Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Spielberg Presentation

Hey guys,

good work today! Here is our completed presentation minus Jo's bibliography and illustration list. See you bright and early tomorrow!

Spielberg Presentation

Presentation Introduction and Spielberg's Early influences and First Film


Monday, 28 March 2011

Presentation conclusion

Hey guys, I've put this scribd presentation of my script and details of the slides I will be using for our Spielberg symposia....

Can we all make sure we have our bibliography and illustrations all on a memory stick so I don't have to trudge through the internet to find them...

I think we are meeting Wednesday morning to iron out any creases and put together our power point....?


My speech!!

Steven Spielberg’s childhood seems to have had a massive influence on his career. He was an Orthodox Jew and suffered from anti-Semitic abuse and has been described as “A Jewish kid who felt like an alien while growing up”, later on in life in 2002 he was even a target of a white supremacist plot. His parents divorced when he was young and he lived with his father, who was often away from home. He was a fairly unremarkable boy, with nothing to distinguish him positively and it has been suggested that this could have pushed him towards the film industry:

“making movies as a way of finding the social acceptance he craved”

This can be viewed as a Freudian concept, his id craving acceptance and his ego providing a socially appropriate way of allowing this.

His Jewish background may well explain his huge interest in the holocaust and WW2 based films and documentaries, which he has both directed and produced, including: Schindler’s List, Band of Brothers, Broken Silence, Eyes of the Holocaust and Flags of our Fathers. These works show his emotional attachment to the genre due to his religious upbringing and past experiences. He has even founded an organisation which aims to record the experiences of holocaust survivors.

Other aspects arising from his childhood can also be seen in his work. Several of his films show children in danger, families with divorced parents or an absent father, which may well be a reflection of the way he felt when he was growing up.

His films also often show unremarkable people doing or discovering remarkable things, such as Jurassic Park, ET, Casper, Men in Black and Back to the future. This might be seen as a reflection on the way he sees himself: An unremarkable child who went on to be world famous and one of the most successful and influential directors and producers ever.

Sources: (accessed March 2011)

Jury convicts white supremacists

Published: July 26, 2002
By Dave Haskel

Steven Spielberg

By Joseph McBride


Published in the USA by Simon and Schuster

Oxford Revision Guide, AS and A Level Psychology
by Grahame Hill


Oxford University Press

(highlighted quotes to be put on the powerpoint)

Feedback would be awesome guys :) do I need to make it longer/shorter? anything else you want to be included? Let me know ASAP :)

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Introduction- First Attempt

Unlike the rest of the art areas like painting or music, the film industry has been underestimated for its contribution to Art. Yet, there are a lot of films which have remained indelible memories and have had a great impact on popular culture.  But it takes a lot to produce memorable film- a film which will touch the audience’s hearts-which is what only a few people in this industry have achieved. There is only a handful of Directors in the film world who are best known for their work and their name means success. Add the word ‘magic ‘  and you have narrowed the list down to Walt Disney and Steven Spielberg. As a film director, producer, screenwriter, editor, actor and video games designer, Spielberg has managed to achieve the unachievable and become one of the best known film producers in the world. When Arnold Spielberg told his son that he would have to start at the bottom of a movie  business and work way up he replied: “No Dad. The first picture I do, I am going to be the director.” This presentation will focus on his early life, career and most famous films. Sources exploring his artwork will be…………………

So this is my Introduction. Tell me what you think about it. Do you reckon it’s too short or out of the question? I haven’t added any of the published sources yet as you can see. I’ll work on the first paragraph of his early life too. :)

This is the Book that helped me out with it:
Jackson, Kathy(2007) Steven Spielberg: A biography. Greenwood Press:USA

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Psychoanalysing Steven Spielberg

Ok so I've dug out my psychology notes and compared them to what Paul told me about Steven's past and his films, which I looked up on IMDB (is that a valid source??).

Firstly, he is an Orthodox Jew and experienced a fair bit of anti-semetic abuse when he was young, and he was also a target of a white supremacist terror plot in 2002 (this is info from wikipedia so I need to back that up...). This may well explain his interest and involvement in Schindler's list among other films and he even produced a few documentaries (these films and documentaries include Band of Brothers, Broken Silence, Price for Peace, Eyes of the Holocaust, Survivors of the Holocaust, Letters from Iwo Jima, Flags of our Fathers). It's mostly the documentaries he produced that focus on the holocaust (the operative word being mostly), even his other WW2 films show his religious and personal background influencing his work. Anyway, what I was trying to get at is, that is a fairly obvious influence which will be good to include once I back it up.

He uses children in danger a fair bit, and as Paul pointed out he uses families with divorced parents or with the father not being around, the latter may well be a reflection of his childhood. He also shows alot of unremarkable people doing or discovering remarkable things (eg. Jurassic park, E.T., Casper, Men in black, back to the future etc etc). which might be a reflection on how he felt about himself, he was an unremarkable kid who has gone on to be this amazing director and producer.

However, NONE of this is psychoanalysis. It's difficult to describe on here, but Freud's theories are all about how your upbringing affects the development of your personality, and fair enough what I've said above is about how his upbringing affected his career. However, because we don't know anything more than basics like the fact that his dad wasn't around much...we can't say much more than that.
Freud is all about the id, ego and super ego being developed in the oral, anal and phallic stages when you're a baby....then defences such as repression, projection, sublimation and reaction formation are developed by your ego to protect your id....none of which really apply.

Anyway, I'm point is, I've found a bit but possibly not what you were after. Is there anything else anyone thinks is relevant that I need to look into further etc? And is any of this stuff even useful??!

I'm also a little worried we're not looking into the whole time machine aspect of this enough....

aaaaaanyway let me know what you think :D

Monday, 14 March 2011

Hey Guys, so we should probably decide who we're going to do our presentation on?
I think they'd both be really interesting ones to talk about, but Rowan Atkinson might be more entertaining? I vote him....

I looked on his Imdb page - this has obviously got all of his work on there. A lot of them being his own sketch shows, the iconic series' that is Blackadder, films like Mr Bean, The Lion King, Johnny English and Keeping Mum.
He also was on A Bit of Fry and Laurie, the origins of which were made into a documentary on GOLD on the TV a couple of weeks ago (theres a clip belowww). This was actually quite a good programme- it had loads of other comedians and acts talk about them and how they had inspired their work. Maybe these guys would be a good one to research instead? just another idea... 

if we used a comedian we could go into the history of stand up comics? charlie chaplin etc... how its evolved to what it is now, whoever we pick's early career, what they moved onto... who they inspired, what they are doing etc.

just some ideaaas :) but we should probably have a meet up soon and decide :) xxx