Television: Spielberg

Anyone who knows me knows Steven Spielberg has left a great impression on my life. His was the first name I knew in movies. The first movie I can remember seeing in a cinema is Raiders of the Lost Ark (though I spent the film thinking his name was "Petey" and that he was a cowboy because hat). I was only five years old when that movie came out, and there are questions as to whether my parents should have taken me to see it, but whatever. From that moment I was a Steven Spielberg fan.

I didn't know what Spielberg did exactly. But his name was on all the best movies. Whatever he did, I wanted to do it, too. I wanted to make amazing things that people watched.

Spielberg is the reason I have a film degree.

Alas, I haven't made any movies. I've worked on film sets, and I've had one short film made of my stage play, but that's the sum total of my filmography. Still, I can very much appreciate—and envy—Mr. Spielberg's career. I haven't seen all his films, not nearly. Some I will probably never watch. But he's made such a wide variety of movies . . . Kind of like how I write a lot of different genres . . . I can appreciate the desire to keep moving and trying new things and the need to tell new stories, even if deep down they are similar thematically.

So this documentary—which is long at around 2 hours 21 minutes—well, it might as well have been made for me. It's a nice retrospective of Spielberg's career thus far, and besides talking to the man himself and hearing his side, they managed to gather a lot of big names to chime in. I don't think any of it was revelatory. But I think it was interesting and tidy. Well packaged, I'd say.

I guess the one thing is: if you're interested in Spielberg and his work, you probably already know a lot of what Spielberg covers, and if you don't know a lot about him, this documentary may feel a tad dry. Like, my attention wandered a few times. And I'm a devotee. So I don't know what less adoring viewers might think.

In all, I enjoyed it. Nothing exciting, but solid, and a nice perspective on the man and his work.

(Now if he'd just direct The Fall and Rise of Peter Stoller...)

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