Tag Archives: Steven Spielberg

The Godfather

Regarded as the greatest gangster picture of them all, the passing years continue to reveal new layers and meanings in Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece.

Munich

Upon its release, Munich was attacked for historical inaccuracy, political naivety and moral equivalency. But it is one of Spielberg’s greatest works.

Yi Yi

As the title to Edward Yang’s masterpiece indicates, Yi Yi is a series of doubles; narrative, thematic, visual and aural, that deliver a subtle family portrait.

Die Hard

What makes a classic film? The plot’s originality, director’s vision, or the star’s magnetism? Paradoxically, any, all, yet none of the above. It’s the audience.

2001: A Space Odyssey

For all of 2001’s groundbreaking special effects and narrative innovation, Stanley Kubrick owes a bit of debt to a romantic fantasy and a Soviet propaganda film.

Wadjda

Precious few films celebrate the joys of riding a bike. Haifaa Al Mansour’s Wadjda is more than just a celebration; it is a dissection of an entire culture.

Un Chien Andalou

Un Chien Andalou is barely seventeen minutes long, features mutilation, dismemberment and lots of insects. Yet, it is one of the most influential films ever made.

Ida

In ancient Greece, all violence took place off stage. How can filmmakers show the violence of the Holocaust without exploiting the memory of the victims?

Reds

As Hollywood found the formula for the modern blockbuster, Warren Beatty embarked on a project examining the origins of American communism.

The Battle of Algiers

The impact of Gillo Pontecorvo’s masterpiece is so great that it extends far beyond cinema and into terrorist organisations, as well as the US Pentagon.

Metropolis

The influence of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis extends far beyond sci-fi and can be seen in films are varied as Casablanca, An American in Paris and The Birds.

Dunkirk

All boring films are alike; every great film is great in its own way. Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk belongs not just to the latter but amongst the greatest ever made.

A.I.: Artificial Intelligence

It is incorrectly assumed that Steven Spielberg turned Stanley Kubrick’s dark story into another of his child-friendly fantasies.

Writers

All films begin at a keyboard. But whether the film is about screenwriters, journalists, novelists or composers, how does cinema depict the art of writing?

Dreams

If the dream sequence is a crutch for many dull thrillers, horrors and mysteries, what makes a good one? One that challenges and stretches cinematic language.

Great Sounds – Part One

The world is so noisy, we unconsciously filter out all that we don’t want to hear. Much of film sound operates in the same way.

The Conformist

Few films are as layered as The Conformist. But whether you see it as an exercise in style, character study, or philosophical thesis, it’s a flat out masterpiece.

Blue is the Warmest Color

Blue is the Warmest Color generated controversy with its love scenes. But at three hours long, there’s more to it than that.

Great Scenes – Part Three

What makes for a great scene? Performance? Conflict? Dialogue? Visuals? Music? Combine them and you have atomic weight.

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Thirty-five years old, Spielberg’s classic was inspired by more than just the Saturday matinee serials he watched as a child.

The French Connection

William Friedkin’s Oscar-winner may be a gritty thriller but it owes an enormous debt to a classic of 19th century American literature.

Son of Saul

While cinema has a moral duty to bear witness to history, the problem is that to witness something you have to see it. How can you show the Holocaust?

Apocalypse Now

Francis Ford Coppola’s radical adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s novella is one of the most astonishing achievements in the entire history of cinema.

Reel Space/Time – Part Two

In his Poetics, Aristotle wrote that drama needs a unity of space, time and action. How does cinema deal with such restrictions?

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