Steven Spielberg documentary screens this week in the US

SET to premiere globally Oct 5 at the New York Film Festival, "Spielberg" will screen two days later on US cable channel HBO. The documentary features extensive interviews with the filmmaker, who turns 71 in December, marking the first time he has participated in a project chronicling his own life and career.

As well as giving rise to the traditional summer blockbuster ("Jaws"), and getting the whole family watching a science fiction movie together ("E.T."), Steven Spielberg inspired a whole generation of moviegoers to become archeologists ("Indiana Jones") and brought man and dinosaur together in movies that marked a turning point in the history of special effects ("Jurassic Park").

Steven Spielberg is Hollywood's "Mr. Entertainment," capable of releasing a blockbuster like "Jurassic Park" and a poignant film about the Shoah, like "Schindler's List" in the same year, or a sci–fi movie like "War of the Worlds" and a historical drama like "Munich." Although this living legend of American cinema built his career on optimistic family movies, that didn't stop him dealing with deeper historical themes such as slavery, the Second World War and the Cold War.

The figures speak for themselves: Steven Spielberg's career spans almost 50 years and he has directed some 30 films, grossing $4.29 billion (RM18 billion) at the global box office. He has two Oscars to his name — Best Picture for "Schindler's List" and Best Director for "Saving Private Ryan" — as well as an honorary César and a Golden Lion paying tribute to his career. Since his big–screen beginnings in 1974, the American filmmaker has become the most profitable movie director of all time.

It is, therefore, no surprise to see a documentary made about this legendary director, who changed the movie industry. The filmmaker got onboard the project — a rare occurrence — giving more than 30 hours of interviews to Susan Lacy about his childhood — notably his parents' divorce — his obsession with the movies, the early days of his career, his films, and more. Several Hollywood personalities with whom he has worked also contribute to the documentary, including George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola, Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Liam Neeson, Daniel Day–Lewis, Cate Blanchett, Drew Barrymore, Robert Zemeckis, Dustin Hoffman, Martin Scorsese and his faithful composer John Williams.

"Spielberg" is set to premiere Oct 5 in a special showing at the New York Film Festival, before screening Oct 7 on TV network HBO. The documentary comes a few months before the release of his next movie "The Post," starring Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep. The film will be on limited release in selected US theaters Dec 22 before rolling out nationally Jan 12. This will be followed Mar 30 by "Ready Player One," marking the director's return to the sci–fi genre. — AFP Relaxnews