CITIZEN SPIELBERG by Lester D. Friedman
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Apr 10, 09

bookshelves: people, non-fiction, 50-books-09
Read in April, 2009, read count: 1

A look at the directing career of Steven Spielberg through War of the Worlds (2005). A bit different than I was expecting, this was an academic study of various aspects of Spielberg's films. In some ways, it was a counter-argument to (apparently) many other assessments of Spielberg's career that essentially consider Spielberg, and his friend George Lucas, as the guy that ruined movies.

Friedman makes an interesting case for the argument that many of these harsh critics are so harsh because of the incredible commercial success that Spielberg's films enjoy; if someone less well known and successful had made some of these films, Friedman's argument goes, these same critics would not have been so critical.

Friedman also takes an interesting approach, grouping the films loosely by genre instead of chronologically. I'm not quite sure I agree with his grouping of films (for instance, 1941 in the "World War II Combat Movie" group seemed to stretch it a bit for me), but this approach gave me a much better appreciation for the changes in Spielberg's films than a simply chronology ever did.

Not sure I can really recommend this book, except to someone who is really interested in academic film studies. If you're like me, I recommend just sticking to the movies, and enjoying them for what they are.
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