Steven Spielberg

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Developer’s Notes – Spielberg is firmly established as the world’s most popular filmmaker. Celebrated for his mastery of spectacle and fantasy he has proved his skill as a craftsman of compelling populist drama. Like the great directors of Hollywood’s golden age, Spielberg has the facility to work across a range of subjects and genres, yet he always roots them in personal themes. This book examines every Spielberg film since Duel and includes an overview of the work of this individual director.

This book is a brilliant piece of work. Concise, yet detailed descriptions of each of Spielberg’s films, complete with background information and a rating of the film, go together with explanations of the continuous themes in Spielberg’s work and interesting information on the man himself, as well as upcoming work (i.e, AI). The writing is articulate and easy to read. The author shows a clear and in-depth knowledge of his subject.

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Steven Allan SpielbergKBE (born December 18, 1946) is an American film director, screenwriter, and film producer. In a career spanning six decades, Spielberg’s films have covered many themes and genres. Spielberg’s early science-fiction and adventure films were seen as an archetype of modern Hollywood blockbuster filmmaking. In later years, his films began addressing such issues as the Holocaust, slavery, war and terrorism. He is considered to be one of the most influential filmmakers in the history of cinema.

Spielberg won the Academy Award for Best Director for Schindler’s List (1993) and Saving Private Ryan (1998). Three of Spielberg’s films – Jaws (1975), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), and Jurassic Park (1993) – achieved box office records, each becoming the highest-grossing film made at the time.

Spielberg was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, to a Jewish family. His mother Leah Adler was a restaurateur and concert pianist, and father Arnold Spielberg was an electrical engineer involved in the development of computers.

Throughout his early teens, Spielberg made amateur 8 mm “adventure” films with his friends, the first of which he shot at the Pinnacle Peak Patio restaurant in Scottsdale. He charged admission (25 cents) to his home films (which involved the wrecks he staged with his Lionel train set) while his sister sold popcorn.

In 1958, he became a Boy Scout and fulfilled a requirement for the photography merit badge by making a nine-minute 8 mm film entitled The Last Gunfight. Spielberg recalled years later to a magazine interviewer, “My dad’s still-camera was broken, so I asked the scoutmaster if I could tell a story with my father’s movie camera. He said yes, and I got an idea to do a Western. I made it and got my merit badge. That was how it all started.” At age 13, Spielberg won a prize for a 40-minute war film he titled, Escape to Nowhere. Which was based on a battle in east Africa. In 1963, at age 16, Spielberg wrote and directed his first independent film, a 140-minute science fiction adventure called Firelight (which would later inspire Close Encounters). The film, which had a budget of US$500, was shown in his local cinema theatre and generated a profit of $1.00. He also made several WWII films inspired by his father’s war stories.

Spielberg attended synagogue as a young boy in Haddon Heights, NJ, an area which did not allow Jews before World War II. He attended Hebrew school from 1953 to 1957, in classes taught by Rabbi Albert L. Lewis, who would later be memorialized as the main character in Mitch Albom’s, Have a Little Faith.

As a child, Spielberg had a hard time accepting his family’s religion. “It isn’t something I enjoy admitting,” he once said, “but when I was 7, 8, 9 years old, God forgive me, I was embarrassed because we were Orthodox Jews. I was embarrassed by the outward perception of my parents’ Jewish practices. … I was never really ashamed to be Jewish, but I was uneasy at times. My grandfather always wore a long black coat, black hat and long white beard. I was embarrassed to invite my friends over to the house, because he might be in a corner davening [praying], and I wouldn’t know how to explain this to my WASP friends.” – more in Wikipedia

Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad

Category: Books
Released: December 21, 2009
Publisher: Andrews UK Limited
Price: $7.99 (buy app)

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