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Terry Gilliam Talks The "Simplistic" Films Of Steven Spielberg


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The whole problem with everyone who throws that quote around is that it wasn't ever meant as a criticism of Schindler's List. According to Jan Harlan (edit: Frederic Raphael, actually, my mistake) who

For one thing, Gilliam has a point - as always. We are all right in the middle of the trend he describes. If you deny it you've probably surrendered yourself to blockbuster booming. Personally, I've

Did any of you actually watch the interview? It was very interesting, and he clearly says that he's jealous of Spielberg, because he's so good at what he does, but at the same time he just thinks he's

Who is more simplistic? He who is oblivious to the small elements of hope and human success even within the great failure of the holocaust, or he who can see the complexity of that failure?

Gilliam can't come up with a valid criticism to save his ass. He's a fuzzy panderer.

"Spielberg is simplistic. Not grown up."

How? Where's the analysis! Not some fuzzy blanket bull shit.

Gilliam thinks Hollywood should strive to be better.

So what? Who the hell is saying Hollywood should strive to be worse?

He has said nothing that a politician couldn't improvise on the campaign trail.

And I don't particularly like Spielberg or his films. That's why someone like Gilliam is frustrating. He spouts crap without evidence or detailed analysis. There are valid criticisms of Spielberg. And then there's this politician level drivel.

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Isn't this quote YEARS old? I remember we discussed awhile back.

In any case, Gilliam is free to have his opinion. I do not share it, but it's his right. Doesn't really make me a lesser Gilliam fan because of it...nor a lesser Spielberg fan.

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Gilliam clearly deeply respects the director, but just wishes he'd be less of a conservative filmmaker, which Spielberg has definitely become. But I think Gilliam goes wrong with his apparent notion that an artist should always be capable of reinventing themselves. When one is living well into their autumn years, I should imagine the hipster hunger is greatly diminished - once the wisdom granted by decades of experience has settled in. Spielberg is just content to make the most sophisticated "simple" movies in the history of cinema, I think.

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Well, at least Stevie's films has heart and soul, which cannot be said about TG's flicks.

And that Monty Python stuff is very much dated, made by ignorant besserwissers. Humor for nerds.

You started this.

Ouch. In that case I'm a happy nerd. Monthy Python is maybe my alltime favourite comedy act. But in any case, Gilliam really only provided the animations. It was the others (mostly Cleese and Chapman) who wrote the material.

I also think there's plenty of heart and soul in Gilliam's films (BRAZIL, anyone?), but of a different kind than Spielberg's.

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Did any of you actually watch the interview? It was very interesting, and he clearly says that he's jealous of Spielberg, because he's so good at what he does, but at the same time he just thinks he's a bit too simplistic.

There's nothing wrong with being simplistic. Not every film has to be complex AND thought-provoking, and a simple well-told story is more accessible to audiences. I think what Gilliam is trying to say is that Spielberg tends to make films with a singular and/or universal themes. There's nothing wrong with that in itself.

I'm not going to apply that to every Spielberg film, but his fingerprints are present in some form.

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The problem I have with Gilliam is that he's just repeating his age-old argument with Spielberg (to which Spielberg never responded) - which goes back to the 80s when Spielberg

was still king of the box office and he wasn't. Watch the Making-of Tideland where he clearly admits that it's just envy on his part.

Spielberg responding to that would seem like bullying probably. Even though he hasn't been either the king of the box office, or popular audience sweetheart for quite a while now.

Has Spielberg ever responded to his critics?

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Again I think you all and Gilliam are confusing saccharine with simplistic.

Maybe you're right. It's one of Spielberg's detractors... as War of the Worlds demonstrates with that horrible ending. Even Schindler's List wasn't completely devoid of it.

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The problem I have with Gilliam is that he's just repeating his age-old argument with Spielberg (to which Spielberg never responded) - which goes back to the 80s when Spielberg

was still king of the box office and he wasn't. Watch the Making-of Tideland where he clearly admits that it's just envy on his part.

Spielberg responding to that would seem like bullying probably. Even though he hasn't been either the king of the box office, or popular audience sweetheart for quite a while now.

Has Spielberg ever responded to his critics?

Spielberg responded to a number of criticisms thrown at Schindler's List.

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A lot of people, american jews in particular, made statements about SL that bordered on insanity and outrageousness which is not unusual if a film about a important part of history comes out - but one by Spielberg, that made it vicious. As always, the riot died dawn and the film survived, smelling like roses.

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For one thing, Gilliam has a point - as always. We are all right in the middle of the trend he describes. If you deny it you've probably surrendered yourself to blockbuster booming.

Personally, I've seen like, what, 7 1/2 Harry Potter movies in 10 years - and I can't remember a single scene.

For another thing, Gilliam's favorite scapegoat has always been Spielberg. A love-hate relationship that seems to go back to the early 80s. Gilliam has stated many times over

decades that he dislikes Spielberg's films for being too saccharine and so on, and that "Schindler's List" would trivialize the holocaust. That's a good point, although I believe

Schindler's List still is the best-made film about the Holocaust, and that the Hollywood formula of putting things on its head (the good Nazi, the rescue of the Jews instead of what

happened to the rest of them) - just to tell a better STORY - worked fine for this particular film.

The problem I have with Gilliam is that he's just repeating his age-old argument with Spielberg (to which Spielberg never responded) - which goes back to the 80s when Spielberg

was still king of the box office and he wasn't. Watch the Making-of Tideland where he clearly admits that it's just envy on his part. :o

I don't think he he even saw a Spielberg movie since the 1990s. He's constantly referring to trends and films from 20 years ago - imagine! What's more, neither Gilliam nor Spielberg

are still relevant in today's filmmaking world, while both men simply don't seem to realize it. You have to admit it, even if you love their classic movies from the past.

Personally, I adore both directors, but not what they've done after "Schindler's List" and "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas".

Thanks for putting it all into perspective.

Alex

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