HBO debuted the anticipated Steven Spielberg documentary ‘Spielberg’ on Saturday. The documentary was helmed by director Susan Lacy and shows a never seen side of the legendary director.
While discussing being on the other side of the camera, Spielberg said he felt “uncomfortable”. Director Susan Lacy opened up about working with the successful director.
A brand new experience
The anticipated HBO documentary about legendary director Steven Spielberg finally premiered on the network on Saturday.
Susan Lacy directed film chronicles the life and career of the acclaimed director. It also reveals film themes as it weaves together discussions of his movies with an examination of his youth in suburban Phoenix, including the pain caused by his parents’ divorce.
In fact, according to Lacy, while “part of Steven is in every movie he makes,” Lacy says, his films reflect Spielberg’s thinking at various points in his life.
“‘Schindler’s List’, his 1993 classic about the Holocaust, “is about as personal as it gets for him. … ‘Saving Private Ryan’ is a monumental film. ‘Lincoln’, in terms of subject matter, is different than anything he’d made before, a quiet, interior film,” said Lacy.
The director has helmed over 30 films in his career. We’ve grown up with the imprint of his fantastic visions and the emotions of his tales in our hearts.
During the screening of ‘Spielberg’ last September, the director opened up about being the center of a documentary.
“This is a brand new experience for me,” he admitted on the red carpet in tandem with director Susan Lacy.
According to Spielberg, his familiarity with Lacy’s three decades of work on PBS’s “American Masters” eased the stress of being the subject of a film.
“There were a few times I felt uncomfortable because the questions were challenging me to retrieve memories that I had buried,” he allowed.
“Susan was very astute and compassionate to get me to talk about those moments. But there were many more moments to make me realize how lucky I am and how blessed I am. So, all in all, it was one of the best experiences I’ve had.”
On making a doc about the man
Director Susan Lacy is no stranger to docu and biography series, she spent decades with PBS as the creator of the American Masters biography series, before jumping to HBO.
“He in no way tried to steer this film; he did not see it until it was finished,” Lacy says.
“We did not talk about what I was going to do and wasn’t going to do.
“I’m a very in-depth interviewer. We were still deeply in childhood after two hours. He’s very shy about interviews; he does very few. [It’s] quite an extraordinary experience to hear him really open up.”
“It was delightful to find out that he really is as nice as I thought he was. He never asked for a single change,” she added.
“A lot of artists can’t talk about their own work or they’re reluctant to do so. He talked about the film as intelligently as anyone I’ve ever talked to.”
While Spielberg’s interviews are a huge part of the doc, there are other huge names appearing on the film.
Family, friends and fellow directors and artist deliver huge words about the iconic director. Including J J Abrams, Christian Bale, Drew Barrymore, Cate Blanchett, Francis Ford Coppola, Daniel Craig, Daniel Day-Lewis, Brian De Palma, Laura Dern, Leonardo DiCaprio, Richard Dreyfuss, Ralph Fiennes, Harrison Ford, David Geffen, Tom Hanks, Dustin Hoffman, Holly Hunter, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Ben Kingsley, Kathleen Kennedy, George Lucas, Liam Neeson, Martin Scorsese, Oprah Winfrey and Robert Zemeckis.
“You think of that young kid one day sneaking his way into a studio and manifesting his own destiny,” DiCaprio says.
“It’s a pretty fantastic Hollywood story.”
‘Spielberg’ provides fascinating information about Spielberg’s career, some of which may be surprising for fans.
After watching David Lean’s 1962 masterpiece, ‘Lawrence of Arabia’, when he was a teen, Spielberg almost quit plans to direct before he’d even started. “The bar was too high,” he said.
Obviously, Spielberg didn’t back down and watched the movie, again and again, finding inspiration and deciding that filmmaking “was going to be the rest of my life.”
As for the most recent works of the famous director, Spielberg has addressed contemporary social and political issues, including individual rights, technology, the rule of law and responses to violence, especially in a post-9/11 world.
Such as in ‘Lincoln’ and other more recent films, including ‘Minority Report’, ‘War of the Worlds’, ‘Munich’ and ‘Bridge of Spies’,
And no, he’s not stopping, in fact, there’s a lot of Spielberg to be seen.
“Daniel Day-Lewis says it in the film: ‘Most of us have a shelf life. Steven does not.’ He’ll be doing this until the day he dies. Steven loves making movies.”
Source: LA Times