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The Resource Steven Spielberg : a life in films, Molly Haskell

Steven Spielberg : a life in films, Molly Haskell

Label
Steven Spielberg : a life in films
Title
Steven Spielberg
Title remainder
a life in films
Statement of responsibility
Molly Haskell
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
A biography of the director details his many films and describes how his unique and evocative gift for storytelling evolved from experiences in his own life, including his parents' divorce and his return to Judaism after his son was born
Member of
Writing style
Review
  • Noting that Steven Spielberg has said “Everything about me is in my films,” legendary movie critic Haskell (Love and Other Infectious Diseases) weaves Spielberg’s entire body of work through her captivating narrative, providing a poignant study of him as a person and a filmmaker. She shows how the undercurrents of his youthful life are projected on the screen, such as his untraditional parents and their eventual divorce, his interest in storytelling over sports, and his simultaneous fascination with, and feelings of alienation from, his Jewish background. As Haskell observes, Spielberg’s filmmaking allowed him “to play vicariously and imaginatively all the roles denied him and other Jews not just in life but on the Hollywood screen.” At the beginning of his career, his movies (Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial) are filled with wonder and magic, but eventually they evolve into more socially conscious stories (The Color Purple, Schindler’s List) that often coincide with his personal experiences or with world events. In Haskell’s telling, he “grew up” alongside his films, letting his feelings and anxieties play out on the screen while achieving global fame and respect as “the world’s most successful movie entertainer ever.” Haskell’s biography, issued as part of Yale University Press’s Jewish Lives series, reveals how a moviemaking genius’s personal life shaped his craft and, in the process, reshaped popular culture. (Jan.)
			 --Staff (Reviewed 11/14/2016) (Publishers Weekly, vol 263, issue 46, p)
  • Film critic Haskell (Frankly, My Dear: "Gone with the Wind" Revisited) examines the life and career of Steven Spielberg through the lens of his films in this biography for Yale's "Jewish Lives" series. The initial chapters, exploring Spielberg's struggle for acceptance while growing up in largely non-Jewish suburbs in New Jersey and Arizona, provide insightful clues about the inspirations for his early films, with Haskell speculating on how Spielberg exorcised his own childhood fears by passing them on to audiences in movies such as Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. This book's narrow focus, however, as well as Haskell's understandable tendency to focus on the critical reception to the director's work, renders it more successful as film criticism than biography. Despite a frequent recourse to Freudian analysis to draw debatable conclusions about the meanings of some films, and a focus on masculinity that overlooks the appeal of much of Spielberg's work for female filmgoers, Haskell's discussion of the childlike wonder inherent to many of the director's films and her eloquent defense of some of his riskier, less successful movies is particularly valuable. VERDICT Recommended for readers of film criticism or commentary. --Sara Shreve (Reviewed 01/01/2017) (Library Journal, vol 142, issue 01, p97)
  • The acclaimed director's work examined through the prism of his Jewish faith.When noted film critic Haskell (My Brother, My Sister: Story of a Transformation, 2013, etc.) was asked to write a book about Steven Spielberg (b. 1946) for the publisher's Jewish Lives series, she was hesitant. She wasn't Jewish, and she had never been an "ardent fan." She had been hard on his early works, preferring European and art films, but many of his films she did love. To write this book would mean "confronting my own resistance," but she wanted to do "justice" to his life and art and his Jewishness—"denied, then embraced." Haskell begins this delightful book with a short biographical sketch of Spielberg's youthful anxieties, nail-biting nervousness, experiences with anti-Semitic bullying, and a parental breakup that deeply affected him. Haskell admires how Spielberg, a poor student, fulfilled his passion for film with small jobs, finally securing a position at Universal, where his short film Amblin' opened the door to success. He directed TV shows and made a TV movie, Duel, which the author calls a "mesmerizing little classic." It demonstrated Spielberg's "extraordinary technical mastery" and his knack for telling a great story and investing his audience in it. The Sugarland Express, his first theatrical work, an "epic on wheels," first paired him with cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond and composer John Williams. Haskell then briefly analyzes 28 films—from Jaws to Bridge of Spies—with ease and aplomb, lightly touching on matters of Jewishness as they come up. With sharp observations and wise judgments, the author discusses her subject's work with sprightly, accessible prose. 1941 was a "fiasco." In Raiders of the Lost Arc, Spielberg's "comic touch is unique, deft, reliable." Catch Me If You Can is his "most personal" film, and The Terminal is a "visual tour de force." Compact, incisive, and witty—a great starting point for those interested in Spielberg's life and art.(Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2016)
Biography type
individual biography
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10548772
Cataloging source
FMG
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Haskell, Molly
Dewey number
B
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
index present
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Series statement
Jewish lives
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Spielberg, Steven
  • Jews
  • Motion picture producers and directors
Target audience
adult
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
a life in films
Label
Steven Spielberg : a life in films, Molly Haskell
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 207-214) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
  • still image
  • text
Content type code
  • sti
  • txt
Content type MARC source
  • rdacontent
  • rdacontent
Contents
1.Beginnings and the Lost Ark -- 2.Steve Bites His Nails and Hears Voices -- 3.Arcadia: The Best and Worst of Times -- 4.The Kid with the Briefcase -- 5.Jaws "Open Wide" -- 6.Close Encounters of the Third Kind -- 7.1941 and Raiders of the Lost Ark -- 8.E.T., Poltergeist, and Twilight Zone -- 9.Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and The Color Purple -- 10.Empire of the Sun -- 11.Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Always, and Hook -- 12.Schindler's List, Jurassic Park, and the Shoah Foundation -- 13.Amistad and The Lost World: Jurassic Park -- 14.Saving Private Ryan and A.I. -- 15.Minority Report and Catch Me If You Can -- 16.The Terminal, War of the Worlds, and Munich -- 17.Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, The Adventures of Tintin, and War Horse -- 18.Lincoln and Bridge of Spies
Control code
000059379571
Dimensions
22 cm.
Extent
xiii, 224 pages
Isbn
9780300186932
Isbn Type
(hardback)
Lccn
2016938134
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
(OCoLC)965798426
Label
Steven Spielberg : a life in films, Molly Haskell
Publication
Copyright
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 207-214) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
  • still image
  • text
Content type code
  • sti
  • txt
Content type MARC source
  • rdacontent
  • rdacontent
Contents
1.Beginnings and the Lost Ark -- 2.Steve Bites His Nails and Hears Voices -- 3.Arcadia: The Best and Worst of Times -- 4.The Kid with the Briefcase -- 5.Jaws "Open Wide" -- 6.Close Encounters of the Third Kind -- 7.1941 and Raiders of the Lost Ark -- 8.E.T., Poltergeist, and Twilight Zone -- 9.Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and The Color Purple -- 10.Empire of the Sun -- 11.Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Always, and Hook -- 12.Schindler's List, Jurassic Park, and the Shoah Foundation -- 13.Amistad and The Lost World: Jurassic Park -- 14.Saving Private Ryan and A.I. -- 15.Minority Report and Catch Me If You Can -- 16.The Terminal, War of the Worlds, and Munich -- 17.Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, The Adventures of Tintin, and War Horse -- 18.Lincoln and Bridge of Spies
Control code
000059379571
Dimensions
22 cm.
Extent
xiii, 224 pages
Isbn
9780300186932
Isbn Type
(hardback)
Lccn
2016938134
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
(OCoLC)965798426

Library Locations

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      -33.9151421 151.2408898
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