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The Director's Idea by Ken Dancyger

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Chapter 18

Steven Spielberg: Childhood Forever

Introduction

Steven Spielberg’s films tend to convey a certain “heaviness” with regard to adult life but joy and belief with regard to the children. He is at his most effective in his films that focus on childhood, such as “E.T.” (1982) and “Empire of the Sun” (1987), and in films where the adults act like enthusiastic adolescents, such as “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981) and “Jurassic Park” (1994). His portrayals of adult life, on the other hand, are marked by destructive human behavior, such as “Schindler’s List” (1993) and “Amistad” (1997), in which Spielberg constructed stories about such human tragedies as the Holocaust and a slave revolt in such a way as to create a hero. Oskar Schindler and ...

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