For those of you who know me, you're already aware of my falling out with Steven Spielberg. How I saw a once brilliant fimmaker get a little too self-absorbed and a little too 'political' to really say or show anything of any importance to me anymore, and how everything he's made since Amistad has just stank of someone who thinks they're more visionary than they are.
The reason I bring it up is because I've recently been in a position to watch some behind the scenes stuff on a few Spielberg projects and I've kind of managed to really put my finger on one of the things about the guy that bugs me so much. He has this annoying tendency to say "I" a lot when talking about other people's stuff. Like the way he talks about E.T., or Taken or even War of the Worlds. He always talks about the scripts, themes and ideas as if he was the guy who came up with it all in the first place. I mean, I'm the first one to acknowledge that film is a very collaborative medium and that the director has a big part in how the story gets told, but when he claims a sort of blanket ownership on the project because of it, let's just say that I think Matt Stone and Trey Parker had his and George Lucas' characters right when they spoofed them on South Park.
And speaking of George, I've recently had the opportunity to see some DVD features focusing on his work and I have to say that for all the stuff he changes, and for all the people he pisses off, I still respect him more as a filmmaker and a storyteller than Spielberg.
And bear in mind that these aren't just the random ravings of a film nut. I used to love Spielberg's stuff - heck, I still hold Jaws in the highest esteem and I'm the biggest Indy nut you'll come across in these here parts. Empire of the Sun was an amazing picture and E.T. (the original one, not the bastardized cell phone edition) still makes me cry every freakin' time I see it. Lately, though...anyone wanna watch A.I. again? Maybe some Minority Report?
Didn't think so.
That's my rant for the day. Oh, and before I forget, I just finished Bringing Out the Dead and it was a very pleasant surprise. I hope to talk about it a bit more later.