Steven Spielberg

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Re: Steven Spielberg

Postby HenryGinsberg » Wed Oct 15, 2003 10:29 am

Interesting points. I don't consider Amistad or Saving Private Ryan to be munipulative. However I do find The Colour Purple to be one of his weaker films. Why does the Quincy Jones score have to be used so constantly in the first houre? At that point I think he was just trying to prove that he could do a serious drama. He's already don't a serious drama with ET, however the drama side of the films was unfortunately overshadowed by the flying bicycle side. I find Saving Private Ryan interesting. It is really quite critical of people's patriotisms during war. We see the generals saying "we're going to bring this boy back home", and then we see Hanks and co being killed as a result of the mission. At the end of the film, when they all decide to stay and defend the bridge, I think that Spielberg is trying to tell us that sacrificing yourself for a cause like this is very honourable. However it will get you killed. I actuall think that the American flag at the end is very good, because I think the moral of the story is that there is a time and a place for patriotism and it's after the war is over.

I don't think I'm overrating Spielberg. I never said that he was the greatest film maker of all time. However I do think that he is probably the greatest film maker within the Hollywood style of film making (along with Hitchcock, Ford and a few others). I'm probably a bit biast towards Jurassic Park as I have been watching it since I was eight years old. I realise that it is not the first film ever to focus on man vs nature. However the way in which Spielberg brings the theme up is highly origional, and the film's purpose is not to bring up a new argument, but to add a new angle to an already existing one. When I talk about Jurassic Park, the main point I try to make is that it is about a lot more that dinosaures eating capitalists. No, you don't have to think that it is a masterpeice like I do, but understand that there is a deeper side to it than what all the hype suggests.

I definately agree that Spielberg gets too much media coverage, but to be honest I don't really care. The Matrix Reloaded got a lot of media coverage, but can ay of us really be bothered to care about it? The amount of media coverage he gets is actually a contributing factor to anti-Spielbergism. Coming back to the point that it is fasionable to criticise something that has mass appeal, the media coverage has made him the most well known film maker of all time. He's become a household name, and a lot of people really object to that. The media also adds to the thinking that his films are just entertainment because whenever you see him interviewed, it's normaly a "what's your new film gonna be, will it have lots of special effects?" type interview.
HenryGinsberg
 


Re: Steven Spielberg

Postby Gaz » Wed Oct 15, 2003 11:37 am

First of all, I am a naturally sarcastic person, so if any of you is likely to respond negatively to the following comments, then please STOP READING NOW. Warning over.

I went to a decent state comprehensive school - fairly representative of the British education system, which is superior to those of several other equally developed countries, though I am sorry, Henry, if your own experience of this was negative - where getting good grades usually equated to fairly high intelligence, and in most cases a strong temperament and mind. I am now studying for a BA at Cambridge. As I said, my intention is not to antagonise people. You are all entitled to your opinions. That said, if the special effects budget for Jurassic Park had instead been invested in the British education system, I am sure more than one person would have been grateful.

BTW Nina*, what exactly do you mean when you say the 1900th Century? I have looked on Amazon but I cannot find any books from this far into the future.

I acknowledge that Spielberg's intentions in making E.T. were completely honourable, but the final film seems TO ME not to correspond to this. Maybe he tried too hard. My own views are similar to those of auteur, though E.T. is a film which does not appeal to me. Close Encounters represents to me probably Spielberg's best work.
Gaz
 

Re: Steven Spielberg

Postby HenryGinsberg » Wed Oct 15, 2003 12:42 pm

When I talked about your sarcasm, I wasn't trying to direct an insult at you, I was just saying that I have a very short fuse (I'm like the incredible hulk).

Anyway, the running of the high school I went to was built upon a series of lies that were fed to us (the students) constantly. In the school's code of conduct it stated that the teachers agreed to treat the students with "respect and sensitivity". The reality was that most of the teachers treated the students like second class citizens. It's laughable that they expected us to respect them when the first thing they would say to us at the beggining of the year would normally be something along the lines of "you will respect me because I am your superior". They would tell us to shut the f*ck up as much as they wanted, but if we said "yes sir" in the wrong tone of voice they would keep us behind after school. And they used to say that they "belive in equality". There was one teacher I had who bullied me all the way through my last year at school. He was always taking the piss out of me for being a film buff. He used to tell other students "Henry's stupid because he talkes about directors all the time". Not only did he bully me, but he encouraged the other students to join in.

The code of conduct also stressed that the school really cared about the students....Bullshit! They didn't care about me. However they did care about weather or not my GCSE grades would bring up the school's average. In my last year, I was in such a state that I had to hit my head against walls (hard) in order to let out anger (so that I wouldn't have to take it out on other people, and I really think that the school should have thanked me for that). Now there were several occasions when I hit myself in full view of teachers. Did they try and help me? Did they ask me if I was alright? Did they even bother to aknowlege me?...Did they f*ck. They just chose to ignor the fact that I was so stressed out that I had to constantly inflict pain on myself......However, when there was a risk of school resources being dameged, they were on to me like a speeding bullet. One time, I hit my head really hard against a window, and when I went to the first aid room the first thing they asked was "is the window ok?". Infact I'm not sure if they ever actually got round to asking me if I was ok.

Spending 4 years at that school first drove me towards contemplating suicide, and then to the point of insanity (which is why I had to hit my head against the wall in the first place). You may think it's funny that I'm talking about this the way war veterans talk about their tour of duty, but I assure you that my experiences have left me scarred for life.

Maybe my experiences don't represent the education system as a hole, but in any case I think that putting 1000 teanagers in an enclosed environment together is just asking for trouble. Did I mention that the teachers were completely oblivious as to what was going on in the school? At one point there were drug dealers hanging around outside the school gates, and the boys were beating each other up constantly, but the main concern of the teachers was that we weren't wearing our ties smartly enough.
HenryGinsberg
 

Re: Steven Spielberg

Postby Gaz » Wed Oct 15, 2003 3:32 pm

Actually, this does indeed represent the education system as a hole, if not a whole. Sorry, being smart again. It sounds as if you had an awful school. My school had about 1400 pupils, but it was run by (generally) sympathetic staff. Of course some pupils went mad from time to time (in fact, since I left school, my only link back to it is looking in the paper to see who I know has been arrested), and members of staff went sadly crazy, but I do acknowledge that I have been lucky with my state-funded education.
Gaz
 

Re: Steven Spielberg

Postby Gaz » Wed Oct 15, 2003 3:38 pm

Also, I'd never think it was funny you talking about these experiences in the way you do. It's strange, but most of us have experienced crises during our teens. At the age of 15, I was suicidal for a long period when someone I was very close to died. You seem to have had a very rough time though. You are also evidently intelligent, judging by your list of ratings. Anyone who disliked About a Boy gets my vote.
Gaz
 

Re: Steven Spielberg

Postby nina* » Thu Oct 16, 2003 4:14 am

Auteul, Since when have movies like Amistad or Color Purple been "largest audience possible pleasing", when a large part of the country (=US) is still in denial of they're ancestors sins, as well as being racist them selfs..? / My sympathies to Henry; After 9 years of my own personal shcool hell I finally dropped out in the middle of the last semester (did finish it though) witch just might have been the best decision I've ever done. After one shcoolday at the 4th grade I too tryed to kill myself by tryeing to stab myself with the bred knife on my chest.. surprisingly this wasn't a very effective way and I'm still alive. / Sorry gaz, didn't mean to be such a bitch but you "sort of" called me stupid first..;-) Im sure you're really a genious.. just like Koko.
nina*
 

Re: Steven Spielberg

Postby auteur » Thu Oct 16, 2003 9:00 am

Perhaps if I had been educated in Finland, I'd see the logical connection between Spielberg's aim to reach a mainstream audience and a "large part of Americans being racists who deny their ancestor's sins". Maybe then I'd feel comfortable looking for any opportunity to make categorical statements about nationals from other countries. Maybe one day I'd stop blaming the educational system and ponder how I contributed to my own difficulties, and grow as a human being.
auteur
 

Re: Steven Spielberg

Postby nina* » Thu Oct 16, 2003 10:01 am

Maybe you should take a trip down the south with your African American girlfriend (I assume your white,heterosexual,male,at least you sound like one) and you would know what I mean. I did not make in any point any comments against the shcool system. I do not "blame" anyone for my broblems, but I will say that there were a few people that made my life hell at a certain part of my life and I was "forced" to see every day in shcool (there were also those outside the shcool in all fairnes and other things that contributed to the problems I had at the time). At this point I also should maybe mention that some of my own ancestors have been white southern slaveholders / racist, some relatives of mine still are the 2nd one, so I don't think Im totally pulling this out of a hat..
nina*
 

Re: Steven Spielberg

Postby Gaz » Thu Oct 16, 2003 2:07 pm

True, but there still is no link between sensitive subjects such as the holocaust and the desire to want to reach a large audience - if anything, Spielberg wants a large audience to make people aware of the horrors of such events. Whether he does this successfully or not is a moot point.
Gaz
 

Re: Steven Spielberg

Postby Gaz » Thu Oct 16, 2003 2:08 pm

BTW, do I sound like a white, heterosexual male? I'd be interested to hear your impressions.
Gaz
 

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