Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Brilliant Spielberg biography gets a second edition

I must have read over a dozen books on Steven Spielberg and most of them are pretty poor.

Many of them are seem to have been culled from inaccurate press clippings and unreliable witness and rushed into print. And of course it's only after you've bought the book and started to devour it that you realise that it's a stinker.

That cannot be said for Joseph McBride's peerless biography that was first published in 1997.

A proper biography in every sense of the word (McBride actually interviewed dozens if not hundreds of people in order to get the facts right) this, for me at least, is the last word on Spielberg's life. (Or it will be until the great man writes his own autobiography...)

Most impressive are the many chapters McBride devotes to Spielberg's childhood. Thanks to the co-operation of Spielberg's father Arnold as well as friends and classmates, we get a very revealing portrait of his sometimes painful early years in Arizona.

So why am I raving on about this more-than-a-decade old book now?

Well Joseph McBride has just added four chapters to it, taking the story of Spielberg from 1997 up to present.

From the product decription on Amazon:
This new edition adds four chapters to Spielberg's life story, chronicling his extraordinarily active and creative period from 1997 to the present, a period in which he has balanced his executive duties as one of the partners in the film studio DreamWorks SKG with a remarkable string of films as a director. Spielberg's ambitious recent work--including Amistad, Saving Private Ryan, A. I. Artifucial Intelligence, Minority Report, The Terminal and Munich--has continually expanded his range both stylistically and in terms of adventurous, often controversial, subject matter.

As I say - brilliant BRILLIANT biography that any Spielberg fan should own a copy of. And these four extra chapters are definitely worth buying it for a second time.
Buy the book here or read more about it at Joseph McBride's website

Spielberg's Broadway musical pilot

Steven Spielberg has always talked about directing a musical, but he's never done it. But now, with a pitch to NBC, he could be dipping his toe into the water.

NBC has agreed to make the pilot musical drama - which is being called Smash - and. although details are sketchy, it will reportedly revolve around the creation of a Broadway show.

According to EW, the script was written and executive produced by playwright Theresa Rebeck. Executive producers will include Spielberg, Darryl Frank, Justin Falvey, and Craig Zadan and Neil Meron of Hairspray fame. Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman will provide original songs for the series.

So there's a strong team being it which has got to give NBC some confidence - the only question is will audiences have tired of the Glee formula by the time it hits our screens (assuming the pilot goes to series) next year?