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Steven Spielberg, Hollywood Historian: A Debate Between Matt Zoller Seitz and Tom Carson

Publisher’s Note: I’ve been arguing with film and TV critic Tom Carson for over a decade, over all sorts of issues. One is the relative merit, or lack thereof, of the films of Steven Spielberg, about whom I’m quite enthusiastic; Tom, not so much.
  • By Tom Carson and Matt Zoller Seitz
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  • March 19, 2013 8:30 AM
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  • 12 Comments

Art That Speaks to Everybody: A Father and Daughter Chat About E.T.

[Editor's note: The following is an iChat between Press Play founder Matt Zoller Seitz and his daughter Hannah, a film student, about Steven Spielberg's "E.T.," which was released 30 years ago this week.]
  • By Matt Zoller Seitz and Hannah Seitz
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  • June 14, 2012 9:00 AM
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  • 4 Comments

GREY MATTERS: The Way the World Ends

In 2001 Steven Spielberg went apocalypse crazy and he never recovered.
  • By Ian Grey
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  • May 25, 2012 12:32 AM
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  • 1 Comment

VIDEO ESSAY: Where Experiment Meets the Mainstream

In an age of redundant remakes ("Total Recall," "Fright Night"), attempted revamps ("21 Jump Street," "The Three Stooges") and even 3D re-launchings ("Titanic 3D," "Star Wars: Episode 1 - 3D") of past Hollywood fare, it’s easy to become disheartened at the current state of film and television.
  • By Nelson Carvajal
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  • April 27, 2012 9:31 AM
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  • 0 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: Outstanding Collaborative Performance - E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial

For a pretty long time, Steven Spielberg’s "E.T. The Extraterrestrial" was the top grossing film ever made, and it’s still one of the most beloved. The title character is a space alien. Who plays him? It’s hard to even begin to answer that question. There were so many people involved, and they all contributed something. But it you rule out the obvious suspects – Spielberg, who directed the movie, and Melissa Mathison, who wrote it – it’s still a pretty long list.
  • By Matt Zoller Seitz and Steven Boone
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  • February 23, 2012 9:25 AM
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  • 0 Comments

OSCARS DEATH RACE: ADVENTURES OF TINTIN

Not to crap on two Steven Spielberg movies in a row here, because I do enjoy his work sometimes. Alas: enh. "The Adventures of Tintin"'s failure to land with me isn't entirely on the director; the source material seems like something I'd have loved as a child, but isn't something I knew before coming to the film, so I didn't get any reunion-y feelings, and motion capture may appeal to some, but is still creepy to me.
  • By Sarah D. Bunting
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  • February 18, 2012 9:53 AM
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  • 0 Comments

OSCARS DEATH RACE: WAR HORSE

In his review of "War Horse" for IFC.com, Matt Singer noted that "I did like one scene which is complete enough as its own unit of story and character that it could be pulled out of the film and played as its own short subject." The scene, of course, is the one in which said horse, Joey, makes a gallop for freedom but becomes hopelessly entangled in the barbed wire that separates the British and German lines. A soldier from each side comes out to aid Joey; for a moment, the Great War pauses to admit compassion -- and Steven Spielberg pauses to work small.
  • By Sarah D. Bunting
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  • February 17, 2012 7:57 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Raiding The Lost Ark: A Filmumentary By Jamie Benning

Raiding The Lost Ark: A Filmumentary By Jamie Benning from jambe davdar on Vimeo.
  • By Jamie Benning
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  • February 7, 2012 4:45 AM
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  • 0 Comments

OSCARS REVISITED, 1981: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK

For years after the release of his box-office breakthrough "Jaws," Steven Spielberg fantasized about directing a James Bond picture. He finally got his chance, sort of, with "Raiders of the Lost Ark," his first team-up with his old film school classmate and fellow "movie brat" George Lucas.
  • By Matt Zoller Seitz
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  • February 2, 2012 7:47 AM
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  • 3 Comments

VIDEO ESSAY: MAGIC AND LIGHT: THE FILMS OF STEVEN SPIELBERG - Chapter 6: Indiana Jones and the Story of Life

What does it mean to be a father? What does it mean to come of age without a father? These questions have been at the center of many Steven Spielberg films. Both light entertainments and dark historical dramas have considered them. The director’s evolving views on fathers and fatherhood are on surprisingly vivid display in the Indiana Jones series, which were produced by his longtime friend and Star Wars mogul George Lucas. Taken as a whole, the films feel like markers in Spielberg’s maturation.
  • By Aaron Aradillas & Matt Zoller Seitz
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  • December 30, 2011 10:37 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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