For years I’ve been derided for being a Steven Spielberg disser, for saying he’s been a super-hack since the late ’90s, for intensely regretting his love of Janusz Kaminski‘s milky-white cinematography, for recently loathing most of The BFG, for feeling annoyed by much of Catch Me If You Can, for hating his decision in Lincoln to depict the House of Representatives as having a large window with sunlight streaming through, for wearing sneakers to a Harvard graduation ceremony. And for my repeated declaration that his rep rests upon a 13-year hot streak between Duel (’71) and Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom (’84), and that he rebounded in ’89 with Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade but then crashed with the labored Hook but then rebounded again with Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List, Minority Report and Saving Private Ryan, but that he’s been more or less on a lumpy downward swirl ever since.
I am definitely a guy with a psychological problem for daring to say this stuff, right? I’m an asshole with an attitude, and every day Spielberg gets up, prepares himself a bowl of granola and yogurt with a cup of hot tea and then retires to his palatial bathroom and shits out little gold bars.
The kowtowing instinct toward Spielberg is so ingrained in this town that the following observation in a Kim Masters Hollywood Reporter profile is almost regarded as startling: “For years, everyone has wanted all of Steven Spielberg and taken what they could get. Spending limited time with him, I get the impression that he lives in a kind of bubble — protected by the privilege that comes with money, by aggressive partners, by loyal underlings and by the deference accorded to the most successful filmmaker in Hollywood history.” My God, she actually dared to say that insulation may be a slight factor in his creative determinations! Will THR send flowers and warm muffins to Spielberg’s office as a conciliatory gesture?