sentimental--but it's harrowing and despairing. i think i said elsewhere around here that it falls into the "uncanny valley" of happy endings.
― ryan, Wednesday, 20 March 2013 17:10 (3 months ago) Permalink
i almost feel what MZS is talking about there, Spielberg's great talent for the "qualia" of visceral experience, is what makes that scene (and the rest of AI) so discomfiting and compelling. almost as if kubrick wanted spielberg to direct it just because he knew that quality would put the movie over the top.
― ryan, Wednesday, 20 March 2013 17:12 (3 months ago) Permalink
from the comments:
DAVID CONRAD | MARCH 19, 2013 4:56 PMREPLY
I found Seitz's comment about Spielberg working in the "Stanley Kramer vein" of "glossy Hollywood entertainment" a bit difficult to understand. Kramer's Holocaust movie, "Judgment at Nuremberg," is a strikingly unglossy film that includes several minutes of actual concentration camp footage. Those images cause the mostly-theatrical violence in "Schindler's List" to fade from memory. But in Kramer's movie the Holocaust footage, however powerfully disturbing, is not essential to the story. It could have been excised without sacrificing any of the script's quality, but what would "Schindler's List" be without the Red Dress girl and the shower scene?
Both films explore issues of collective guilt and individual responsibility, but "Judgment" has the wider, more challenging sample size. The German cast includes uneducated housekeepers, jurists conversant in American legal theory, and an aristocratic widow in addition to unrepentant Nazis. Contrast Marlene Dietrich or Max Schell's characters in "Judgment" with the almost cartoonish depiction of Goeth in "Schindler's List." "Judgment" knows full well the horrors the Nazis committed, and presents them to us in unvarnished fashion, but it also asks us to think about blame. The farthest "Schindler" goes down this road, I think, is to prompt us to wonder what we would have done in the title character's place. How much more true that is of "Judgment," which asks us to imagine ourselves in a variety of different social positions, and as both accused and accuser. Kramer aims for and hits a much higher mark than does Spielberg.
― turds (Hungry4Ass), Wednesday, 20 March 2013 17:24 (3 months ago) Permalink
TC: But even when people find fault with a particular movie of his, he's on a sort of hallowed plane I mistrust. Interestingly, in my experience, that's especially true among younger movie buffs -- who might be expected to think of Spielberg as an oldie and, you know, chafe a bit. Instead, he seems to be a hallowed figure to them, the guy who defines what movies can be.
carson makes some good points in there, but I don't know what planet he's living on here - Spielberg's probably as uncool now as he's ever been. it was a little aggravating during award season to read so many people dismissing Lincoln as boring manipulative Oscar bait, and then go on to praise Argo in the next sentence. spielberg's style has become increasingly unfashionable, whereas Affleck is tuned into the 'moment' - i think he's a far worse panderer than spielberg (in terms of degree and in terms of ability), but he's one that people just accept at face value right now for whatever reason
― turds (Hungry4Ass), Wednesday, 20 March 2013 17:28 (3 months ago) Permalink