Terry Gilliam Explains The Difference Between Kubrick (Great Filmmaker) and Spielberg (Less So)

Ter­ry Gilliam has nev­er tried to hide his feel­ings about Hol­ly­wood. “It’s an abom­inable place,” he told The New York Times in 2005. “If there was an Old Tes­ta­men­tal God, he would do his job and wipe the place out. The only bad thing is that some real­ly good restau­rants would go up as well.”

One thing that both­ers Gilliam about Hol­ly­wood is the pres­sure it exerts on film­mak­ers to resolve their sto­ries into hap­py end­ings. In this inter­est­ing clip from an inter­view he did a few years ago with Turn­er Clas­sic Movies, Gilliam makes his point by com­par­ing the work of Steven Spielberg–perhaps the quin­tes­sen­tial Hol­ly­wood director–with that of Stan­ley Kubrick, who, like Gilliam, steered clear of Hol­ly­wood and lived a life of exile in Eng­land. Kubrick refused to pan­der to our desire for emo­tion­al reas­sur­ance. “The great film­mak­ers,” says Gilliam, “make you go home and think about it.”

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Relat­ed Con­tent:

Ter­ry Gilliam (Mon­ty Python) Shows You How to Make Your Own Cutout Ani­ma­tion

Stan­ley Kubrick’s List of Top 10 Films (The First and Only List He Ever Cre­at­ed)

The Best Ani­mat­ed Films of All Time, Accord­ing to Ter­ry Gilliam

600 Free Movies Online

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Comments (106)
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  • Tim H. says:

    Well, first of all, Gilliam isn’t near­ly as good a film­mak­er as Spiel­berg (IMHO), so he’s not real­ly in a posi­tion to crit­i­cize, but I’d also like to point out that Kubrick loved a lot of Spiel­berg’s movies and that’s why he entrust­ed him with A.I. (and that film did­n’t have an ‘easy’ end­ing as some peo­ple might like to believe). Some­times it might be eas­i­er for a film­mak­er to just ‘let the audi­ence fig­ure it out’, rather than giv­ing their own opin­ion and per­son­al feel­ing about some­thing. Kubrick is all about intel­lect, Spiel­berg is a more emo­tion­al film­mak­er, and I don’t think there’s any­thing wrong with that — he’s more humane in many respects. And yes, of course the Holo­caust was a huge fail­ure of mankind, but does­n’t every­body kind of know that already? It would be point­less to some extent if you just focussed on the fail­ure of it all with­out pro­vid­ing any­thing pos­i­tive at all to come out with about human­i­ty. That would be just a tru­ly depress­ing pic­ture that nobody would real­ly enjoy watch­ing.

  • WRec says:

    “Some­times it might be eas­i­er for a film­mak­er to just ‘let the audi­ence fig­ure it out’, rather than giv­ing their own opin­ion and per­son­al feel­ing about some­thing.”


    “It would be point­less to some extent if you just focussed on the fail­ure of it all with­out pro­vid­ing any­thing pos­i­tive at all to come out with about human­i­ty. That would be just a tru­ly depress­ing pic­ture that nobody would real­ly enjoy watch­ing.”


  • I agree with this arti­cle. I also rec­om­mend that peo­ple read and watch Jay Wei­d­ners analy­sis of Kubrick. It’s anoth­er lev­el to the supe­ri­or film-mak­ing tech­nique of Kur­brick.

  • Danilo A. says:

    Well, I pret­ty much agree with Ter­ry on this one.

  • Tim H. says:

    @WRec Just say­ing “Wow” with­out any real response does­n’t help your case. (And you may enjoy that kind of depress­ing film, but I know I would­n’t. Film is film. Life is life. If I real­ly want to know about the Holo­caust, I’ll read a his­to­ry book or see a doc­u­men­tary which is at least dif­fer­ent from a fic­tion­al film.)
    I pose this ques­tion to all of you Spiel­berg-haters (and by the way, I’m a big Kubrick fan as well, so I’m not try­ing to diss him): We all know that Spiel­berg can make (and has made) a Kubrick film–and quite suc­cess­ful­ly so, in my opinion–but do you actu­al­ly think Kubrick could ever have made a Spiel­bergesque film? I seri­ous­ly doubt it. Isn’t that some indi­ca­tion of Spiel­berg’s great­ness? Not to men­tion the fact that he has touched and moved mil­lions of peo­ple… Just because some­one is more suc­cess­ful does­n’t auto­mat­i­cal­ly mean he can’t be ‘great’, nor does that mean that because Kubrick was less loved by the gen­er­al pub­lic, he was the greater genius. That’s kind of ridicu­lous if you ask me; if any­thing, it should be the oth­er way around. (And no, that does­n’t mean I think Michael Bay is awe­some.)

  • Kastor says:

    Tim H. you’re an idiot.

  • Tim H. says:

    Kas­tor — and your pithy com­ment makes you out to be a genius on par with Kubrick.
    But seri­ous­ly folks, if not a one of you can even back up your lame remarks, it only makes you look like the fool­ish ones. It’s so easy to just say ‘you’re an idiot’. You’re an idiot, Kas­tor. See? So sim­ple, isn’t it? But the fact is, I don’t know any­thing about you so I would nev­er say such a sil­ly and mean­ing­less thing.
    It seems to me that Gilliam is just jeal­ous of Spiel­berg’s suc­cess as the major­i­ty of his films fail at the box office and recent­ly he has­n’t received a lot of good reviews, either, while Spiel­berg gets both most of the time.

  • Mike Springer says:

    WRec and Kas­tor,
    Why not add some­thing intel­li­gent to the con­ver­sa­tion? Fail­ing that, why not at least be polite?

  • pkultra says:

    I’m with Kas­tor on this one. Tim, you’re pret­ty much an idiot. I don’t have enough space here to explain why you’re wrong. Kubrick make a Spirl­bergesque film? He’s from the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion. He made Spar­ta­cus when Steven was still shit­ting his pants. Just because some­thing is pop­u­lar does­n’t mean it’s good, not does it make it bad. SS is good at his craft, much like Madon­na. But he’s not try­ing to do any­thing oth­er than the Hol­ly­wood block­buster., much like Madon­na is not going to do any­thing oth­er than a pop album. Kubrick walked away from that back in the 60’s. He was­n’t inter­est­ed in cater­ing to pop­u­lar tastes and social con­ven­tions, where­as SS has nev­er strayed from that for­mu­la.

  • Tim H. says:

    That’s where you’d be wrong, my friend. He makes both pop­ulist films (‘Juras­sic Park’) and more seri­ous works about top­ics that he’s inter­est­ed in (‘The Col­or Pur­ple’, ‘Amis­tad’, ‘Empire of the Sun’, etc.). Those films weren’t try­ing to be block­busters, nor was ‘Schindler’s List’, although it turned out to be one. He’s done many films which I would con­sid­er to be among the great­est ever made. And what does it mat­ter if Kubrick was from an ear­li­er gen­er­a­tion? His films over­lapped with Spiel­berg’s — he was still mak­ing them up until the late nineties. And as I said before, Kubrick admired many of Spiel­berg’s films? If he just total­ly sucked as you guys seem to assume, then why would a ‘great’ film­mak­er like Kubrick respect him so much (even enough to rec­om­mend him for A.I., anoth­er mas­ter­piece in my book)? Explain that to me, please.

  • moebio says:

    Dear Ter­ry, you do not real­ly need to com­pare a mas­ter like Kubrick with a good film­mak­er like Spiel­berg to enhance his great­ness.

  • bozo says:

    Spiel­berg’s are pre­dictable, cheesy, with an unsur­pris­ing hap­py-end­ing. It is enter­tain­ment, just a way for teenagers to kill 1.5 hour. Defo not art (remem­ber movies are suposed to be the 7th art) or the basis for a dis­cus­sion once the movie is over.

  • Tim H. says:

    bozo: You’re telling me a film like ‘Munich’ or ‘Sav­ing Pri­vate Ryan’ is a pre­dictable cheesy hap­py film just for teenagers to kill time as enter­tain­ment? He’s made plen­ty of films which don’t fit that descrip­tion. And I would def­i­nite­ly con­sid­er many of them to be artis­tic and wor­thy of dis­cus­sion. It’s com­ments like these that just prove to me how lit­tle peo­ple real­ly know about Spiel­berg and how great he real­ly is. As I said before, though, I am a big Kubrick fan as well, I just hate that a lot of folks don’t ‘get’ what Spiel­berg is try­ing to do. Why is Gilliam even com­par­ing the two guys in the first place? You might as well com­pare apples and oranges they are so dif­fer­ent. One is more opti­mistic (Spiel­berg) while the oth­er is more pes­simistic (Kubrick), but they are both great film­mak­ers in their own way. Why not then com­pare Kubrick with Alfred Hitch­cock or Mar­tin Scors­ese? I don’t see the point. In fact, it makes less sense to com­pare Spiel­berg with Kubrick because they both liked each oth­er’s work and they liked each oth­er on a per­son­al lev­el as well (ever seen the Spiel­berg inter­view on the ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ DVD?). I don’t think either man would think the oth­er as a ‘worse’ film­mak­er — it’s just ridicu­lous. I’ve seen Gilliam crit­i­cize Spiel­berg before, not just here, so it’s obvi­ous that he has some­thing against him but I don’t know where that comes from. And as for Kubrick being ‘against’ com­mer­cial suc­cess, I’m sure every direc­tor wants that to some extent — that more peo­ple like their films. After all, he did make ‘The Shin­ing’ based on a book by one of the most pop­ulist authors out there, Stephen King. And he recruit­ed two big movie stars (Cruise and Kid­man) for his last film.
    At the begin­ning of the Gilliam inter­view, he sums it up best: the big dif­fer­ence between Kubrick and Spiel­berg is that one was more suc­cess­ful than the oth­er. End of sto­ry.

  • Lester Hunt says:

    “Steven Spielberg–perhaps the quin­tes­sen­tial Hol­ly­wood direc­tor.” Wow. What a damn­ing state­ment that is! It gives me the chills.

  • Phil says:

    Spiel­berg prob­a­bly could­n’t make a good kubrick movie, but kubrick could­n’t make a good spiel­berg movie. they’re both great. spiel­berg’s an easy tar­get. it takes greater courage to admit that you don’t under­stand a “great” kubrick movie.

  • Chris says:

    @Tim H. With all due respect, “Sav­ing Pri­vate Ryan” and “Munich” are poor exam­ples if you hope to point out Spiel­berg films that aren’t pre­dictable. At any rate, I think you’ll agree it’s fun to com­pare the two, and even to include Gilliam in the dis­cus­sion as you did in your first com­ment, but is it real­ly nec­es­sary to place them in com­pe­ti­tion? (Not that I’m say­ing you are.) It’s art, not sports. BTW, aside from the weird robot glad­i­a­tor thing in the mid­dle, I liked “A.I.” a lot, too.

  • Dystopio says:

    “Kubrick is bet­ter! No, Spiel­berg is bet­ter!”
    “You´re stu­pid (but with fanci­er words)! No, YOU‘RE stu­pid (with equal­ly or slight­ly less fan­cy words)”

    Seri­ous­ly peo­ple? Are you real­ly seri­ous?? You´re sup­posed to be the result of four bil­lion years of suc­cess­ful evoulu­tion.

    Try to act it a lit­tle!

  • andrew says:

    SOOOOOOO pre­ten­tious.

    Kubrick is my favorite direc­tor, but this guy is mak­ing bla­tant­ly stu­pid remarks. Peo­ple like him are the very rea­son I detest Hol­ly­wood, not Speil­berg

  • Laurel says:

    @Tim H — Of course Gilliam is in a posi­tion to crit­i­cize. Every­one, whether it be film­mak­er or film enthu­si­ast, who knows the dif­fer­ence between E.T. and 2001 is enti­tled to have that opin­ion, or not. It is a valid one.
    Just because you don’t agree with Gilliam, call­ing him a jeal­ous mid­dle of the road film­mak­er does­n’t bring any­thing to the table, any­more than some­one post­ing that you are an idiot.

  • heather says:

    Well stat­ed, Lau­rel.

    Tim H, have a look at the foun­da­tion of Sav­ing Pri­vate Ryan.
    Huge action scene? Check.
    Star-stud­ded cast? Check.
    AMERICANS hero­ical­ly sav­ing one of their own to pre­serve the AMERICAN dream? check.

    This is not chal­leng­ing sub­ject mat­ter for an intel­li­gent audi­ence. But thats not the film that Spiel­berg makes, or tries to make.

    Spiel­berg can direct a cast, draw an audi­ence, (HUGE fan base) and get John Williams to make you cry. All on a bud­get that could end world hunger. But does he real­ly have any inter­est­ing shots? Did you leave the the­atre and have to use your brain? Of course not. Part of the splen­dour of watch­ing a SS movie is that you get to enjoy your­self. You’re rarely uncom­fort­able or chal­lenged as an audi­ence. And I get this. Its why I and a lot of peo­ple go to see Will Far­rell movies. Because we pay for spec­ta­cle; we pay to be enter­tained, and it takes you away from the monot­o­ny of real life.

    Spiel­berg directs block­busters. Thats what he does, and he’s real­ly real­ly good at it. So try­ing to com­pare Kubrick to Spiel­berg is apples and oranges. They’ve got com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent endgames.

    Gilliam knows this, he’s just fed up with Hol­ly­wood because most movies (espe­cial­ly will far­rell ones) are writ­ten for audi­ences with men­tal­i­ties of 12 year old boys. Spiel­berg is just an easy tar­get for Gilliam because he’s the first name you think of when you think about Hol­ly­wood.

  • Tim H. says:

    Fair enough.. I will make one more com­ment before I leave this top­ic: it has been said that in the enter­tain­ment field, you can either have com­mer­cial suc­cess or crit­i­cal acclaim. Well, Spiel­berg is one of the few direc­tors that I can think of who has achieved both. And to me, that is the mark of a great film­mak­er. (And just because many of his films may be escapist, does­n’t mean they are any less well-made.)

  • Zompkin says:

    Spiel­berg and Kubrick have dif­fer­ent styles. Gilliam was just using that to make a point about mass-mar­ket­ing movies and how that hurts artis­tic vision. The ques­tion is: does Spiel­berg cor­rupt his gen­uine artis­tic vision in order to mass-mar­ket his movies?
    What do you want to do with Juras­sic Park; make it a art house flick or a pop­corn sum­mer escape? Same with Munich: do you want to make that pop­corn fun or seri­ous­ly polit­i­cal?

  • bbmcrae says:

    Kubrick and Spiel­berg have both made movies I love to watch over and over. I can’t say the same for Gilliam. Yes, Brazil and The Fis­ch­er King (incred­i­bly Spielberg‑y, hap­py-end­ing, corn­ball, and a crinkly-faced Robin Williams, to boot! Gilliam, you REBEL!).

    All three of them have made awful movies, too. Eyes Wide Shut was laugh­ably bad.

  • Matt says:

    Not to troll but… Kubrick was a great pho­tog­ra­ph­er and had a fan­tas­tic abil­i­ty to tell sto­ries visu­al­ly, but… not a great direc­tor. Most of his movies plod­ded along slow­ly, in between action scenes or impor­tant plot devel­op­ments. My favorite of his, “The Shin­ing” and “A Clock­work Orange”, both con­tain long peri­ods of lit­tle going on. Spiel­berg does a good job visu­al­ly, but most of his tal­ent lies in tran­si­tions and ten­sion. “Sav­ing Pri­vate Ryan” is a prime exam­ple, a very sim­ple sto­ry shot in very desat­u­rat­ed col­or, told thru the words and eyes of the char­ac­ters.

  • Stephanisat says:

    from Heather: “Tim H, have a look at the foun­da­tion of Sav­ing Pri­vate Ryan.
    Huge action scene? Check.
    Star-stud­ded cast? Check.
    AMERICANS hero­ical­ly sav­ing one of their own to pre­serve the AMERICAN dream? check.

    This is not chal­leng­ing sub­ject mat­ter for an intel­li­gent audi­ence. But thats not the film that Spiel­berg makes, or tries to make.”

    If you saw Sav­ing Pri­vate Ryan, you would know that was not the point of the film at all. Yes, the plot was to find Pri­vate Ryan and return him home safe­ly, but that was not the mes­sage. The mes­sage was about how he, Pri­vate Ryan, lived after Cap­tain Miller sac­ri­ficed his own life for him. The ques­tion I left the the­ater with was the same. How am I liv­ing my life? What am I doing to hon­or all of the sac­ri­fices peo­ple have made for me? Yes, Spiel­berg makes block­busters, but he also includes a thought-pro­vok­ing mes­sage if you just pay atten­tion.

  • Larry says:

    Every sin­gle one of Spiel­berg & Gilliam’s films are shit.

  • cst says:

    I admire Gilliam great­ly (more than I do Spiel­berg OR Kubrick, actu­al­ly), but it must be not­ed that he DOES have a per­son­al ax to grind here; Spiel­berg (who was Uni­ver­sal’s hottest prop­er­ty at the time)refused to use his con­sid­er­able clout to help Gilliam when he was fight­ing with the stu­dio over BRAZIL.

  • JHD says:

    Warhorse: a movie about a horse.…at war. The end.

  • JHD says:

    I would also like to add: I find it incred­i­bly inter­est­ing that Speil­berg, for good or ill, owes his whole career to a bro­ken mechan­i­cal shark.…if Steve had had his druthers, and trust­ed his instincts, Jaws (still his best film) would have been any oth­er B exploita­tion film (which is still awesome)…but the big fish break­ing forced him to be more eco­nom­i­cal with the shark, there­for height­en­ing the ten­sion and suspense.…the prob­lem with every sin­gle film after­wards was that the shark did­n’t break.

  • Deb says:

    Spiel­berg is pop­u­lar because he appeals to the main­stream; he’s sim­ple, con­trite, pred­i­ca­ble, and smarmy so nat­u­ral­ly every­one loves it. There is absolute­ly no com­par­i­son between Spiel­berg and Kubrick, it would be like com­par­ing Mitch Albom to William Shake­speare and it’s unfor­tu­nate that there’s more peo­ple famil­iar with “Tues­days with Mau­rie” than there is “Ham­let”. I total­ly agree with Gilliam. Hol­ly­wood is a vast waste­land of mediocre at best pro­duc­tions. It isn’t artis­tic jeal­ous­ly, it’s the truth.

  • s says:

    Aren’t we talk­ing apples and oranges here? And what did Gilliam‑a great tal­ent him­self- think of A.I.?

  • John Gaines says:

    Sor­ry, Sav­ing Pri­vate Ryan is TOTALLY pre­dictable. Mind you much of it is very good, but it’s for­mu­la­ic and sand­wiched between too incred­i­bly stale slices of cheesy bread.

    Spiel­berg is a good film­mak­er, but no he is not a great film­mak­er.
    And for those claim­ing that Gilliam is jeal­ous because his films haven’t been reviewed well or sold out well late­ly, that’s a fool­ish cri­te­ri­on.
    Titan­ic is one of the biggest mon­ey­mak­ers of all time and that film is crap from begin­ning to end. Hack sto­ry­telling, cheesy dia­logue, over­long and over­wrought. Try an actu­al stan­dard.

  • TG says:

    I agree with Zomp­kin; Gilliam may have an axe to grind, but it’s big­ger than Spiel­berg. It’s a film indus­try that pan­ders to the low­est com­mon denom­i­na­tor, and an audi­ence that mis­takes that pan­der­ing for art. I see noth­ing wrong with Speieberg’s style; it is what it is.I DO see some­thing wrong with Hol­ly­wood foist­ing the “hap­py end­ing” arche­type on every­thing that cross­es its desk. Spiel­berg is just a focus for his argu­ment, IMHO. I lean toward Kubrick on the style-o-meter, but would prob­a­bly go bat­ty if Hol­ly­wood made him the arche­type. Then we’d be com­plain­ing about moral ambi­gu­i­ty and unre­solved end­ings, and wish­ing for good old fash­ioned sto­ry­telil­ng

  • TG says:

    Come to think of it, I remem­ber read­ing that exact line sev­er­al times in ref­er­ence to Spiel­berg movie like “Raiders of the Lost Ark” when they were first released. Hmm­m­mm.

  • jfillias says:

    (Im french so m eng­lish are not very good)Terry Gilliam sucks, he direct­ed might be some great films (Brazil) but his jugdment about god, that is to say Steven“THE FILMMAKER“Spielberg, are abso­lut­ly ridicu­lous, so lit­tle Ter­ry, go fuck your­self in jail!!!

  • jvile says:

    I agree with Gilliam. He’s not crit­i­ciz­ing Spiel­berg’s abil­i­ties as a direc­tor but his work under a Hol­ly­wood sys­tem. I love Spiel­berg movies but Gilliam makes a good point. It makes you won­der how much is a direc­tor will­ing to give up to see their vision come to life in the big screen?

  • Camille says:

    Tim H. has a point!

  • David says:

    I love Kubrick.
    I love Spiel­berg.
    I love Gilliam.

    Every time I see one of these dis­cus­sions, it’s always one pit­ted against the oth­er against the oth­er. Why is this? Am I the only one who feels that all three are gen­uine mas­ters of their craft in entire­ly dif­fer­ent ways? Are they real­ly so fun­da­men­tal­ly dif­fer­ent from one anoth­er? Hon­est­ly, I’m not so sure.

  • nolanknightscorsesegoodfellas says:

    Fuck gilliam and fuck kubrick

  • Steven says:

    I think Gilliam is spot on here. Spiel­berg is an immense­ly tal­ent­ed film­mak­er, from a tech­ni­cal stand­point, but he does­n’t make great films because he lacks in artis­tic vision and cre­ativ­i­ty. Kubrick was a much bet­ter artist than Spiel­berg, as Gilliam is. Brazil is more cre­ative and intel­lec­tu­al­ly chal­leng­ing than any film Spiel­berg has ever made. Spiel­berg is an enter­tain­er and Gilliam and Kubrick are artists, for the most part. Sav­ing Pri­vate Ryan is the per­fect film for me to make an enter­tain­ment vs art com­par­i­son. The Thin Red Line came out the same year as Sav­ing Pri­vate Ryan. Sav­ing Pri­vate Ryan is enter­tain­ment and The Thin Red Line is art. One must only watch the two to eas­i­ly dis­cov­er the dif­fer­ence. I sense that Gilliam vast­ly prefers The Thin Red Line and that Kubrick prob­a­bly did to.

  • dwayne pumblechook says:

    Ter­ry Gilliam does­nt have a mir­ror in his house.Forget his cri­tique of SS and SK.As an director/artiste he does in pub­lic what ado­les­cent chil­dren do in the pri­va­cy of their bed­rooms with­out the mess.His films are unwatch­able dri­vvle.

  • Jamie says:

    E.T. is the great­est movie any­one has ever made. Peri­od.

  • Gregorian Chant says:

    True art is angsty. Every­one knows that.

  • srm1138 says:

    Spiel­berg is good, but for­mu­la­ic. Dis­ney for adults.

  • Geoff Swenson says:

    I have seen Spiel­berg pic­tures that were good fun but I still thought they were low art. His more seri­ous pic­tures are some­how unwatch­able, I’ve turned them off. I nev­er felt like I want­ed to see all the strug­gle and vio­lence just to see Pri­vate Ryan get Saved.

    But I have seen most of Ter­ry Gilliam’s pic­tures, and I enjoyed them all. He may be a bit more of an enter­tain­er than Kubrick, but there is some­thing deeply inter­est­ing about his best movies.

    I did­n’t even know if I liked Time Ban­dits the first time I saw it, but then I end­ed up see­ing it sev­er­al more times and grew to love the movie and its strange end­ing.

    Kubrick­’s 2001 Space Odyssey was a ground­break­ing film in sub­ject, beau­ti­ful cin­e­matog­ra­phy, and has an end­ing that leaves you think­ing. I was too young when I saw it the first time, but years lat­er as an adult it still is a thought­ful, beau­ti­ful film.

    Where­as Spiel­berg is most­ly an enter­tain­er. He isn’t into mak­ing you think deeply, even in his more seri­ous films, which is prob­a­bly why I turn them off they are just too SERIOUS, and don’t have that deft touch that let you come to your own con­clu­sions about the point of the movie.

  • Noah says:

    It would be so nice if peo­ple were allowed to enjoy both Titan­ic, and 2001, and both E.T., and Bar­ry Lyn­don, and this and that and so on and so forth. It real­ly would. But, I sup­pose not. We are forced to have to enjoy one while call­ing the oth­er side crap.

  • mr goat says:

    truth! how can peo­ple argue? they are not even film-mak­ers. Sor­ry IPhones don’t cut it kid­dies.

    But peo­ple do go away from Speil­ber­gy movies with dis­cus­sion, only about Tech­ni­cal things — CGI, action sequences, cam­era shots ect.

    You could do that with Kubrick, but there is that pro­found humane dark ele­ment that makes peo­ple talk that is OBVIOUSLY miss­ing from Speil­berg. Even in Jaws.

  • Chris says:

    In the end, my prim­i­tive brain that always sep­a­rates good from bad, and has few­er (but more awe­some) friends is usu­al­ly right. To argue on this sub­ject is like com­par­ing Jour­ney to Son­ic Youth. Either way, the equa­tion goes some­thing like this: Spielberg=Gay, Kubrick=Cool. ( I mean Dis­ney Gay, not West Hol­ly­wood Gay) You either get it or you don’t. Car­ry on, now.

  • Chris says:

    In “2001:Filming the Future” Kubrick was quot­ed as say­ing (in response to a com­ment made to him by the actor/comedian Jer­ry Lewis) “…Actu­al­ly you can (pol­ish a turd)…if you freeze it.”
    So there you have it.

  • Kit says:

    “Peo­ple don’t Boo nobod­ies” and I’m hear­ing a lot of Boo’ing…

  • chariotdrvr14 says:

    I also think Tim H. is all wet.
    Spiel­berg is a mas­ter at what he does…to a point. He relies heav­i­ly on the formula…the arc of highs and lows. He nev­er real­ly devi­ates from it and he’s very schmaltzy and heavy hand­ed.
    I always thought with ‘Schindler’s List’ that it had three sep­a­rate end­ings. Every­time he was at a point where he could’ve left it short and poignant…he went fur­ther with it.
    Kubrick on the oth­er hand was always very eco­nom­i­cal and sub­tle. Some of his most pow­er­ful film moments were care­ful­ly and light­ly played, but would haunt the view­er end­less­ly.
    Spiel­berg goes for quick obvi­ous reac­tions while Kubrick wants his sto­ry to roll around inside your brain for a long time.
    But, peo­ple like the dif­fer­ent approach­es… they need dif­fer­ent film expe­ri­ences at dif­fer­ent times. So, of course opin­ions will always be split on this.

    • Robin E. Simmons says:

      Spiel­berg has an Asperg­ers-like gift of being able to mim­ic movie gen­res. He’s not an artist nor are his works tru­ly orig­i­nal. His “seri­ous” films are the worst. Whether the holo­caust porn of Schindler’s List or the tedi­um of Lin­coln.

  • Sarah Umel says:

    Oh Ter­ry Gilliam, please read the Drill­mas­ter of Val­ley Forge. Baron Von Steuben is so damn close to Baron Von Mun­chausen; and a pret­ty inter­est­ing per­son too.

  • Schmeng says:

    The dif­fer­ence is about Art vs Enter­tain­ment.

    Peo­ple con­sume Enter­tain­ment and it does­n’t require much of them because it pro­vides every­thing. They don’t have to invest their imag­i­na­tion very much because the answers are giv­en to them.

    Art requires you to inter­pret it. It requires you to do some work to under­stand it.

    Spiel­berg makes Enter­tain­ing movies Kubrick makes Art movies.

    Most peo­ple like Enter­tain­ment because most peo­ple don’t have the patience or the abil­i­ty to deal with seri­ous Art.

    So Enter­tain­ment films make more mon­ey. Which is “bet­ter”? Well Enter­tain­ment films are more pop­u­lar and make mon­ey, but Art films make you think and can affect your out­look on life. They deal with the real human ques­tions in a seri­ous way and actu­al­ly make you con­sid­er the pro­found aspects of life. Enter­tain­ment films don’t. Though some­times they pre­tend they do… :P

  • Gabriel says:

    I like cheese!

  • Nilbud says:

    So glad to see that imbe­cile Tim H has failed in life as much as he failed at com­pre­hen­sion and wit.

  • David R. says:

    Inter­est­ing fact: A Clock­work Orange the book had a more pos­i­tive last chap­ter where Alex got bored with vio­lence and destruc­tion and want­ed to cre­ate, but Kubrick reject­ed it because it went against his world­view and themes of his movies.

  • Thorsten Stier says:

    Gee, that “dis­cus­sion” reminds me of inma­ture schoolars swear­ing and yelling at each oth­er ” my fav Band is bet­ter” — ” no my fav Band is the best” and so on…!?
    You are grownups!?
    Have you not real­ized yet that taste is some­thing you can´t dis­cuss!?
    I love Gilliam, most­ly for his Work with the Pythons and some of his films, but he made some huge crap too, like spiel­berg and Kubrick did — so what!?
    They are artist but also human bee­ings, with all their ego-issues and abil­i­ty to fail.…..
    Just leave it alone.…

  • AJ says:

    Yup, its all about taste. For those who argue dif­fer­ent­ly, you obvi­ous­ly feel a need to jus­ti­fy your own taste, for what­ev­er rea­son. Per­haps to feel supe­ri­or, or to feel like you picked the win­ner, or what have you. I per­son­al­ly find val­ue in all three direc­tors. In a way, they are on a con­tin­uom of Art vs. Enter­tain­ment, with Ter­ry Gilliam being more in the mid­dle (don’t tell me Time Ban­dits and Baron Munch­hausen were deep, though they had deep ele­ments in them) and with Kubrick being strong­ly in the Art camp and Spiel­berg being large­ly an enter­tain­er. I tend to run in the mid­dle myself, which is why Gilliam is my favorite of the three. I like ’em just deep enough to make me think a bit, but still enter­tain­ing enough to feel good at the end. For those who adore Kubrick, I can see why. But I find my lessons in life itself, and in books, doc­u­men­taries and in the peo­ple I meet. My pri­ma­ry pur­pose of film is to be enter­tained. I can see why Spiel­berg is appre­ci­at­ed too, though I find that his work is a bit too sim­plis­tic for my taste. He is still a top notch direc­tor. You can be great at what you do and still be ENTIRELY dif­fer­ent than anoth­er direc­tor.

  • Nuno Jacinto says:

    I love Spiel­berg’s work and Kubrick­’s work. But Ter­ry Gilliam has a point, Spiel­berg is a great direc­tor for the mass­es, but Kul­brick is a great direc­tor’s direc­tor. Peri­od.

    Mar­tin Scorcese used to say: “a year with­out a movie form Kul­brick, is an unre­pairable loss to the his­to­ry of cin­e­ma”

  • Rosebud says:

    Why is it that when you ask any­one around the world about SPR, they all say the same thing, ‘that open­ing scene was great’ and with 2001 ‘what does the end mean’, that should be the bench­mark to under­stand the dif­fer­ences between the two film­mak­ers.

    Fur­ther­more, the defen­sive nature of a cer­tain poster here, does­n’t seem to know the his­to­ry or work­ings of the film busi­ness.

    Steven Spiel­berg’s name was men­tioned to Kubrick when he was toy­ing with the idea of mak­ing AI him­self, as the per­son who could get it off the ground and fin­ished quick­ly with­out much stu­dio hic­cup, or dif­fi­cul­ty financ­ing, that’s all, and like a grand­mas­ter of know­ing how to move pieces, he used that posthu­mous­ly to get AI made, but would Kubrick approve of AI, he’s still break danc­ing in his grave over that one!

    Con­se­quent­ly, if you watch that film, you can see a boy try­ing to be a man, Spiel­berg is so out of his depth, he real­izes he is bored with try­ing to con­struct intel­lec­tu­al stim­u­lus as con­cen­tra­tion (not his style) and decides it would be best to hand the reigns over to Joel Schu­mach­er for the rest of the film, and upon the fright­en­ing real­iza­tion that Joel may take the cred­it for this con­nec­tion to Kubrick, he returns to give us his smaltzy ‘let me explain every­thing to the audi­ence who I have always looked down on in my work’ as being too thick to under­stand any­thing for them­selves, but that’s ok as a lot of peo­ple are hap­py to be fod­der, some actu­al­ly real­ly need it.

    The real expo­sure of Spiel­berg’s inner think­ing is that he does­n’t trust him­self, his only work of idea as depth per­son­al­ly, or art­ful, was Close Encoun­ters and post that he retreat­ed away from fol­low­ing through, as he felt naked mak­ing it, he is a cow­ard in that way.

    As for Schindler’s List, it was his need to be appeased by his peers that had him make that and even then, he had to sign on for JP: Lost (emp­ty film­mak­ing at its best) World before being allowed to do it.

    Sub­se­quent­ly, he thought now that I am respect­ed I will make Amis­tad which got nowhere, Schindler’s appeased the Jews who run Hol­ly­wood, no room for Black his­to­ry ala The Colour Pur­ple, and as George Lucas found out with Red Tails and as many a films sales agent will tell you, are not worth their time sell­ing.

    Sylvester Stal­lone came to dis­cov­er how a per­son is viewed when he did Cop­land, he said no one in the indus­try was wel­com­ing towards him for that, and the sec­ond he went back to action, he was wel­comed back with open arms.

    All the seri­ous films Spiel­berg attempts find their notary stand­ing because they can be back­slapped by a cer­tain move­ment or wave, Lin­coln and SPR are two that fit that idea, Munich required some care­ful Bill Clin­ton con­sul­ta­tion as to not offend any­one in Israel.

    Spiel­berg was also deemed shal­low by of all peo­ple George Lucas in their stu­dent days and again as action has thus pro­vid­ed, Indi­ana Jones is real­ly GL, Spiel­berg is who he ‘hired’ to make it, Spiel­berg has always want­ed to be GL, and with Dream­works he tried but ulti­mate­ly failed.

    I am also at a loss too what the word art means, if art is not expan­sive or pop­u­lar it serves no pur­pose, if it is not for every­one it is for no one, then you are deal­ing with elit­ism and snob­bery. Cin­e­ma is like a faith with an open door, every one is invit­ed to lis­ten to a ser­mon no mat­ter what their beliefs and what­nots are, this is its uni­ver­sal pow­er.

    A Kubrick ser­mon nev­er looks down on its audi­ence, it only and con­tin­ues to look up at them, I nev­er have found myself leav­ing a cin­e­ma think­ing of any ideas raised when I watch a Spiel­berg film, I always will with a Kubrick film, and that’s the dif­fer­ence between them, and also the dif­fer­ence that unites them, one we go to see as a fair­ground ride… Jaws, Raiders, E.T. MR, we have our thrills and spills and go home, the oth­er 2001, CW, EWS, is a prob­ing of deep­ness, that goes on to become time­less thought when you leave the cin­e­ma, and that’s what you take from both.

    Ulti­mate­ly the choice of what you see and enjoy and what you don’t is a cul­tur­al and polit­i­cal reflec­tion of who you are, and in that, no one wants to con­front and that’s the pow­er of the artist.

    What else is new?


  • Alex says:

    Gilliam is an artist. Kubrick is an artist.
    Spiel­berg is not an artist. I sup­pose it comes down to what one val­ues more.

  • hrhliz says:

    Men­tioned on ‘Dan­ger­ous Minds’ page on Face­book. :-)

  • Randomx6 says:

    Rose­bud, (Spoil­er alert)

    You are a sled. Also a bor­der­line per­son of the Paula Deen cat­e­go­ry (Appease the Jews in Hol­ly­wood? Real­ly. By chance are you aware of Mr Spiel­berg’s reli­gion and how com­mit­ted to it he is?)
    Quot­ing George Lucas on who is shal­low (Jar Jar Binks any­one)? I know, your point is look how the shal­low man thinks this guy is shal­low but I don’t trust a child’s cri­tique and George has the film mak­ing abil­i­ties of a child with the tech abil­i­ties of a genius.

  • Nicholas says:

    I don’t want to get involved in any political/religious argu­ments, but I have always felt opened up by Kubrick­’s films (and VERY opened up by Gilliam’s films) and Spiel­berg’s films make me feel like there’s no room for inter­pre­ta­tion of his work.


  • Dominic Jacobson says:

    I’d have to say that I agree with Ter­ry Gilliam. If you read books like ‘Rag­ing Bulls and Easy Rid­ers’ you have an under­stand­ing that Spiel­berg was always a num­bers man, always look­ing at film gross­es and very much in line with the think­ing of the Hol­ly­wood machine. I think this atti­tude was reflect­ed in his film­mak­ing. For me there is a sense of trans­ferred nar­cis­sism in many of Spiel­berg’s films which isn’t so appar­ent in Kubrick­’s. We all want to be that hero who does the right thing in so many of Spiel­berg’s films and many of us gen­er­al­ly want sim­ple answers laid out on a plate for us. For me these sim­ple notions are at the heart of a suc­cess­ful Hol­low­wood film. Even films like ‘The Colour Pur­ple’ and ‘Amis­tad’ ‚for me, have a lachry­mose sen­ti­men­tal­i­ty that I find hard to swal­low. There is a for­mu­la to this kind of film­mak­ing which does­n’t nec­es­sar­i­ly mean that Spiel­berg’s films are bad but I’m uncer­tain as to whether these kind of films can be great art.
    Being finan­cial­ly suc­cess­ful does­n’t always make you great and I think film his­to­ry will favour Kubrick over Spiel­berg.

  • Dominic Jacobson says:

    As an adden­dum I’d like to point out that, for me ‚seek­ing suc­cess in the artis­tic domain is ulti­mate­ly nar­cis­sis­tic. If you want suc­cess you want peo­ple to see or hear or feel your work and for peo­ple to under­stand it and love it and love you because you touched their lives and had impact. Suc­cess in this sense seems to require the val­i­da­tion of oth­ers and in very large num­bers.
    I think a true artist does­n’t nec­es­sar­i­ly con­cern his or her­self with that kind of pur­suit, which is maybe why Spiel­berg ingra­ti­at­ed him­self with the Hol­ly­wood mafia and why Kubrick lived like a her­mit in the Hert­ford­shire coun­try­side.

  • Paolo Maroote says:

    Gio­vani Ribisi’s scene (reflect­ing on his child­hood) in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN is as pow­er­ful and pro­found as any­thing Kubrick has ever done.Kubrick, Spiel­berg, and Gilliam are great artists all human and there­fore flawed.Just like what you like.

  • david k says:

    I can’t remem­ber where it was, but I think it was in the Kubrick doc­u­men­tary, “A Life in Pic­tures” where Spiel­berg says that Kubrick gave the film “AI” to him because it was more designed for his “sen­si­bil­i­ties.” Spiel­berg said this in a way which made it seem like it was a some­what neg­a­tive thing to say.

  • Kurt says:

    Boy do I feel late to this par­ty.

    1) Why I love to read com­ments:
    “the prob­lem with every sin­gle film after­wards was that the shark didn’t break”
    More genius in that state­ment than any­thing else I read here.

    2) ‘Duel’ was Spiel­berg’s best film. ‘Jaws’ pales by com­par­i­son.

    3) I have to take issue with the state­ment:
    “A Clock­work Orange the book had a more pos­i­tive last chap­ter where Alex got bored with vio­lence and destruc­tion and want­ed to cre­ate”
    Alex went into pol­i­tics — he just destroyed on a broad­er scale and a more san­i­tized way. And that would have fit Kubrick­’s point per­fect­ly. But Kubrick, as we know from ‘The Shin­ing’ (suc­cess­ful­ly) and ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ (not suc­cess­ful­ly) loved to change writ­ten works, some­times to sur­prise the view­er who, hav­ing read the book before see­ing the movie, had a pre­con­ceived knowl­edge of what would hap­pen. I still remem­ber being in the audi­ence in the the­ater (spoli­er alert) when Scat­man gets the ax… the screams and gasps com­plete­ly drowned out the movie for well over a minute after­wards. And that is bril­liant film­mak­ing. I have no idea if e ‘kubrick­i­fied’ ‘Bar­ry Lyn­don’ — prob­a­bly not, as the book was too dull to read and the movie was only saved by the cin­e­matog­ra­phy.

    4) While all three direc­tors are fla­vors to be liked, loved or hat­ed I do think that they are a good study of the pro­duc­tion of art by peo­ple inside the sys­tem, out­side the sys­tem but accept­ed, and hayed by the sys­tem.

    5) Nei­ther Kubrick nor Spiel­berg has done any­thing as good as ‘Tide­land’. Spiel­berg has nev­er done any­thing as bad as ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ (and it was­n’t JUST ‘Tom’s fault’ — but a lot of it was).

    I could say more but I’ve said enough… for now at least. Hate appre­ci­at­ed; love tak­en for grant­ed.

  • Brian C says:

    Have to agree with Gilliam on this. Spiel­berg block­busters are reli­able, sol­id enter­tain­ment. “Seri­ous” Spiel­berg is cheesy, over-the-top, and emo­tion­al­ly manip­u­la­tive. Kubrick is just bril­liant all around. His movies are enter­tain­ing, thought-pro­vok­ing, and artis­ti­cal­ly trans­for­ma­tive.

  • Easywriter says:

    Any­one ever see ‘Eyes Wide Shut’? :o)

  • jescoelvis says:

    This dis­cus­sion under­writ­ten by the arm­chair re-uphol­ster­ers union.

  • klipso says:

    I think the point Gilliam tries to make in ref­er­ence to Schindler’s List is that the actu­al his­tor­i­cal event was such an abom­i­na­tion that to attempt to take some­thing life-affirm­ing away from it just con­cedes too much to the Nazis — it does­n’t do jus­tice to the true des­per­ate nature of the event. It’s not pos­si­ble for a film­mak­er to cap­ture that lev­el of tragedy in a dra­mat­ic set­ting, and any attempt to do so is to essen­tial­ly imply that the cru­el­ty and bru­tal­i­ty of the Nazis was not as great as it real­ly was; that it can be reimag­ined and por­trayed accu­rate­ly, which it can­not be — to claim that it can be would be an injus­tice to the vic­tims, just as Gilliam claims try­ing to take some­thing pos­i­tive from the event is a kind of injus­tice to the vic­tims as well as some form of exon­er­a­tion for allow­ing 6 mil­lion peo­ple to be killed. This is why Kubrick nev­er made a movie about this sub­ject, as well as why some say the only way a por­tray­al of the Holo­caust can work is in a com­ic set­ting. Obvi­ous­ly this does not mean one makes fun of the vic­tims, but more in the vein of Life is Beau­ti­ful (which also makes the mis­take of attempt­ing to take some­thing life-affirm­ing from the event). The tragedy of the sit­u­a­tion was at such a lev­el that we, look­ing back, can­not real­ly grasp it unless we do so through a lens which focus­es more on the absurd aspect of life in the camps than the trag­ic one.

  • FilmStudent90 says:

    I think the thing that Gilliam seems to be for­get­ting is SCHINDLER’S LIST isn’t the only sto­ry about the Shoah. It is, as Spiel­berg puts it, “only a minor lit­tle hole-in-the-wall that you can put one eye through and get a 2‑D look at the Holo­caust through our inter­pre­ta­tion of it, through sur­vivor’s sto­ries.” Not only that, SCHINDLER’S LIST is about Oskar Schindler, main­ly, and the won­der­ful thing that he did.

  • Donald says:

    Kubrick was a great film­mak­er who always tried some­thing dif­fer­ent and excit­ing. Spiel­berg is a great film­mak­er who espe­cial­ly excels at light enter­tain­ment. Gilliam, on the oth­er hand, is a pre­ten­tious, mediocre direc­tor who has made some inter­est­ing films and some very bad ones. So this is a false dichoto­my. I think schindlers list is every bit as good a film as the pianist. By the way, read kubrick­’s list of ten great­est films. They are not all “seri­ous,” but they are all great.

  • Jonas Planck says:

    This explains why A.I. was such a dis­turbing­ly schiz­o­phrenic mess of a movie.

    • James says:

      A.I. is just a fairy­tale, but for some rea­son one of my favourite movies, maybe just because it is mean­der­ing and schizo :)

  • HAL9000point5 says:

    Eyes Wide Shut for­giv­en? What was its sin? That it did­n’t pan­der to the the­sis of Gilliam’s rant, that it did­n’t have a clear and cut plot; bla­tant expo­si­tion; con­trived dia­log; clear delin­eations between fan­ta­sy and real­i­ty; unam­bigu­ous protagonists/antagonists? nnnThe biggest com­pli­ment I ever heard about “Eyes Wide Shut” was when, asked of its opin­ion, a view­er said he’d need a few days to process what he had seen.

    • Steve says:

      Dude, com­pared to oth­er philo­soph­i­cal pieces from Kubrick. Eyes wide shut looks like an orphan. It’s a mix­ture of all of his film most notably films includ­ing: a clock work orange, the shin­ning, BARRY Lyn­don and even 2001! traces of all of these films are seen with­in eyes wide shut. That’s why this film is nev­er as chill­ing as the shin­ning nor art­ful as Bar­ry Lyn­don nor as com­plex as clock work orange and also lacked the depth of 2001. Sor­ry guys but Eyes Wide Shut nev­er was even close to mas­ter­pieces which were filmed before it. While watch­ing it, I kind of feel that even kubrick was him­self lost dur­ing script writ­ing. Plus, eyes wide shut sig­nif­i­cant­ly fails to gain momen­tum of its mas­ter shots dur­ing film and is also one lay­er film anoth­er rea­son why the film lacks depth, while oth­er kubrick films are best at doing so, Eyes wide shut is wrong­ly fin­ished leav­ing us with a ques­tion whether what we had just seen had been a fan­ta­sy or real­i­ty which is incom­pa­ra­ble to deep philo­soph­i­cal end­ings of a clock work orange and 2001.

      Sor­ry Stan­ley but this time u failed

  • Robin E. Simmons says:

    Tin Tin is arguably Spiel­berg’s best direct­ed film. By far.

  • god says:

    Spiel­berg is a joke. If some­one shot him it would be good. Die you Zion­ist shill shit suck­er. Death to Spiel­berg and co.

  • Historygirl says:

    Why is it a crime for a film­mak­er to make a film acces­si­ble to a mass audi­ence? The hor­ror of the Holo­caust is too big for the mind to com­pre­hend, but Spiel­berg pro­vid­ed a small win­dow into a part of it through “Schindler’s List”. To me, the most dev­as­tat­ing scene is when the cam­era, like Schindler’s eyes, fol­lows the lit­tle girl in red dur­ing the liq­ui­da­tion of the ghet­to. The cam­era fol­lows the small child as she wan­ders the streets, look­ing for sanc­tu­ary as bul­lets fly around her. She even­tu­al­ly enters a build­ing and the last time we see her, is when her bat­tered, bloody lit­tle body is being pushed in a wheel­bar­row for dis­pos­al. There is noth­ing triv­ial about it, or the crush­ing real­iza­tion that hits Schindler at the end, when he real­izes that he could have done more. Spiel­berg’s greater con­tri­bu­tion, how­ev­er, is the Shoah Project, which records the tes­ti­mo­ny of the sur­vivors, because they & their lib­er­a­tors are pass­ing into his­to­ry & the holo­caust deniers must nev­er be allowed to re-write his­to­ry. Yes, I have enjoyed Kubrick­’s & Gilliam’s works & they ARE more intel­lec­tu­al­ly stim­u­lat­ing. But Spiel­berg is a mas­ter sto­ry-teller & civ­i­liza­tion needs that too.

  • Ol' Dice says:

    Some­times I think the dif­fer­ence between 2 artists is whether or not they are tru­ly search­ing for the truth, the actu­al truth of the sub­ject. In my opin­ion some Spiel­berg films are more con­cerned with the cin­e­mat­ic end­ing or audi­ence pleas­ing moment than the truth of the piece. This is some­thing you could nev­er accuse Gilliam or Kubrick and that is what I think ter­ry is talk­ing about.

  • Quint says:

    Spiel­berg has no inter­est­ing shots? Have you seen Jaws or Schindlers List? Now I hap­pen to be a big fan of both Spiel­berg and Kubrick. But both are dif­fer­ent fil­mak­ers not bet­ter or worse than each oth­er, just dif­fer­ent. A lot of peo­ple on here are try­ing to come across as intel­lec­tu­al but actu­al­ly seem like ill informed ass­es!

  • Kevin Scanlan says:

    After read­ing and con­tem­plat­ing the above com­ments,( with the excep­tion
    of the asi­nine remarks demon­strat­ing a total lack of respect and dig­ni­ty )
    con­cern­ing three fine film­mak­ers Kubrick, Spiel­berg, and Gilliam who,
    due to their imper­fec­tions judged by the respon­dents, be they good or bad,
    has brought me to one con­clu­sion. And that is, one should be wise enough to
    take the good from all, and leave the bad to none.

    Mark Twain once said, and I quote:

    The trade of crit­ics, in lit­er­a­ture, music, and the drama,is the most degrad­ed of all trades.

    Remem­ber folks, movies………… are just movies.
    Life and Death out­side the the­atres, is where the true scenes of this world and beyond reside.


  • Soltan Gris says:

    I have seen two Spiel­berg movies that I think are good: Duel (his first flick) and Sav­ing Pri­vate Ryan… I’ve nev­er watched E.T. and intend nev­er to do so… And Hook has to be one of the worst pieces of crap I have ever had the mis­for­tune to expe­ri­ence…

    Ter­ry Gilliam? He deserves cred­it for his part in the career of Mon­ty Python, but almost every­thing he has done since has been an inco­her­ent mess — though good in parts.

    Kubrick is bet­ter than the both of them put togeth­er — Dr. Strangelove, 2001, The Shin­ing, etc.

    But movies are way over-rat­ed as an “art” in any case. I like watch­ing films but if I nev­er saw anoth­er one again, it would­n’t par­tic­u­lar­ly both­er me. Much the same as I feel about sport: a lot of hot air expend­ed over noth­ing much.

  • Kim Morgan says:

    Ter­ry Gilliam is one of the most imag­i­na­tive and under­rat­ed film direc­tors, but for many snob­by review­ers he has­n’t bro­ken the shack­les of Mon­ty Python.
    Brazil is still his mas­ter­piece with The Fish­er King and 12 Mon­keys high up there.
    Steven Spiel­berg’s movies have become since Jaws and Close Encoun­ters, ( I omit the hor­ren­dous­ly over­rat­ed ET) very much direct­ed by num­bers jobs, Lin­coln although boast­ing a very fine per­for­mance from Daniel Day Lewis was a spec­tac­u­lar­ly dull film.
    He is too Amer­i­can estab­lish­ment!

  • Kim Morgan says:

    Ter­ry Gilliam is one of the most imag­i­na­tive and under­rat­ed film direc­tors, but for many snob­by review­ers he has­n’t bro­ken the shack­les of Mon­ty Python.
    Brazil is still his mas­ter­piece with The Fish­er King and 12 Mon­keys high up there.
    Steven Spiel­berg’s movies have become since Jaws and Close Encoun­ters, ( I omit the hor­ren­dous­ly over­rat­ed ET) very much direct­ed by num­bers jobs, Lin­coln although boast­ing a very fine per­for­mance from Daniel Day Lewis was a spec­tac­u­lar­ly dull film.
    He is too Amer­i­can estab­lish­ment!

  • Kevin says:

    To Tim:

    I was about to say pre­cise­ly what you said

  • Andrew says:

    So films are all meant to be about enjoy­ment? What a monot­o­ne world you inhab­it. Much like Spiel­berg in fact whose world is all home­ly, apple pie Amer­i­cana.

    No thanks.

  • AB says:

    IMO peo­ple who dis­like Kubrick aren’t “inca­pable” or don’t have the capac­i­ty to think for them­selves. Art film lovers aren’t supe­ri­or to Enter­tain­ment lovers, which is what some of you would like to believe. This is why I dis­liked Eng­lish class, most­ly because of hid­den mean­ings inside a bor­ing sto­ry that ulti­mate­ly does­n’t con­tribute to soci­ety at all or teach­es you a way to over­come some­thing (Kubrick). He has a lot of mean­ing but does­n’t seem to care about improv­ing soci­ety and acts like a pre­ten­tious douche. Appar­ent­ly that’s art. Enter­tain­ing movies or sto­ries with bet­ter plots can have just as much art while express­ing views on soci­ety. Much of William Blake’s work does so. Kubrick­’s work may have dif­fer­ent mean­ings but it real­ly does noth­ing for soci­ety if we’re still debat­ing 30 years lat­er of what his films meant.

  • Brian Carnell says:


  • mart says:

    Gilliam is way bet­ter than Spiel­berg. Spiel­berg makes kid’s movies that nobody has to think about.

  • martin says:

    Mak­ing peo­ple think about things does­n’t improve soci­ety?? are you seri­ous?
    Shake­speare made peo­ple think. That is the essence of human­ism and the Renais­sance.
    Speil­berg just projects his view­point — there is no think­ing — just his view and pro­pa­gan­da (actu­al­ly he made a lot movies that were bla­tant lies about his­to­ry)

  • Billy Bob says:

    Well, first of all, Tim H. isn’t near­ly as good a film­mak­er as Gilliam (IMHO), so he’s not real­ly in a posi­tion to crit­i­cize

  • MVM says:

    Ter­ry Gilliam (per­son­al film­mak­er)

    Steven Spiel­berg (1/2 per­son­al film­mak­er, 1/2 mon­ey moti­vat­ed film­mak­er)

    Both are great direc­tors, but Gilliam’s films get bet­ter and bet­ter every­time i view them over the course of my life­time. Spiel­berg’s films remain the same and even worse, seem dull over time. Dou­glas Slo­combe was the real rea­son why the Indi­ana Jones Films worked.. And yet any­one who loves that series, does not even know who Dou­glas Slo­combe is.. Prob­a­bly one of the best cin­e­matog­ra­phers that ever lived.

  • Marc at NYC says:

    Gilliam is spot on!

  • Wolf.W says:

    Look at Don­ald Trump’s insane­ly faux-opti­mistic coro­n­avirus press brief­in­gs, and there you have the secret to Steven Spiel­berg’s suc­cess: Amer­i­cans are addict­ed to arti­fi­cial hap­py end­ings and will insist all is well even as they are cir­cling down the drain. “Wow them in the end, and you’ll have a hit,” as the advice goes… except life does not wow you in the end; it kills you. What chil­dren my fel­low Amer­i­cans can be, long­ing for escapism instead of con­fronting life as it is. Take your Spiel­berg then, if you must. In fact, take him and keep him. The 20th re-watch of a Kubrick film is infi­nite­ly more plea­sur­able than the fresh view­ing of what­ev­er lat­est Spiel­berg non­sense lands on screen.

    SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, my nom­i­nee for most over­rat­ed and worst war film ever, ought to be proof enough that Spiel­berg is a hack: Hol­low char­ac­ters whom no one in the audi­ence could pos­si­bly care about; pre­dictable Tom Han­ks quips and mono­logues with per­fect tim­ing and all the right answers; the cow­ard­ly Amer­i­can Upham final­ly being moti­vat­ed by the red-white-and-blue and killing that back­stab­bing Kraut… Great film mak­ing? More like a Hall­mark card to the pre-MAGA crowd. No thanks. Give me GO TELL THE SPARTANS and PLATOON and FULL METAL JACKET any day.

  • Kamal Ahmed says:

    In fairness,how else would you make SCHINDLER’S LIST? Why would any­one sub­ject them­selves to a hor­ror sto­ry like that with­out some glim­mer of hope?

  • Frankwhite1970 says:

    Real­ly? Shows just how une­d­u­cat­ed and lim­it­ing you are. Your afraid of every­thing that chal­lenges you.

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