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Steven Spielberg

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/Film reader Paul Bullock discovered an awesome television profile on 34-year-old director Steven Spielberg which was aired on Japanese television in the Christmas of 1982, and has been virtually unseen by American audiences. If you’re even half the Spielberg-fanatic that I am, you’ll need to watch the entirety of the special. The special features a tour through Steven’s early Amblin’s offices and his Los Angeles home, behind the scenes footage of Spielberg directing his segment from Twilight Zone: The Movie. We get to see interview clips featuring Spielberg’s mother Leah Adler, Melissa Matheson (screenwriter of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial) and his young secretary just turned producer Kathleen Kennedy (now the head of LucasFilm), Spielberg’s thoughts on 1980′s television (Cheers, St Elsewhere, Hill St Blues…etc), his then attestant Kathleen Switzer (later a producer on movies like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Apollo 18), and many others. We get to drive with Spielberg to the studio lot with his dog on his lap, Robert Zemeckis talking with his two mentors John Milius and Spielberg while they eat eel and pumpkin pie together. We get to spend some time with Spielberg sitting at the piano with John Williams talking about their music collaborations. Interspliced with clips from his early films and even some behind the scenes b-roll footage. The special also features all the vintage commercial breaks, filled with fun Japanese commercials. Watch this now, or bookmark this link to watch later.

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Original author: 
Russ Fischer

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Earlier today we were talking about the anniversary of Jurassic Park, released on this day in 1993. But in mid-1990, director Steven Spielberg wasn’t yet set to film Michael Chrichton’s novel, which hadn’t been released. Having made Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Spielberg had grown up a bit with the romance Always, released six months after the third Indy picture, and was poised to take over another film related to growing up: 1991′s Hook.

So this 1990 interview catches Spielberg in what looks now like a transitional phase, before the staggering success of Jurassic Park and the first flowering of the digital effects age and the opening of the DreamWorks era. The director talks about many aspects of his career: his non-blockbuster choices (The Color Purple, Always, Empire of the Sun) and lack of Oscar nominations for some of his work. He talks about his desire to make Rain Man, which took director Barry Levinson to the Oscars in 1989, and which Spielberg directed before commitment to Indiana Jones interceded.

This is a candid half hour with a man who was already one of the biggest directors in the world, but who also has many successes in front of him. It’s a great conversation with which to cap off your afternoon.

[The Playlist]

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Minority Report iconic head shot

It's been more than a decade since Minority Report hit theaters, but its influence on product design doesn't seem to have waned — much to the dismay of designers like Christian Brown. In a recent piece for the Awl, Brown bemoans Steven Spielberg's disproportionate influence on interface design, arguing that Minority Report's futuristic vision has fueled misguided dreams of gesture-based and touchscreen interfaces that don't really add much to a product's function — "interfaces that look good, rather than... work well."

"Human hands and fingers are good at feeling texture and detail, and good at gripping things—neither of which touch interfaces take advantage of," Brown writes. "The real future of interfaces will take advantage of...

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Minority Report iconic head shot

A large part of what makes Steven Spielberg’s movies so memorable is the visuals, with Janusz Kaminski — Oscar-winner and long-time cinematographer for the director — talking to Vulture about how he achieved some of his iconic shots. Kaminski delves into his mindset during his filming of Spielberg's movies, describing the process on titles such as Schindler’s List, Minority Report, and the recently released Lincoln. Some are helped along with CGI — like The Lost World and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull — but it’s hard not to admire Kaminski’s skill after reading through his accounts.

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Located on a rather nondescript industrial estate in a suburb of Leicester you'll find an equally nondescript warehouse unit. Nestled amongst the usual glut of logistics companies and scrap metal merchants, the building in question once housed a firm that was poised to dramatically alter the world of interactive entertainment as we know it, and worked with such illustrious partners as Sega, Atari, Ford and IBM.

That company was Virtuality. Founded by a dashing and charismatic Phd graduate by the name of Jonathan D. Waldern, it placed the UK at the vanguard of a Virtual Reality revolution that captured the imagination of millions before collapsing spectacularly amid unfulfilled promises and public apathy.

The genesis of VR begins a few years prior to Virtuality's birth in its grey and uninspiring industrial surroundings. The technology was born outside of the entertainment industry, with NASA and the US Air Force cooking up what would prove to be the first VR systems, intended primarily for training and research. The late '80s and very early '90s saw much academic interest in the potential of VR, but typically, it took a slice of Hollywood hokum to really jettison the concept into the global consciousness and create a new buzzword for the masses.

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What is Page 2? Page 2 is a compilation of stories and news tidbits, which for whatever reason, didn’t make the front page of /Film. After the jump we’ve included 48 different items, fun images, videos, casting tidbits, articles of interest and more. It’s like a mystery grab bag of movie web related goodness. If you have any interesting items that we might’ve missed that you think should go in /Film’s Page 2 – email us!

Header Photo: Star Wars in Pixar’s Up-style.

CrinimalJustice lists the Top 10 Films Based on Real-Life Crimes

Video: The 50 Greatest Movie Freakouts

So how exactly is Disney World’s new xPASS system supposed to work?

Some Photos Surface from the Set of Ron Howard’s Rush

Back to the Future creator Bob Gale asks fans to help restore the original Back to the Future DeLorean.

Watch kids reenact to scenes from The Tree of Life, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Help, Moneyball, Midnight in Paris, THE DESCENDANTS, War HorseHugo and The Artist

ShortList lists Oscar-themed hot dogs.

Star Wars Parenting Decisions.

Taika Waititi has taken to Kickstarter to try to get a US release for his Sundance film Boy.

Continue Reading Page 2 >>

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[Video Link]

Mike Springer from Open Culture says:

Terry Gilliam has never tried to hide his feelings about Hollywood. “It’s an abominable place,” he told The New York Times in 2005. “If there was an Old Testamental God, he would do his job and wipe the place out. The only bad thing is that some really good restaurants would go up as well.”

One thing that bothers Gilliam about Hollywood is the pressure it exerts on filmmakers to resolve their stories into happy endings. In this interesting clip from an interview he did a few years ago with Turner Classic Movies, Gilliam makes his point by comparing the work of Steven Spielberg–perhaps the quintessential Hollywood director–with that of Stanley Kubrick, who, like Gilliam, steered clear of Hollywood and lived a life of exile in England. Kubrick refused to pander to our desire for emotional reassurance. “The great filmmakers,” says Gilliam, “make you go home and think about it.”

Terry Gilliam criticizes Spielberg and Schindler's List

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To put the legacy of Stanley Kubrick into perspective, he made 13 movies in 46 years. In about the same amount of time, though not the same years, Alfred Hitchcock – also considered one of the masters – made over 50 films, equally about one per year. Martin Scorsese is approaching roughly the same number as Hitchcock and Steven Spielberg is on a similar pace. Even international legends like Francois Truffaut, Akira Kurosawa and Sergei Eisenstein, who all made films less frequently than those men, were much busier than Kubrick. Yet, with only 13 films in about five decades, Stanley Kubrick’s name will always be spoken alongside those as a first ballot film hall of famer. One of the best of the best.

In 1996, a documentary called Stanley Kubrick: The Invisible Man attempted to put this mysterious, reclusive, but brilliant film director into perspective and you can now watch the entire thing online.

Thanks to The Behind the Scenes Blog for the heads up. We’ve embedded part one and you can watch the additional five parts (making six total and running about an hour) at that link.

While it’s sad that Kubrick made so few films before his passing in 1999, the plus side is – because there are so few -  it’s easy to digest his entire body of work. At NYU I took a class on Kubrick and, in one semester, we watched 12 of his 13 films, missing only his first feature, the rare Fear and Desire.

Besides the obvious directorial shown in his editing, shooting and composition of shots, not to mention his ability to get incredible performances out of his actors and more, the one thing that always fascinated me about Kubrick was he never made the same film twice. It was almost as if he made a movie in one genre, mastered it, then moved along. He was like a video game player directing movies, always leveling up. “Oh, I defeated the World War II movie, let’s move onto the sword and sandal epic. Oh I beat that, let’s move on to the comedy, the sci-fi, the thriller, the horror” and so on.

Where you do rank Kubrick in your all time list?

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