The filmmaker and director responsible for some of the biggest box office hits ever is the subject of a new book, Steven Spielberg: A Life in Films.
Steven Spielberg just turned 70 last Dec. 18. This milestone in his life did not go unnoticed. Spielberg, after all, directed four of the biggest box office hits in cinematic history – Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T. and Jurassic Park.
At 70, Spielberg shows no signs of slowing down. His next film is called Ready Player One, a science fiction movie based on Ernest Cline’s dystopian novel. His other film, The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, based on the David Kertzer novel of the same name, revolves around a 6-year-old Jewish boy taken from his parent’s home in 1858.
Also in the pipeline is the much-anticipated Indiana Jones 5. Steven Spielberg: A Life in Films is the latest volume in the distinguished series, Jewish Lives, published by Yale. It is written by American feminist film critic Molly Haskell, whose past works include From Reverence to Rape.
Which Film Was It For You
In the book, Haskell praises a number of Spielberg’s works: The Sugarland Express, Empire of the Sun, and A.I.: Artificial Intelligence. For any number of individuals, any of Spielberg’s films could have struck a chord: E.T. The Extraterrestrial, with its poster bearing the silhouette of a bicycle-riding boy set against the moon, Hook with its star-studded cast, or even War of The Worlds, where a young Dakota Fanning looks at the camera with her pensive, headlamp eyes that make her seem like an old soul.
The Man Behind the Masterpieces
A book on Spielberg had previously been done. Joseph McBride’s Steven Spielberg: A Biography appeared in 1997. The new book by Molly Haskell is of a different kind in that it offers arguments on Spielberg’s works on feminist grounds.
Steven Spielberg: A Life in Films is filled with analyses and evaluations of films and characters. Perhaps the best part, though, is a summation of the man himself, such as the revelations in the following passage:
“He didn’t try for sex or for grown-up romance, because he wasn’t good at it. And he wasn’t one of the political or lifestyle radicals. From the early age at which he began planning his career, he knew he stood on the commercial side of the split between art and commerce.”
Steven Spielberg : A Life in Films has received mixed reviews. Ultimately, though, the book works to remind us just how much of a special kind of director Steven Spielberg will always be.