‘Spielberg’ Paints Intimate Portrait Of Famed Director

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‘Spielberg’ paints intimate portrait of famed director

That early period warmly highlights Spielberg’s bonds with Lucas, Coppola, Martin Scorsese and Brian De Palma, a group that came to dominate the movie industry in different ways. Lacy also weaves in fascinating behind-the-scenes footage demonstrating Spielberg’s gift for eliciting performances from young actors on fare like “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and “E.T. the Extraterrestrial.”
If the production drags at all in its near-2 ½ hours, it’s in Spielberg’s graduation to what he describes as “mature” films, beginning with “The Color Purple” and followed by the likes of “Schindler’s List,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “Lincoln” and “Munich.”
Clearly, Spielberg savors the validation that came with those movies, although with such a rich filmography to cover, the balance might be a trifle off when the topic shifts to lesser titles like, say, “War of the Worlds” or “The BFG.”
One recurring theme involves Spielberg’s knack for communicating through the camera. Tom Hanks, a frequent collaborator, says he’s blessed with “a lifetime of cinematic language” in his head, while critic Janet Maslin notes that the director “speaks cinema as if it’s his native language.”
To anyone who has grown up consuming Spielberg’s work, Lacy has delivered a documentary that will speak to them too — one that at its best approximates the feeling of the last 40-some-odd years of movie-making flashing before your eyes.
“Spielberg” premieres Oct. 7 at 8 p.m. on HBO.

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