I honestly believe anyone who loves movies, but especially any child who grew up in the 80’s to early 90’s owes Steven Spielberg for at least a key handful of their iconic movie childhood memories. From seeing E.T. ride across the moon witch Elliott, to seeing a T-Rex break free from it’s containment paddock these moments stick with us for life.
There’s a new documentary that just aired on HBO last weekend that gives us a look into the mind behind those moments, the man that most film buffs have in their shorthand top 5 directors lists easily, Steven Spielberg.
Director Susan Lacy gives us a look inside the man behind a lot of our love for movies in this documentary, that spans his nearly 50 year career in Hollywood. We see his early childhood growing up a movie lover, discovering his own love for movies with the classic Lawrence of Arabia , and his own childhood movies, the technical expertise on some of these makes my own high school attempts at directing look like a Uwe Boll movie.
We hear about some of the legends as well surrounding his rise to Hollywood fame such as how he snuck off the Universal Studios tour and holed up in an office and just studied film making there for months. The truth may not nearly be that exciting but I like the legend.
There’s a lot that we learn about the man in this documentary, such as his anxiety (though they never call it that in the doc) in his younger days that was only set off by making movies, which I can totally relate to. And we see his rise from upstart director to maker of blockbusters to serious director, and you can see the bits of his life that he puts into his art too after watching this documentary.
It’s already a long documentary, at two and a half hours, so I know that there were moments that they had to cut for time, but I would have loved to have had some more insight into his making certain movies, like Hook, which I still say to this day is an underrated movie, and some of his personal life is glossed over for sake of just talking about the movies, which I feel is a disservice to the man to not talk about everything.
Still though, it’s a really good tribute to the man, the legend, that is Steven Spielberg. As well as one that any film buff should have as required viewing.
Spielberg is available now on HBO Go