And, finally, watched the HBO documentary Spielberg, about (shocking, I know) Stephen Spielberg. It’s an adoring documentary with only a few negatives to say about the man and his movies. It’s also very long (2 1/2 hours) and covers a selection of his movies thorughout various points in his career, but not his entire canon.
It focuses more on his earlier work including his time making television and his pre-Jaws movies. That anyone has anything to say bout Sugarland Express is interesting… less interesting, to me at least, were the “I’ve heard all this before” stories about the production of Jaws, Close Encounters, ET, etc. None of it’s bad and I was always interested, but if you follow movie making in general, there’s very little new here.
But they still got good interview material from Spierlberg, his mom and dead, his sisters, Tom Hanks, Richard Dreyfuss, Peter Coyote, Drew Barrymore, Martin Scorcese, George Lucas, Brian DePalma, Francis Ford Copolla, and more.
His later movies get less attention and are more focused on themes and ideas, rather than the production (perhaps not enough time has passed). It does have a pretty long sequences about The Color Purple, a movie a lot of people didn’t think he should make back then (and would be even more “problematic” today). They focus on Schindler’s List as his first all-around successful attempt at a serious movie and follow it up with Jurassic Park, made the same year and suggested as two insanely creative moves. But they barely mention other movies like Hook, Catch Me If You Can, and a few others. No loss, unless those are you favorites.
So the movie is good and the less you know about Spielberg, the better it gets. But if you do know a lot, hey, it’s still worth watching… I just came away feeling like they’d covered a lot of the same ground past documentaries and articles have covered. Though there were still some nuggets to be gleaned and old tales of 70s Hollywood. And, hey, if you have HBO, it won’t cost you anything to catch.