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Like father, like son


Elmo Lewis
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Daddy loves you...  

21 members have voted

  1. 1. click on your favorite. it's simple.

    • Duel
      0
    • Sugarland Express
      0
    • Jaws
      0
    • Close Encounters of the Third Kind
      2
    • E.T.
      3
    • Empire of the Sun
      1
    • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
      0
    • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
      5
    • Hook
      1
    • Jurassic Park
      2
    • The Lost World
      0
    • A.I.
      0
    • Minority Report
      1
    • Catch Me If You Can
      6
    • The Terminal
      0
    • War of the Worlds
      0
    • Munich
      0


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We all know Spielberg has a weird obsession regarding father-sons relationships, an obsession which dates back to his earlier films. Of course, back in the beginning he was painting with broader strokes: family men failing to keep their family together, or living up to their expectations (Duel, Sugarland Express, Jaws, if you consider Amity to be a family of sorts), which sometimes included the kids (Close Encounters of the Third Kind).

Of course, he dropped the "misunderstood adult" point of view in the 80's and embraced the kid's perspective (E.T., Empire of the Sun, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade), where he felt more comfortable at the time. He got more personal, more visceral, more shamlessly emotional - some say less intellectual, too, but that's a subject to debate. The drama here is that the father figure is either abstent, or not too clear... and usually not very interested in playing his paternal role.

But the 90's came along, and with Spielberg himself becoming a responsible father (his first son was born in 1988, and is, by the way, very into making pictures), his interests shifted back to the father perspective, this time as an adult who fails to communicate his emotions to his children, whom he barely understands (this is totally the opposite as it was in the 70's) and thus, cannot protect at first: Hook, Jurassic Park, The Lost World...

And then, in the 00's, I think Spielberg felt free from points of view and perspectives and simply used the father-son relationship as a thread to give his films some backbone. Funny all the films belonging to this stage (A.I., Minority Report, Catch Me if You Can, The Terminal, Munich and War of the Worlds) show an attempt to understand both father and son figures, instead of simply complaining that the relationship doesn't work.

Well, this was some useless typing, seeing how most of you probably knew all this already. But I wanted to know which of these films are your favorites when it comes to the father-son theme.

Feel free to cry and whisper "papa... papa..." while you describe why you like it.

P.S.- Yeah, I screwed up the timeline in my poll, so you can save informing me in an witty manner. Also, I forgot to add Raiders of the Lost Ark, so those of you who enjoy Indy's not-very-healthily seeking a father in Avner (a situation which is only referrenced to in one of the earlier scenes) should decide for a second option.

Oh, and I didn't add The Color Purple, because if that's your favorite choice you're just gross and I don't need to know that.

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Probably The Last Crusade, but Hook is the culmination of all those father/son ideas (as well as the Peter Pan theme running throughout a lot of Steve's work).

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I've been thinking about this and finally settled on Empire of the Sun. Jim's confusion on where his dad is (the real dad is missing, which leaves him wondering who to follow: the doctor or John Malkovich) was very interesting, and makes the ending all the more powerful - he doesn't need his parents anymore, he's been forced to find completion within himself.

But you have to love the father-son dynamics in Catch Me if You Can, blatant as the subject is there.

-Ross, who can't understand why people vote for Last Crusade when it's the most basic Daddy-didn't-love-me afterthought.

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Definitely Catch Me If You Can. It's hard to put it into words, but the way the father-son relationship is explored in that movie is amazing. It's a very deep movie, although it takes time and several viewings to appreciate it as such.

Where you going, Frank? Someplace exotic?

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I've been thinking about this and finally settled on Empire of the Sun. Jim's confusion on where his dad is (the real dad is missing, which leaves him wondering who to follow: the doctor or John Malkovich) was very interesting, and makes the ending all the more powerful - he doesn't need his parents anymore, he's been forced to find completion within himself.

But you have to love the father-son dynamics in Catch Me if You Can, blatant as the subject is there.

-Ross, who can't understand why people vote for Last Crusade when it's the most basic Daddy-didn't-love-me afterthought.

Its a fun relationship in the movie.

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