Steven Spielberg

‘[I aim to] enthrall, entertain, take people out of their seats...’ - Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg knows every way there is – gentle, cruel, clever – to make us feel like children at the cinema. Consider not only his boy-heroes – from Elliott in E.T. to Empire of the Sun’s Jim Graham – but also how many childhood imaginings haunt his adults, exposing them mercilessly to the big bad world, or filling them with fear and awe. The first half of Spielberg’s career is especially rich with fantasy, asking us to surrender cynicism and enter his preferred receptive state: that of bedtime storytelling, even when wicked shocks (Duel, Jaws, WWII) booby-trap his filmography. His progression towards more ‘adult’ subject matter is maybe less key than eliding boundaries between fun and seriousness, fantasy and reality. Darker truths are to follow...

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