Gene Siskel

HBO's 'Spielberg' documentary: Fawning, sure, but also persuasive

HBO's 'Spielberg' documentary: Fawning, sure, but also persuasive

The Steven Spielberg portrayed in Susan Lacy's satisfyingly comprehensive 2 1/2-hour HBO documentary "Spielberg" is a wide-open book. It's all so clearly been about a lonely suburban boy who found solace in filmmaking and grew up to envision and direct an unforgettable list of movies about lonely boys (sometimes girls) who find cathartic resolution amid middle-American angst, war, political chaos, futuristic ennui and supernatural phenomena. Beginning, essentially, with a shark.

"He certainly likes torturing the audience," observes one of the film's many sources, film critic J. Hoberman, on the subject of Spielberg's breakout hit,...

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