Tag Archives: Steven Spielberg

401. Close Encounters of the Third Kind

For my final podcast, I look at how Steven Spielberg effectively remade his first feature, Firelight to deliver a message of hope.

398. Rome, Open City

Rome Open City began filming as Auschwitz was liberated and Roberto Rossellini’s film marks a crucial step in the creation of art in the wake of the Holocaust.

372. A Man Escaped

Robert Bresson’s masterpiece is a perfect example of less is more; natural acting, minimal music, off-screen sounds and restricting yourself to a 50mm lens.

371. The Right Stuff

Tom Wolfe’s superb account about the early days of NASA’s space program needed filmmakers who shared a daring similar to the maverick pilots.

366. Come and See

Widely regarded as the greatest war picture ever made, Elem Klimov’s Come and See takes its title from The Book of Revelations to deliver a vision of hell.

365. Saving Private Ryan

Released to ecstatic reviews in 1998, Steven Spielberg’s film soon suffered a backlash. Twenty-one years on it has finally come of age.

363. Arrival

No matter how cinematic, all films are nothing more than a form of writing that borrows from other forms of writing. Which is why Arrival comes in code.

361. Ex Machina

What if science-fiction were not a literary genre but a political and ideological theory. If so, Alex Garland uses Ex Machina to show us how he sees the world.

Vikings – King Alfred’s Rise and Bishop Heahmund’s Fall

How can Vikings sustain its drama? Battles are an option but what makes a good battle? It must be more than life and death.

341. Edward Scissorhands

Ever wondered where snow comes from? That and other wonders – and horrors – live inside Tim Burton’s classic.

340. Mon Oncle

Writing, producing, directing and starring in his own films Jacques Tati was a true auteur, influencing the likes of David Lynch, Tim Burton and Wes Anderson.

327. 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.

325. Munich

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

322. 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.

321. 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.

319. 2001: A Space Odyssey

For all its groundbreaking effects and narrative innovation, this owes a debt to a romantic fantasy and a Soviet propaganda film.

308. 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.

296. Un Chien Andalou

This film lasts seventeen minutes, features mutilation, insects and dismemberment. Yet it is one of the most influential ever made.

294. 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?

287. Reds

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

286. 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.

280. 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.

268. 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.

257. A.I.: Artificial Intelligence

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

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