From: Oliver Franks
Date: 23 October 2001
Why do film makers get more desperate the older they are? Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut revealed his old man's fantasies under a disguise of sexual jealousy, or to be kinder: he wanted to 'explore', sounds like a character in a Russian play mourning the loss of his sexually explosive youth. I don't see how anyone's youth can be sexually explosive enough to satisfy the male libido. However it could be said Kubrick made Eyes Wide Shut so that the Fat Cat's would let him make A.I. Then he died, gutting, and his alter ego took over. The older Spielberg gets, the more he wants to make a really mature film that has intellectual resonance...like a Kubrick movie in his hay day. The problem is, Spielbarg sees the world through the eyes of a child, so maturity and real Irony are beyond him. That's not to say he doesn't make great films this way, he does...but of late he's tried to make "the film that everyone will remember him for when he's dead", and most of them have been about war. A.I. is no exception. The overall impression of the film is a mixture of emotional emptiness (Stanley) and emotional over indulgence (Steven) which left me with a feeling akin to no felling at all. Strange to get absolutely nothing from an experience, just a set of expensive memories. One of these being Jude Law's character. Why? What was he there for? This question is up ther with what are we here for. The first half hour of the film is bearable, with good acting from robot kid. But when we enter the world of Pinnochio the film just goes...away...somewhere...where we can't go. It's not even funny like Independence day. There is some attempt at moral ambiguity with a flesh fair,(where we met the "man with no sin": a fat fellow on the third row at the fair), a sex city, an ice age and then some aliens show up and tell us all it'sok, because humans somehow hold the secret to human existence. Bollocks. If Spielberg wants to make a mature film he has to grow up, discover moral ambiguity and work with his mind, not his heart. Although I think there's nothing wrong with him scaring us half to death of swimming in the sea or making us cry over ugly little aliens.
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