Autopsy of Michel Brûlé by India Desjardins

Spielberg in the movies

Through the usual harsh criticism that Spielberg has been getting on my nerves for a long time, I’ve heard so many good things about The Fabelmansthe last autobiographical offer from the filmmaker, who had to go see it at the cinema.

Steven Spielberg is one of those directors who takes me out of my house, because I owe him my love of 7me Art. I was 9 years old when I saw and the alien, and I don’t know how many times my heart almost jumped out of my chest. Even today, despite adulthood and sharper tastes, my heart beats when Elliott and ET fly under the moonlight to the music of John Williams…

Many have never forgiven Spielberg for being practically the inventor of the blockbuster new genre with jawsin that glorious age of movie theaters where people lined up for weeks to see a movie.

Access to Y it had not been easy. My parents, little brother, and I had waited in line for an hour and a half in freezing weather, only to have the door slammed in our faces at the last minute. The session was full, we had to wait until the next one, my parents were furious, my brother and I burst into tears, because our feet were frozen and we couldn’t stand another minute in this temperature.

Maybe it was to avenge myself for this disappointment that I went to see Y at least five times during the months it lasted. Experiencing intense emotions and forgetting everything in a dark room had become my favorite activity. Vincent Guzzo must shed a little tear reading my memories…

The pandemic, combined with the dominance of platforms and home theaters, has hit cinema attendance hard, both here and in Europe. The shock is even greater when we see The FabelmansFrom the beginning.

When Sammy, Spielberg’s childhood alter ego, sees his first movie at the theater, The greatest show in the world from Cecil B. DeMille, and his famous train wreck sequence, I experienced a strange set of mirrors. On the screen, in fiction, the room is full to bursting, while the one I was in was empty. We were less than ten spectators. Even more absurd, when I bought the tickets, I had the privilege of choosing my seat, when there was practically no one there. The icing on the cake, an employee told me that there was a heating problem in the room and that if it bothered me they could refund my ticket.

I have seen The Fabelmans all the way with my winter coat on the back closed up to the neck, and I did not ask for a refund. To be honest, I left happy. Frozen nose, but enchanted.

As we have read everywhere, The Fabelmans is effectively Spielberg’s love letter to 7me art and a tribute to his parents, in a family where he was torn between the father’s scientific spirit and the mother’s artistic temperament. The combination of both is what makes cinema, and the filmmaker remembers, as a true addictedthe devices and things he had to go through to develop his art.


Gabriel LaBelle in a scene from The Fabelmans

We tend to forget it, but one of the biggest changes we have experienced in the last 30 years has been going from a mechanical world to a digital world. The image quality of our iPhones far exceeds that of the video cameras of the 80s, that’s for sure.

If I had this huge smart TV that I have in my living room when I was a teenager, I might never have gone to the movies. And despite everything, although we have seen films many times in atrocious conditions, on tiny televisions and with cassettes of more than questionable quality, we have become cinephiles. But perhaps it is not for nothing that Spielberg refused for a long time to Y be offered in video stores.

Anyone who has taken film lessons in their life will fondly remember The Fabelmans the technical heaviness of yesteryear and the treasure troves of invention that had to be deployed. Like using a shopping cart for tracking shots or punching holes in the film to make them look like shots.

It’s moving to see young Sammy bent over his editing table, cutting film with his mitt, with a craftsmanship that forces him to see details that go unnoticed with the naked eye. I laughed until I cried when Sammy gets revenge on being bullied by a classmate, a tall, dimwitted blond boy who looks like a caricature of Nazi-according to Aryan perfection, magnified in the school’s end-of-year movie. The big tarla is so upset at seeing herself so beautiful in this mirror that she almost wants to strangle the director, because deep down he knows that he doesn’t measure up to this image.

Emotion is the fuel of the filmmaker, for whom the greatest show happens in the theater, when the public reacts to his creation – Spielberg is also the king of the “reaction shot” in my opinion. In a mise en abyme, we see Sammy looking at his movie watchers, savoring that collective emotion impossible to experience alone in his living room. In this sense, The Fabelmans makes us live the nostalgia of a time when the cinema was “The greatest show on earth”.

#Spielberg #movies

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