Steven Spielberg: Crazy for Movies

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Fans of film will revel in this behind-the-scenes look at Spielberg's childhood, movies and the choices that led to his stellar career. Rubin (Margaret Bourke-White; Frank Lloyd Wright) quotes liberally from articles plus interviews she conducted with Spielberg, his family, mentors, colleagues and actors. A portrait soon emerges of a director who drew upon his childhood fears ("of trees, of clouds, the wind, the dark," even a clown doll) to feed his tremendous imagination and who began filming his first feature-length film, Firelight, at 16. Rubin corroborates Spielberg's own assertion that each of his movie ideas originates from a childhood memory (e.g., "Poltergeist is about all the terrible things I did to my younger sisters," he says). This biography offers glimpses into the making of movies and also reveals little-known aspects of the director's journey, including how he created a 26-minute, 35-mm film called Amblin' solely to show to Universal Studios (when Universal offered him a seven-year contract to direct television shows, he left college). Family photographs and film stills help document Spielberg's progress. Ultimately, the finest special effect from this peek at the man behind Jaws, E.T. and Saving Private Ryan may be its convincing message that anything is possible when one perseveres and follows his or her dream. Ages 9-12. (Nov.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Steven Spielberg is arguably one of the most revered filmmakers of the twentieth century and is likely to remain so well into the twenty-first. This book explores Spielberg's early life, family, and first films to give a new generation of filmgoers some background on this phenomenon. Beginning with the first film Spielberg made in college and interspersing family interview tidbits and photos throughout, Rubin gives readers a glimpse of events in Spielberg's life that led to some of his most interesting moments on film. Each chapter examines a different Spielberg film, offering such insights as how he made his filming decisions and how he incorporated traits of family members into his film characters. Even nonmoviegoers will find something interesting in this informative, easy-to-read biography. The information presented is never dry, and most readers have seen at least one Spielberg movie and can relate to the family stories that go along with each. One of the more engaging anecdotes centers around Spielberg's desire to make actress Karen Allen scream more realistically in Raiders of the Lost Ark. He dropped real snakes on her head in the snake scene, just as he dropped a rubber snake on his family's housekeeper so many years ago. Family photos simply add to the appeal of this slim volume. Also included are a glossary of film terms and an informative list of resources and references on both Spielberg and moviemaking. Some titles are even marked as suitable for younger readers. This book will be enjoyed by a variety of age levels. Glossary. Index. Photos. Further Reading. VOYA CODES: 4Q 2P J S A/YA (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; For the YA with a special interest inthe subject; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult and Young Adult). 2001, Harry N. Abrams, 96p,
— Lynn Evarts
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-A comprehensive look at the child, the man, and the creative genius. Based on the author's interviews with family and associates, and those previously given by Spielberg himself, the text provides readers with insight into the filmmaker's life and the motivation and imagination behind some of his biggest films. Divided into chapters based on his movies, the book begins with Firelight, the home movie Spielberg made when he was a teenager, and concludes with A.I., released in 2001. Readers be warned: not all of his films are included. The discussion of each film includes background information and how the filmmaker turned life events into hits such as Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T. The author devotes a chapter to discussion of the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation that Spielberg founded. Actual movie stills and numerous behind-the-scenes and family photographs are included.-Shauna Yusko, King County Library System, Bellevue, WA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
E.T., Schindler's List, and An American Tale-these seemingly disparate movies all came from the mind of Steven Spielberg, arguably one of the most influential people in the history of cinema. Filled with interviews with Spielberg's friends, the stars of his films, and his family, this biography presents the man behind the legend. From exploding cherry pie filling his mother's kitchen to the games he used to play to torment his sisters, it is apparent that Spielberg was destined to become a creative filmmaker. This fast-paced look at Spielberg's life from childhood through the present is filled with never-before-seen family photographs, eye-catching movie stills, and behind-the-scenes glimpses of movie-making magic. Humorous anecdotes of his early filmmaking career fill the first several chapters, making this an excellent choice for reluctant readers. A bibliography includes films, CDs, videos, interviews, and recordings, as well as books and articles. (glossary of filmmaking terms) (Biography. 10-15)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810944923
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/28/2001
  • Pages: 96
  • Age range: 10 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.25 (w) x 10.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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