Continuing my four-part Auteur of the Week series on Steven Spielberg (you can see the first part here) I’m now going to be talking about the rest of Spielberg’s work in the 1980s. Throughout the 80s Spielberg produced hit after hit after hit, establishing himself even more as one of the greatest directors working in the business. There’s only one film in this era of his filmmaking that I don’t like, and it has nothing to do with the quality of the film. I’ll explain later. I’ve also included a film wherein he only directed a segment – the ill-advised Twilight Zone: The Movie.
This movie is absolutely fantastic. I’ve seen it numerous times and I am moved by it every time. It’s full of wonderful performances and delivers a powerful message. It was nominated for a whopping 11 Oscars and went home completely empty handed, losing Best Picture to Sydney Pollack’s Out of Africa.
With all this talk about Kathryn Bigelow being only the 4th woman to be nominated for Best Director and the first woman to win at the DGA, I think we’ve forgotten that Lee Daniels has been making history, too. I watched an interview with him today on KTLA, wherein he said he sobbed when he heard he was nominated for the DGA. Apparently, he is the first black man to be up for the honor. He’s also only the second black man to be nominated for Best Director (John Singleton was up for the honor for 1991’s Boyz n the Hood). He is also only the third black producer up for the Best Picture award (this year, there are two black nominees, the only previous nominee was Quincy Jones for The Color Purple in 1985) Also, this is the first time a film directed by a black man has been nominated for Best Picture.