In 2005, Steven Spielberg and Dreamworks produced a 6 episode miniseries that spanned the period of expansion of the United States into the American West, from 1825 to 1890. Through fictional and historical characters, the series used two primary symbols--the wagon wheel and the Lakota medicine wheel -- to join the story of two families: one Native American, one White settlers, as they witnessed many of the 19th century's pivotal historical milestones. The award-winning Into The West can now be seen in its entirety on YouTube. [more inside]
Essayist and cartoonist Tim Kreider is no stranger to film criticism ( previously) but his thoughtful, surprising, detailed analysis of Lynch's The Straight Story and Spielberg/Kubrick's AI deserve special attention.
"Is cinema a language about to get lost, an art about to die?" [Vimeo] During the 1982 Cannes Film Festival, Wim Wenders set up a static camera in room 666 of the Hotel Martinez and provided selected film directors (inc. Spielberg, Godard, Fassbinder & Herzog) a list of questions to answer concerning the future of cinema. Each director was given one 16 mm reel (approximately 11 minutes) to answer.
In present day, Garfield and Jon have oval shaped eyes, but when drawing this poster I wanted the look from the Garfield of the early 80's, when E.T. was made.
Charles Forsman (previously) has created another Spielberg/funny pages mashup: E.T. + Garfield [more inside]
Mr. Plinkett returns to review Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Cyrstal Skull. Direct BlipTV link to part 1, and part 2.
"As part of the DGA's 75th Anniversary, DGA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and three-time DGA Award winner, Steven Spielberg, was celebrated on June 11, 2011..." [more inside]
In an essay about the end of J. J. Abrams' film Super 8 (caution: spoilers!), Devin Faraci writes, "[It] would work if just clipped out and used to sell flowers or something; technically it’s well made, but narratively it’s disastrously bad and lazy. That, more or less, sums up the entire film." [more inside]
Todd Alcott has written in-depth analyses of Inglourious Basterds (Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) and Death Proof (1, 2, 3) that are pretty nifty. [more inside]
Mark Richardson muses about memory, personal history and YouTube. Specifically, he uncovered a storied 1970 Steel Mill gig (with Bruce Springsteen on guitar, audio only) that his wife's uncle MC'ed. And then the 15-year old Boss' garage band, The Castiles. And verified dim memories of seeing Andy Warhol, Bianca Jagger and Steven Spielberg discuss radios in your teeth on TV, and John Cale on a TV game show. And an old Highland Appliances TV ad. That kind of thing.
The "Raiders" Story Conference In 1978 George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, and Lawrence Kasdan spent five consecutive nine-hour days hashing out the characters and plot for Raiders of the Lost Ark. The 125-page transcript of their meetings, unreleased before now, details their insane talent and techniques for populist storytelling. (It also makes one wonder what happened to George Lucas, a man who once had a math formula for exciting cinema.) via Ain't It Cool News, unfortunately
Uh ohhh! McCloud is in trouble! Duel (1971) was Steven Spielberg's very first film, starring Dennis Weaver. If you haven't seen it before and were looking for inspiration to avoid dirt-encrusted, flammable trucks on the road, well here you go.
Who Delayed Roger Rabbit? Rich Drees lays bare the backroom bickering and production studio drama behind one of the 1980s' most successful comedies. For an encore, Drees reviews the unproduced script of Roger Rabbit II: Toon Platoon. Weep for what might have been.
The Israeli Response to the 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre and the Development of Independent Covert Action Teams is a very interesting 1995 military paper for background and analysis of the Israeli response to the slaughter of Jewish Olympians in 1972. This hot topic is at issue in Spielberg's controversial new film Munich. The film is based on a book by journalist George Jonas and a self-proclaimed Mossad agent, Yuval Aviv. The book also served as the basis for the 1986 movie Sword of Gideon.
The making of a D-Day tradition... I immediately get goosebumps when I hear the score of Band of Brothers...I'm not sure why, maybe it was my local connections (Dick Winters, Bill Guanere, Albert Blithe, Babe Heffron, Thomas Meehan, Ralph Spina, Harry Welsh, and Robert Strayer are all from Philadelphia), the surrounding suburbs, or Pennsylvania), or maybe it was because the original airings took place in the shadow of 9/11 (the premiere was September 9th, 2001, with the D-Day drop occuring in the second episode, Day of Days, on 9/16/2001), but this series will ALWAYS have a special place in my heart. Everything is done so beautifully, from the special effects, to the sound, the music, to the dutiful translation from Stephen Ambrose book to the screen. It's certainly worthy of the 9.5 out of 10 that IMDB readers had given it. Every year now since, either HBO (On Demand - you have to subscribe to HBO plus have digital cable) or the History Channel has played Tom Hanks' and Steven Spielberg's masterful WW2 epic. You can think of it as Saving Private Ryan, but 3 times as long. Even if war movies are not your thing, I can almost guarantee that they will see the human side of the soldier and becomely deeply invested in the characters. Follow the men of Easy Company from training and the running of Currahee, to the parachute jump on D-Day, through the liberation of Europe, the horror of a German concentration camp, and eventually to the end of the war, to Hitler's mountaintop retreat. I'm not the only one - check out the numerous fan sites to BoB (forum shorthand for Band of Brothers) here, here, and here, as well as entries on TVTome, Wikipedia, and Television without Pity. If you want to try before you commit to watching the whole thing, I'd recommend the episodes Day of Days, Crossroads, and the Breaking Point.
The industry-standard effects magazine Cinefex has made some articles from their archives viewable online. One of them is this lengthy and fascinating look at E.T. from a 1983 issues.
Indiana Jones and the Geriatric Star Spielberg and Ford confirm it to Fox News -- Indy will don his fedora again after Spielberg's next project. The film has a title and a script (they're mum on both). Can Harrison Ford be a believable hero at his age? He looked winded in Air Force One a few years ago...
A.I.'s chatbot from the movie's website is pretty nifty, even if it doesn't know David or recognize any other obvious questions about the movie.
Not-So-Deep-Blue! Why wait for Spielberg's AI. Play 20 Questions with a computer now. (Click on Play 20Q, then Anonymous Login if you prefer not to register).
As noted earlier this month, there are slew of websites connected to Spielberg’s AI. As it turns out, they are all part of an intricate game that stands to last long after the movie comes out. That game is called “movie marketing,” albiet terribly engrossing marketing.
A.I. is already into advertising. BELLADERMA-SRL-IT.COM, INOURIMAGE.ORG, METROPOLITANLIVINGHOMES.COM, DONU-TECH.COM, ROGUERETRIEVAL.COM, SPCB.ORG, ELECTRIC-TOYLAND.COM, KATENEI.COM, FAMILYCHAN.ORG, MARTINSWINTONDESIGNS.COM, RATIONAL-HATTER.COM, UNITE-AND-RESIST.ORG, JEANINESALLA.COM, MARTINSWINTON.COM, CORONERSWEB.ORG, TREACLE-WELL.NET, ONE-LUMP-OR-TWO.NET, OFFWITHHISHEAD.NET, ALEPH-NAUGHT.ORG, ELIZAS-TEAROOM.NET, RAVEN-LIKE-WRITING-DESK.NET, www.bangaloreworldu-in.co.nz are all part of the a.i. website.
In other news - Spielberg hijacks project (A.I.) from Kubrick's grave, hacks it and Casts Robin Williams....
Williams? Williams? I'm going to go out and kill SS myself.
Williams? Williams? I'm going to go out and kill SS myself.
A fresh shine on Spielberg's well-kissed ass.