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Steven Spielberg: A Life in Films Preview
January 3, 2017
248 P., 5 3/4 x 8 1/4
9780300186932

Steven Spielberg: A Life in Films

by Molly Haskell

“Everything about me is in my films,” Steven Spielberg has said. Taking this as a key to understanding the hugely successful moviemaker, Molly Haskell explores the full range of Spielberg’s works for the light they shine upon the man himself. From such powerhouse hits as Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T., Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Jurassic Park, to the haunting Schindler’s List and later masterworks like A.I. and Minority Report, Haskell shows how Spielberg’s filmmaking and storytelling reflect his life and times.

Organizing chapters around specific films, the distinguished critic discusses how Spielberg’s childhood in non-Jewish suburbs, his parents’ traumatic divorce, his return to Judaism upon his son’s birth, and other events echo in his work. She offers a brilliant portrait of the extraordinary director—a fearful boy living through his imagination who grew into a man whose openness, generosity of spirit, and creativity have enchanted audiences for more than forty years.

Feature Review: 

"With sharp observations and wise judgments, the author discusses her subject's work with sprightly, accessible prose....Compact, incisive, and witty—a great starting point for those interested in Spielberg's life and art. " —Kirkus Reviews

"A swift and elegant introduction to Spielberg's life and work."--David Denby, New Yorker

"[A] slender, uncommonly absorbing critical biography...which chronicles with exquisite care and wonderfully animated prose the path leading from the ancestral milieu of mid-century Cincinnati...through the various triumphs (and intermittent misfires) in the Hollywood dream factories....Even if she may not like all of Spielberg’s films equally well...Haskell does not hold back her praise or her trenchant, frequently illuminating criticism."--Noah Isenberg, New Republic

"It’s a high compliment to any book that when it ends, you wish it wouldn’t....Very entertaining."--John Anderson, Newsday

"The exploration here is lively, the critic is deeply informed, and she approaches her mandate with a calmness of inquiry that is a gift often bestowed on the outsider anthropologist impervious to tribal influences."--Lisa Schwarzbaum, New York Times Book Review

"Invaluable....Spielberg's lucky to have Haskell. She's tough on him for his boyishness, for his recurring images of threatened masculinity, but she still gives him a fair, incisive reading, neither fawning nor dismissive....And we're even luckier to have her, as each page of her survey is as packed with pleasures and revelations as the best scenes in his best films."--Alan Scherstuhl, LA Weekly

"With sharp observations and wise judgments, the author discusses her subject's work with sprightly, accessible prose....Compact, incisive, and witty—a great starting point for those interested in Spielberg's life and art. " —Kirkus Reviews

"Haskell’s discussion of the childlike wonder inherent to many of the director’s films and her eloquent defense of some of his riskier, less successful movies is particularly valuable....Recommended for readers of film criticism or commentary."—Library Journal

"Legendary movie critic Haskell weaves Spielberg’s entire body of work through her captivating narrative, providing a poignant study of him as a person and a filmmaker." —Publishers Weekly

Molly Haskell

Jim Carpenter

Molly Haskell is the author of books that include From Reverence to Rape: the Treatment of Women in the Movies, and Frankly, My Dear: Gone with the Wind Revisited.

"Molly Haskell Reads from Steven Spielberg: A Life in Films"
January 11, 2017 at 6:00 pm
The Corner Bookstore, New York City, New York
For more information, please visit: http://cornerbookstorenyc.com/events/

"Spielberg by Haskell"
January 14, 2017 at 2:30 p.m.
Metrograph, New York City, New York
For more information, please visit: http://metrograph.com/series/series/63/spielberg-by-haskell