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Watching Skies: Star Wars, Spielberg and Us

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  29 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Mark O'Connell didn't want to be Luke Skywalker, He wanted to be one of the mop-haired kids on the Star Wars toy commercials. And he would have done it had his parents had better pine furniture and a condo in California. Star Wars, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Superman didn't just change cinema – they mad ...more
Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published May 30th 2018 by The History Press (first published 2018)
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A.J.
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Were you a child of the 70’s or 80’s? If so, the chances are you grew up with men like Steven Spielberg or George Lucas in your lives with almost the potency of your own parents. Watching Skies: Star Wars, Spielberg and Us, from author Mark O’Connell, serves as a love letter to a youth driven by a new kind of cinema: the blockbuster.

O’Connell came to prominence thanks to his first book, Catching Bullets, which captured his youthful, teenage into adulthood obsession with the James Bond franchise
...more
James
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another great gem to be beside CATCHING BULLETS the author's personal journey with the 007 films. Nostalgic, identifying, optimistic, funny, sad, and always full of alliteration, metaphors and passion. O'Connell takes the reader through his childhood into his adult years and still enthralled, enraptured, and full of never dying joy of the movies. That magic is mostly touched upon him like a magic wand by the works of Spielberg, Lucas, and the other makers, creators, writers of sci-fi, action, fa ...more
Jay Gabler
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Mark O’Connell and I both belong to a small, strange little generation. We were born about six weeks apart in 1975, at the bottom of a demographic dip as gen X tailed out and millennials’ parents were just finishing their drinks. Our micro-generation hasn’t really been properly defined. I suggested “disco babies” as a name for us, and now O’Connell has nominated another moniker: “sky kids.”

In Watching Skies, O'Connell suggests that our generation is defined, in pop-culture terms, as the first cr
...more
Joe Crowe
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
(Review from an early review copy.)

This book is a terrific look at growing up geeky, with touchstones familiar to those of us of a certain age who grew up with the original Star Wars, Spielberg movies-- you know. The good stuff.

O'Connell encapsulates the joy of encountering all that stuff at an innocent age, and better yet, makes the case for its effect on him (and our generation) as we grew up into bigger kids.

It's poignant, but also joyful. It's a cathartic look at a crazily creative time,
...more
Mark
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, film
Similar in tone to his “Catching Bullets”, which I loved, this takes in the cinema of George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Richard Donner and those who re-invigorated films during the 70s and into the early 80s. I’m a little older than the writer but the touchstones are the same - the films themselves, the inability to catch some at the cinema, the ritual of tracking when they’d be on TV - and that makes this a very heartening read. Mixed in with the films is the memoir of Mark’s childhood, his dawni ...more
Eric Gilliland
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mark O'Connell's Watching Skies blends personal memoir with cultural analysis. His vivid writing really takes you back to what it was like to experience these movies for any kid growing up in the 1980s. His distinct British perspective will always be of interest to American readers since movies were released at different times.
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