The Spotlight: Steven Spielberg explains when and why he decided to start making movies for adults
Steven Spielberg can do whatever he wants and pretty much does.
The man's responsible for some of filmmaking's all-time classics but the director doesn't shy away from the heavier period-piece historical dramas.
Speaking with Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins for The Director's Cut podcast, Spielberg was asked what brought about the shift from making popcorn movies like Jaws and Raiders of the Lost Ark to more dramatic work.
"I think the whole changeover for me to drama from conceptual stories ... and when I mean conceptional, Close Encounters is a concept," Spielberg explained. "Jaws is a concept. The Indiana Jones films are a concept. E.T. is a concept. But the first time I saw the power in just drama without concept was when I made E.T. When E.T. isn't even in the room I really realized, 'Oh my god, these kids are really giving me such amazing interplay and reality and authenticity and drama.'"
Spielberg credits French director François Truffaut as part of the reason he even made E.T. On the set of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Truffaut, who has a role as a French government scientist, thought Spielberg did so well directing three-year old Cary Guffey that he sound make a film with a cast of kids.
Depending on what sort of reaction he needed from little Cary, Spielberg would either unwrap presents for the toddler offscreen to make him smile or scare the living crap out of the toddler with men dressed as clowns and gorillas. Spielberg brought that same tactic to E.T. when he convinced six-year-old Drew Barrymore that the alien was actually alive. Remember the scene where [Spoiler Alert!] E.T. dies? Those are real, grieving tears from Barrymore.
"After that, I got more interested in doing films more about characters than concept," said Spielberg. "Concept was always there. I guess the first real adult movie ... I think E.T. is my first real adult movie but people will argue against that. But I think The Color Purple is the first one for me. That was the first one with no special effects at all.
"And as I've gotten older, I've got seven kids and four grandkids, I realized that as much as I want my kids to laugh and scream and hide their eyes and be entertained, at the same time I want them to take something from the experience that has some kind of value to them. Some sort of perspective on history. Something that really happened. History writes the greatest stories. The greatest stories are written by all of us in our lives. Not by an author who is creating something they never experienced."
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AND THE REST
Dude I wasn’t talking about Star Wars. I was talking about how much I enjoyed bright. Thanks though— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) December 27, 2017
No I didn’t: the films were (and remain) merely good enough. I never aspired to greatness - but I stuck the landing on good enough-ness. If my flicks aren’t good enough for you any longer, I’m sorry. But nothing has changed: they’ve always been just good enough for me. And TO me. https://t.co/pbjzmHvUSv— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) December 28, 2017
Tons of em.