Amblin’ is the first completed short film shot by Steven Spielberg on 35mm

Amblin’, 1968.
Written and Directed by Steven Spielberg.
Starring Richard Levin and Pamela McMyler.

While studying at Long Beach state in the 60s, Steven Spielberg was introduced to aspiring producer Dennis Hoffman who provided the young filmmaker with a budget of $15,000 to produce a screenplay Spielberg had written entitled Amblin’. The resulting twenty-six minute short received a theatrical release in 1969 alongside Otto Preminger’s Skidoo (1968) and would prove to be his breakthrough, with Spielberg becoming the youngest director to be offered to a long-term deal with a major studio when Universal executive Sid Sheinberg signed him to a seven-year deal.

Dialogue-free for its duration and set during the hippy movement of the 1960s, Amblin’ is a romance about a couple of young travellers who meet up and decide to accompany one another on a journey to the Pacific coast. Amblin’ demonstrates Spielberg’s emerging talents as a visual storyteller and features impressive cinematography from Allen Daviau, who would later collaborate with the director on feature projects including E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), The Colour Purple (1985) and Empire of the Sun (1987).

The 30 Harshest Filmmaker-on-Filmmaker Insults in History

1. Francois Truffaut on Michelangelo Antonioni:
“Antonioni is the only important director I have nothing good to say about. He bores me; he’s so solemn and humorless.”

2. Ingmar Bergman on Michelangelo Antonioni:
“Fellini, Kurosawa, and Bunuel move in the same field as Tarkovsky. Antonioni was on his way, but expired, suffocated by his own tediousness.”

3. Ingmar Berman on Orson Welles:
“For me he’s just a hoax. It’s empty. It’s not interesting. It’s dead. Citizen Kane, which I have a copy of — is all the critics’ darling, always at the top of every poll taken, but I think it’s a total bore. Above all, the performances are worthless. The amount of respect that movie’s got is absolutely unbelievable.”

4. Ingmar Bergman on Jean-Luc Godard:
“I’ve never gotten anything out of his movies. They have felt constructed, faux intellectual, and completely dead. Cinematographically uninteresting and infinitely boring. Godard is a fucking bore. He’s made his films for the critics. One of the movies, Masculin, Féminin, was shot here in Sweden. It was mind-numbingly boring.”

5. Orson Welles on Jean-Luc Godard:
“His gifts as a director are enormous. I just can’t take him very seriously as a thinker — and that’s where we seem to differ, because he does. His message is what he cares about these days, and, like most movie messages, it could be written on the head of a pin.”

6. Werner Herzog on Jean-Luc Godard:
“Someone like Jean-Luc Godard is for me intellectual counterfeit money when compared to a good kung-fu film.”

7. Jean-Luc Godard on Quentin Tarantino:
“Tarantino named his production company after one of my films. He’d have done better to give me some money.”

8. Harmony Korine on Quentin Tarantino:
“Quentin Tarantino seems to be too concerned with other films. I mean, about appropriating other movies, like in a blender. I think it’s, like, really funny at the time I’m seeing it, but then, I don’t know, there’s a void there. Some of the references are flat, just pop culture.”

9. Nick Broomfield on Quentin Tarantino:
“It’s like watching a schoolboy’s fantasy of violence and sex, which normally Quentin Tarantino would be wanking alone to in his bedroom while this mother is making his baked beans downstairs. Only this time he’s got Harvey Weinstein behind him and it’s on at a million screens.”

10. Spike Lee on Quentin Tarantino (and the “n-word” in his scripts):
“I’m not against the word, and I use it, but not excessively. And some people speak that way. But, Quentin is infatuated with that word. What does he want to be made — an honorary black man?”

11. Spike Lee on Tyler Perry:
“We got a black president, and we going back to Mantan Moreland and Sleep ‘n’ Eat?”

12. Tyler Perry on Spike Lee
“Spike can go straight to hell! You can print that… Spike needs to shut the hell up!”

13. Clint Eastwood on Spike Lee:
“A guy like him should shut his face.”

14. Jacques Rivette on Stanley Kubrick:
“Kubrick is a machine, a mutant, a Martian. He has no human feeling whatsoever. But it’s great when the machine films other machines, as in 2001.”

15. Jacques Rivette on James Cameron (and Steven Spielberg):
“Cameron isn’t evil, he’s not an asshole like Spielberg. He wants to be the new De Mille. Unfortunately, he can’t direct his way out of a paper bag. “

16. Jean-Luc Godard on Steven Spielberg:
“I don’t know him personally. I don’t think his films are very good.”

17. Alex Cox on Steven Spielberg:
“Spielberg isn’t a filmmaker, he’s a confectioner.”

18. Tim Burton on Kevin Smith (after Smith jokingly accused Burton of stealing the ending of Planet of the Apes from a Smith comic book):
“Anyone who knows me knows I would never read a comic book. And I would especially never read anything created by Kevin Smith.”

19. Kevin Smith on Tim Burton (in response to “I would never read a comic book”):
“Which, to me, explains fucking Batman.”

20. Kevin Smith on Paul Thomas Anderson (specifically, Magnolia):
“I’ll never watch it again, but I will keep it. I’ll keep it right on my desk, as a constant reminder that a bloated sense of self-importance is the most unattractive quality in a person or their work.”

21. David Gordon Green on Kevin Smith:
“He kind of created a Special Olympics for film. They just kind of lowered the standard. I’m sure their parents are proud; it’s just nothing I care to buy a ticket for.”

22. Vincent Gallo on Spike Jonze:
“He’s the biggest fraud out there. If you bring him to a party he’s the least interesting person at the party, he’s the person who doesn’t know anything. He’s the person who doesn’t say anything funny, interesting, intelligent… He’s a pig piece of shit.”

23. Vincent Gallo on Martin Scorsese:
“I wouldn’t work for Martin Scorsese for $10 million. He hasn’t made a good film in 25 years. I would never work with an egomaniac has-been.”

24. Vincent Gallo on Sofia (and Francis Ford) Coppola:
“Sofia Coppola likes any guy who has what she wants. If she wants to be a photographer she’ll fuck a photographer. If she wants to be a filmmaker, she’ll fuck a filmmaker. She’s a parasite just like her fat, pig father was.”

25. Vincent Gallo on Abel Ferrara:
“Abel Ferrara was on so much crack when I did The Funeral, he was never on set. He was in my room trying to pick-pocket me.”

26. Werner Herzog on Abel Ferrara:
“I have no idea who Abel Ferrara is. But let him fight the windmills… I’ve never seen a film by him. I have no idea who he is. Is he Italian? Is he French? Who is he?”

27. David Cronenberg on M. Night Shymalan:
“I HATE that guy! Next question.”

28. Alan Parker on Peter Greenaway (specifically The Draughtsman’s Contact):
“A load of posturing poo-poo.”

29. Ken Russell on Sir Richard Attenborough:
“Sir Richard (‘I’m-going-to-attack-the-Establishment-fifty-years-after-it’s-dead’) Attenborough is guilty of caricature, a sense of righteous self-satisfaction, and repetition which all undermine the impact of the film.”

30. Uwe Boll on Michael Bay:
“I’m not a fucking retard like Michael Bay.”

 

The 30 Harshest Filmmaker-on-Filmmaker Insults in History

Room 666: Wim Wenders asks fellow Directors about the state of Cinema, from 1982

During the Cannes Film Festival in 1982, Wim Wenders set-up a static camera in a room at the Hotel Martinez. He then invited a selection of directors to answer a series of questions on the future of cinema:

“Is cinema a language about to get lost, an art about to die?”

The directors, in order of appearance were:

Jean-Luc Godard
Paul Morrissey
Mike De Leon
Monte Hellman
Romain Goupil
Susan Seidelman
Noël Simsolo
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Werner Herzog
Robert Kramer
Ana Carolina
Maroun Bagdadi
Steven Spielberg
Michelangelo Antonioni
Wim Wenders
Yilmaz Güney

Each director was allowed 11 minutes (one 16mm reel of film) to answer the questions, which were then edited together by Wenders and released as Room 666 in 1982. Interestingly each director is positioned in front of a television, which is left on throughout the interview. It’s a simple and effective film, and the most interesting contributors are the usual suspects. Godard goes on about text and is dismissive of TV, then turns tables by asking Wenders questions; Fassbinder is distracted (he died within months) and quickly discusses “sensation oriented cinema” and independent film-making; Herzog is the only one who turns the TV off (he also takes off his shoes and socks) and thinks of cinema as static and TV, he also suggests movies in the future will be supplied on demand; Spielberg is, as expected of a high-grossing Hollywood film-maker, interested in budgets and their effect on smaller films, though he is generally buoyant about the future of cinema; while Monte Hellman isn’t, hates dumb films and tapes too many movies off TV he never watches; all of which is undercut by Turkish director Yilmaz Güney, who talks the damaging affects of capitalism and the reality of making films in a country where his work was suppressed and banned “by some dominant forces”.

Take a look:

http://vimeo.com/16992326

666

Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick on the set of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, dir. Stanley Kubrick) (via)

“One day I said: ‘I got a joke for you – you’re dead.’ [Kubrick] said, ‘It’s not funny.’ I said: ‘Let me tell the joke. Steven Spielberg’s dead, too.’ He said, ‘Steven’s dead, oh, that’s funny.’ And I said: ‘You’re dead and you’re up in heaven and Steven Spielberg has just died and he’s being greeted at the gate by Gabriel and Gabriel says: ‘God’s really dug a lot of your movies and he wants to make sure that you’re comfortable. If there’s anything you need, you come to me, I’m your man.’ And Steven says, ‘Well, you know, I always wanted to meet Stanley Kubrick, do you think you could arrange that?’

And Gabriel looks at him and says: ‘You know, Steven, of all the things that you could ask for, why would you ask for that? You know that Stanley doesn’t take meetings.’ He says, ‘Well, you said that if there was anything I wanted.’ Gabriel says: ‘I’m really sorry. I can’t do that.’ So now he’s showing him around heaven and Steven sees this guy wearing an army jacket with a beard riding a bicycle. And Steven says to Gabriel: ‘Oh, my God, look, over there, that’s Stanley Kubrick. Couldn’t we just stop him and say hello?’ And Gabriel pulls Steven to the side and says, ‘That’s not Stanley Kubrick; that’s God — he just thinks he’s Stanley Kubrick.’

Stanley liked that joke.”

-Matthew Modine