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Steven Spielberg: A Retrospective Hardcover – October 2, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Compiled by film historian and movie critic Schickel, this retrospective spans more than 40 years of Spielberg’s career, from Amblin’ to War Horse. Following a foreword by Spielberg and an introduction describing his childhood and education, chronological chapters on each of his films combine Schickel’s commentary with excerpts from interviews Schickel conducted with Spielberg. The book includes more than 400 images from the DreamWorks archive as well as a filmography. Although not an academic reference, its behind-the-scenes look at iconic films and glossy color photos will appeal to film buffs and fans. Recommended for public library circulating collections. --Lindsay Harmon

Review

“What makes [Steven Spielberg] A Retrospective so irresistible is that Schickel's text is just as important as the vast array of photographs that illustrate Steven Spielberg's career. Yes, it's fun just flipping through it, taking in the images representing every Spielberg film from Duel (1971) to War Horse (2011). But the 79-year-old Schickel, a highly respected film critic who spent decades reviewing films for Life and Time, has ensured his book goes well beyond the sort of picture-book mentality of more superficial coffee table books… Even for those who aren't Spielberg diehards, A Retrospective should prove interesting and entertaining.” --Seattle Post Intelligencer
 
"Compiled by film historian and movie critic Schickel, this retrospective spans more than 40 years of
Spielberg's career, from Amblin' to War Horse . . .  The book includes more than 400 images from the DreamWorks archive as well as a filmography . . . its behind-the-scenes look at iconic films and glossy color photos will appeal to film buffs and fans." --Booklist
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402796501
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402796500
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 10.2 x 12 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #320,416 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Steven Spielberg is a man that needs no introduction. Arguably the most successful (and versatile) director of all time, Spielberg has shockingly yet to have gotten a definitive biography or critical study that not only respects his work but also sees him as a restless, wide-ranging artist (Joseph McBride tried but came too short while Lester Friedman's excellent "Citizen Spielberg" is hardly available in retail stores). Richard Schickel's "Spielberg: A Retrospective" tries to right all wrongs: to provide a critical analysis on Spielberg's work, see his growth as a filmmaker, delve a little bit into his personal life and become the definitive Spielberg book to buy in public domain. In most cases, the book does its job but while "A Retrospective" is an entertaining read, to quote Oskar Schindler, it "could've done more".

If anything else, the book is worth purchasing for the photos. The photos are wonderful to look at, some that have never been available in public before, while others range from sentiment from genuinely funny to haunting to awe-inspiring. But while these photos are fabulous to view, the real strength in "A Retrospective" is Spielberg himself, who is shown to be an insightful, passionate filmmaker not afraid to admit his flaws and defend himself and the work he takes great pride in. Spielberg is not the kind of person to publicly respond to criticisms or needless bashing a la Tarantino, but here he reveals his justifications for the so-called critiques labeled at his work. For example, although he was chided for the cemetery sequences that book-ended "Saving Private Ryan", Spielberg defended these sequences by saying that he did them for the veteran soldiers, that he was honoring their fathers and grandfathers who served in the deadliest war in mankind history.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An excellent read that is less bio and more a study or retrospective of one of cinema's greatest auteurs. Insightful and eloquently written. Was particularly fascinated with the author's thoughts on A.I. after revisiting it for this book. Nice to see that he now realizes it's a masterpiece that has yet to be discovered. Worth buying to anyone who is a Spielberg fan or a true cinema lover.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great bargain for Spielberg fans!!! Breakdowns of individual films are excellent as is the photographic selection (particularly the on-set 'backstage' shots). First class all around!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Anyone that loves the movies will enjoy the personal insight into the mind of this master film maker. Pure Genius
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book for a friend who is also a movie buff, and I had a hard time wrapping it up as I was enjoying paging through it myself! It would make a great book to have out on the coffee table, as it is a decent size for displaying, and that size also makes it easy to read and provides opportunity for large photos.

If you're at all interested in movies and Steven Spielberg in particular, this book is well worth buying.
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Format: Hardcover
Page 57 Melinda Dillon I.D.'d as Teri Garr, Pg. 72 Christopher Lee I.D.'d as Robert Stack, and on pg. 187 "Saving Private Ryan" shot.. 6 guys across- they say Giovani Ribisi is number five guy, but I don't think so.. The book was fine- grabbed my attention... Although Richard Schickel does pull out a few "showy" 5 dollar words: pg. 76- I gagged at "Ur-" and "Adumbrated" in the same sentence. ALSO SPOILER ALERT... Be careful going through this book if you haven't seen all the movies... Because like most critics- the text here is mostly just revealing plot point after plot point...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have many, many books on the films of various stars and directors and this new pictorial history of the films of Spielberg is a great addition to my collection. A masterful film maker, this book explores all of his films up to and including "Lincoln". Worthwhile having.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wow, what a great book. My son in law is just getting into film making and this was a perfect gift. I absolutely detest the over-used word "awsome".......how's you're lipstick?...."awsome", how's your hamburger?....awsome, etc. The Mona Lisa is awsome, the pyramids are awsome, Michaelangelo's David is awsome....and....this book is awsome!
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