Tag Archives: Steven Spielberg

248. 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?

246. 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.

242. 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.

229. 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.

227. 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.

217. Great Scenes – Part Three

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

209. 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.

208. 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.

203. 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?

200. 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.

198. 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?

195. Minority Report

Critics often chide Steven Spielberg for inappropriate optimism and not knowing when to end his films. They should reconsider Minority Report.

189. Genocide in cinema

Blighted with massacres since Biblical times, the word genocide was not coined until 1944. How has cinema faired in depicting it?

174. The Unbearable Lightness of Being

How well did Philip Kaufman succeed in adapting Milan Kundera’s ‘unfilmable’ philosophical love story?

173. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

How do you make a film about a character who can neither move nor speak, but can only blink his left eye?

157. Jaws

For all the fun stories and anecdotes about how the shark didn’t work, none of them help explain how Steven Spielberg managed to deliver a masterpiece.

150. The Bridge on the River Kwai

With this Oscar winning classic, David Lean stopped being an ‘English filmmaker’ and became an ‘international star director’.

144. The Searchers

The Searchers is both a cinematic monument and an extremely unsettling depiction of the racism that lies at the heart of America’s own mythology.

Persona – After and Before

This short video-essay position Ingmar Bergman’s Persona in terms of what came after it and what went before. It shows how Bergman visualised his central theme of identity.

141. Once Upon a Time in the West

Sergio Leone’s masterpiece doesn’t only reference American westerns. He also drew inspiration from an English film.

The Application of Colour in Production Design

This extended video-essay examines the application of colour in production design from A Voyage to the Moon and Ben-Hur through to Avatar and Gravity.

Fifty Shades of Hate

This video-essay addresses the abuse inflicted by men against women in cinema. The films are critically acclaimed, Oscar winners and box-office hits. WARNING: It features scenes of extreme graphic violence.

American Trailers

This extended video-essay charts the development and possible future of the America movie trailer. Beginning in 1912, taking in the coming of television and suggesting where it might go in the age of the internet.

136. American Sniper

Clint Eastwood’s latest film has earned 6 Oscar nominations and is breaking box-office records. But does it deserve all the controversy it is generating?

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