PTA praises Steven Spielberg's "The Post"

Steven Spielberg has actually become a better and more mature filmmaker since his E.T heydays. Take for example, some of the craft and masterful storytelling he produced between 1998 and 2006 ("Saving Private Ryan," "Munich," "Minority Report," "AI: Artificial Intelligence," "Catch Me If You Can" and "War of the Worlds"), an incredibly impressive and varied résumé. This was some of the riskiest storytelling he'd ever given us."

His technique seemed to have changed around that time. It felt more refined and less obvious. These were also some of the darkest, most despairing films he ever made. In other words, given the 30+ years of experience he had behind the camera, he just became a better filmmaker and learned from his mistakes. The way he edited, shot, and let the scenes breathe was just masterful. He also used long shots more often, a sure sign of having more confidence in his craft. His style looked simple, yet it was incredibly complex and effective.
However, something changed in recent years.  his latest, "The Post," continues in the very recent tradition of talky, slow-burning Spielberg political dramas ("Lincoln," "Bridge of Spies") of old-fashioned Hollywood craftsmanship. Spielberg's clearly going through a Victor Fleming phase of sorts, one of his idols, or, dare I say it, a Stanley Kramer phase as well, another favorite of his. Paul Thomas Anderson seems to think it's more Ophuls and I'm kicking myself for not thinking of that as well. Of course, Ophuls is all over these last few films:
[Max] Ophuls is my hero when it comes to blocking the actors and blocking the camera and the dance they do together. He’s just the best. By the way, have you seen ‘The Post’? I’d say Steven Spielberg is as good with the camera as anybody in film history,” Anderson said. “I saw it the other day, and I couldn’t believe how good he is at dealing with a lot of people in that small a space. He’s got 10 people in a living room, and everybody’s moving around, and everything seems natural, and the camera’s dancing around them, and that thing is a miracle of staging and camerawork. I can’t wait to see it again, to really look under the hood and watch how he did it.”

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