Thursday, February 2, 2012

Spielberg

It is interesting to consider which of Steven Spielberg's are his be movies art, but the irony is that the director is really little else than jittery hack without a real idea, emotion or camera move in his style who just happens to have a brilliant technical command of film making techniques. There's no doubt that he has a deep and abiding love for movies and for movie making: there are movies he's made that rise above his typical habit to pander and tell the story without a misstep. Those would be Munich, a film  on the serious side of narration that is emotionally tense and taut in the telling; it reminds you how brilliant this director can be when it comes to crating tension. I would add as well his adaptation of  Phillip K. Dick's dystopian short story Minority Report. In spite of the expected creation of a future world that looks as though Steve Jobs would have designed it, sleek, efficient and without a soul, Spielberg creates and sustains the paranoia that makes Dick's tales the amazingly knotted thrillers they are.  but he is basically a technocrat who cannot help but make you feel that he's more interested in the how of things of things instead of the how. He is, to say the least, not hesitant to use every gun in his arsenal in much of the time in order get through his plot points and the emotional resonance they are meant to convey. Resonate they do, from Close Encounters, ET and through his two new films, War Horse and Tintin,  it's a unpleasant feeling that you've been had, worked over, played for all you were worth. Emotional displacement is not one of his results.  What makes his conspicuous button  palatable, watchable is the brutal efficiency of the spectacle he provides. Fantastic and overstuffed many of his films seem to be, they are brisk and they don't waste your time; there is a calculus Spielberg has devised that makes even the most absurd of his films from being entirely a waste of time.He is, I think, a button-pushing cynic who approaches movie with the same level of sincerity the producers of "reality" television shows do. HIs seems , film by film, to care less about the artfulness of the story--subtlety,irony, character complexity--than he is in eliciting a response. On the score, his work is the most mediocre of directors currently in Hollywood. He is less honest than Michael Bay, he is less likable than Edward Wood.

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