Molly Haskell's new biography is Steven Spielberg: A Life in Films.
From her Q&A with Deborah Kalb:
Q: You write, “I had never been an ardent fan” of Steven Spielberg’s work. Why was that, and did your work on this book change your opinion?--Marshal Zeringue
A: I think because he was working in fantasy and genres that didn’t appeal to me—thrillers, Jaws. I have come to think of Jaws differently, maybe not E.T. and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
It was a challenge. I was not sympathetic to these genres. What turned me into a movie nut was European films. He and George Lucas were [going in a different direction]. Directors [had been] making European-style movies with Hollywood movies, and the nature of film production was changing.
[There was a move] into summer hits and blockbusters, and Steven Spielberg seemed responsible for that. That’s why I wasn’t a fan, though some of his later films, I did like some and liked them even better as I wrote the book…
Q: You opted to tell his story through his films. Why did you choose that approach?
A: [Spielberg has said] all my life is in my films. That’s how I wanted to tell the story. I looked forward to the opportunity of seeing the films again.
That leads to the question, Did I ...[read on]