“He influenced me in the way that I’m not afraid of pure cinematic gestures,” Guadagnino said of Spielberg.
When it comes to influencing other filmmakers, Steven Spielberg is unmatched among modern directors. His ability to move seamlessly between blockbusters and more serious fare has almost always made him fans throughout his five-decade career. As he prepares to take home the honorary Golden Bear at next week’s Berlin Film Festival, some of the biggest names in the independent film world are paying tribute to him with a new story. Screen Daily.
Even Luca Guadagnino appreciates the director, whose artistic sensibilities and interest in illicit desires seem out of step with Spielberg’s more general worldview. In the interview, Guadagnino reflected on how Spielberg’s work has influenced his own filmography.
“It influenced me in the way that I’m not afraid of pure cinematic gestures,” Guadagnino said. “When you think of the Spielberg-esque shot of a character approaching a mystery off-frame with a crowning light from behind and rising music, it’s a very clear maximalist gesture, and I humbly think it influenced me. “
He continued: “That moment in ‘Jurassic Park’ when the kids are chased by velociraptors in the kitchen. Here we can encounter the idea that cinema is a place of mystery, dream and nightmares, which comes straight from German Expressionism.”
Although Guadagnino may be the first critic to cite German Expressionism when discussing the dinosaur blockbuster, the film is certainly full of dreamlike mysteries. In a recent panel with longtime collaborator John Williams, Spielberg talked about how Williams’ score helped him portray dinosaurs as children imagine them.
“When John first saw the picture, he spoke to me about the nobility of these animals. He never called them monsters, he never called them dinosaurs, he called them animals,” Spielberg said. “John really wanted to put the dinosaurs in their place, with the same awe and respect that small children have when they walk into a natural history museum and see the memorabilia of that era. They marvel at the bones, without seeing the flesh on them! I feel like a child, he made this film with a child’s heart because John knew how to make you wonder about these amazing animals.”
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