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Spielberg is a two-and-a-half-hour look at the life and career of one of the titans of modern filmmaking, Steven Spielberg. And on Tuesday night, HBO threw a party fit for a legend to celebrate the release of its newest documentary.
Tom Hanks, Vin Diesel, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Quincy Jones were just a few of the luminaries who strolled through the lobby of Paramount’s Lansing Theater to honor a director who changed filmmaking forever.
American Masters producer Susan Lacy made the film with Spielberg’s cooperation, marking the first time the legendary filmmaker has ever participated in a project about his own life.
“He has never done this before. He’s never participated in a film about him. He’s never participated in a book about him. So for him to commit to this was really a journey of self-exploration for him,” Lacy told The Hollywood Reporter.
As guests sipped champagne and ate sushi, Spielberg spoke with THR about why now was the right time to finally look back on his career.
“I don’t look back. I make movies and I work a lot and I look forward all the time. I don’t often look back,” said Spielberg. “Maybe when I’m showing my grandkids E.T. for the first time, but otherwise I don’t spend a lot of time looking back on my films, and this forced me to look back and I got a good hard look at it and I was very proud of a lot of what I looked back upon and other things I wasn’t as proud of, but I think it was a very honest accounting of the body of work so far.”
He also spoke about why Lacy was the right woman to chronicle his career. “When I realized that she was an explorer and not an exploiter, I realized that the time maybe had come in my life where I can consciously agree to cooperate in a film about my career.”
Diesel credited the director with launching his career when he was cast in Saving Private Ryan. ““I hatched him in my own incubator,” Spielberg joked about the Fast and the Furious star.
Bob Odenkirk recently filmed his first movie, The Post, with Spielberg, and spoke to what made him special as a director. “He comes to set without a tight plan. No drawings, no storyboards,” he told THR. “He really finds it in the moment, with some thought obviously, but he really finds it as he goes and discovers things and gets carried away by those visions and inspirations.”
Spielberg will premiere on HBO on Oct. 7.
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