Skip to main content

The Humanity of Spielberg


Spielberg. It’s a name synonymous with summer blockbusters. Where would we be without the talents of one Steven Spielberg? Think for a moment all of the fantastic movies he has gifted us with: Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Indiana Jones movies (all 4 of them!), E.T. The Extra-terrestrial, The Color Purple, Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List, Empire of the Sun, Hook, Amistad, Saving Private Ryan, and Lincoln, just to name a few. Spielberg’s influence of the film-making world is beyond scope.

Just for a second I wanted to compare him with George Lucas, Spielberg’s long-time friend of who I am a huge fan of. Compare them I will try, but easy it will not be. Comparing these two behemoths of the film making world is like comparing two auto giants, one of which is an acquired taste and a bit eclectic, but stylish and reliable, while the other is a 1969 Camaro. Fun. Fast, and easily accessible. Spielberg’s movies open up their doors and let in the viewer. There’s a familiarity to them. Even though we’re watching an archaeologist run through tunnels while being chased by giant boulders, or talking to aliens through the dial tone on the phone. It’s the emotion that Spielberg is able to pull out of the actors that brings us closer to the characters.

Before I wrote this blog I prepared myself by re-watching Jurassic Park and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. While taking notes, I noticed one thing; these movies are the perfect family movies. It depends on whether you want something fun and adventurous, like Indiana Jones, touching, as in E.T., or realistic, like Saving Private Ryan. There’s something for everyone. It’s a rare thing now when watching a film can be an activity for the entire family. Any violence is carefully included, but not there to put butts in the seat.

I’ve always been a fan of Spielberg, yet I am partially ashamed by the fact that I own only two of his films; the two that I watched for this blog, and it’s been years since I’ve seen E.T. (there’s something about that hospital scene that I cannot bring myself to watch). It is things like that hospital scene to which I am referring to. It is sad. It makes you feel. It’s okay to feel guys! I remember seeing Empire of the Sun when I was 13, and thinking about how the boy in the movie was only 2 years older than me. For a 13 year old that movie was a lot to take in, but it is still one of my all-time favorites. That reminds me, I need to watch that again.  

It’s such a Spielberg thing to take a hot topic and make into a movie. When Jurassic Park was released in 1993, I already was deeply interested in paleontology, almost enough to make it my career. I remember hearing chatter about dinosaurs being descendant from birds, and that T-Rex was possibly a scavenger, and lastly, Velociraptor was a highly intelligent animal, not the dumb dinosaur we believed them to be. Naturally all those topics appear in the film based on Michael Crichton’s novel. The effects were so good in that film I wasn’t sure if I was looking at a real Brachiosaur (veggie-saur) or the magic of Stan Winston’s studios. Turns out they were real! I’m being facetious of course, but that’s the magic of it all. The magic of Steven Spielberg. His movies are so immersive you forget they’re movies, because there is the human element.

When going into this blog I initially wanted to talk more about the common thread between the main characters in each of his films and find the similarities. Or perhaps discuss which literary lens I could view each movie through, psychoanalytical, feminism, Marxism, structuralism, or deconstructive. But where’s the fun in that?

Eric Onkenhout

If you like this blog you can find more of my blogs here:
You can also find my on facebook/eric.onkenhout, twitter @Ericonkenhout, and
Instagram @willshatter82

The Bearded Trio - The Site For Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and John Williams




Popular posts from this blog

Did Paul Freeman Accidentally Eat A Fly In Raiders of the Lost Ark?

The Famous Indiana Jones Fly In Belloq's Mouth Scene.  Did It Really Happen? I've always wondered if Paul Freeman unintentionally consumed a fly in this scene in  Raiders of the Lost Ark ?  It's the scene where Indiana Jones shouts down to Bellosh...I mean Belloq and threatens to blow up the ark.  Did a fly go in his mouth? I remember watching this scene back in the early eighties and my ten year old mind thought he definitely had a snack while filming.  I recall talking about 'flygate' in my school playground at the time and the general consensus with my friends was that Freeman definitely had a sneaky snack. Paul Freeman talks about the famous 'fly' scene in an interview with  and settled 'flygate:' This is a bit of a dicey question so don’t get too upset. (Laughs) A movie’s always got bloopers in it, some have a lot, and some only have three or four. And the most remarkable blooper was right before the opening of th

Star Wars VII Movie Poster - Every End Is A New Beginning

Star Wars VII Movie Poster Just saw this Star Wars VII movie poster on Kyle Newman's Facebook fee d.  The poster is by  Lyndon Berresford and Paul Bateman.  I am loving this.  Who do you think the two characters are?  Lando and Leia?  Han and Leia's children? Have you seen other Star Wars VII movie posters?  Let me know. Rob Wainfur @welshslider

Explaining That "Weird" Cut In Poltergeist. Read The Missing Scene

Why Is There A Strange Cut In The 1982 Horror Classic, Poltergeist? If you're a fan of the 1982 Horror classic, Poltergeist then you will be very familiar with that "weird" cut in the movie.  It's 32 minutes and 47 seconds in to the movie and the scene is where Diane is explaining the strange phenomenon that is happening in the kitchen.  First, she shows to Steve a chair scraping across the floor all on its own then she does the same with Carol Anne.  Steve leans up against the kitchen wall and is completely shocked at what just happened.  It's at this point Diane starts to explain the sensation of being pulled and then...A very abrupt cut.  One moment we are listening to Diane and suddenly it cuts to Diane and Steve at their next door neighbours door.  Why the sudden cut?  It's on the VHS, DVD, Blu-Ray and even the streaming versions.  Why does this awful and weird cut exist in the movie, Poltergeist?  Watch the clip below to see the cut: Well, the ans