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STEVEN SPIELBERG

220px-Spielberg99Steven Allan Spielberg, is an American film director, screenwriter and film producer. Forbes magazine places Spielberg’s net worth at $3.1 billion. In 2006, the magazine Premiere listed him as the most powerful and influential figure in themotion picture industryTime listed him as one of the 100 Most Important People of the Century. At the end of the twentieth century, Life named him the most influential person of his generation.In a career of over four decades, Spielberg’s films have touched on many themes and genres. Spielberg’s early sci-fi and adventure films, sometimes centering on children, were seen as an archetype of modern Hollywoodblockbuster filmmaking. In later years his films began addressing such issues as the Holocaustslaverywar and terrorism.

Spielberg won the Academy Award for Best Director for 1993’s Schindler’s List and 1998’s Saving Private Ryan. Three of Spielberg’s films,Jaws (1975), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), and Jurassic Park (1993), broke box office records, each becoming the highest-grossing film made at the time. To date, unadjusted gross of all Spielberg directed films exceeds $8.5 billion worldwide.

Early life

Spielberg was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, the son of Jewish parents Leah Adler, a restaurateur and concert pianist, and Arnold Spielberg, a computer engineer.He spent his childhood in Haddon Heights, New Jersey and in Scottsdale, Arizona. Throughout his early teens, Spielberg made amateur 8 mm “adventure” films with his friends, the first of which he shot at a restaurant (Pinnacle Peak Patio) in Scottsdale, Arizona. He charged admission (25 cents) to his home films (which involved the wrecks he staged with his Lionel train set) while his sister sold popcorn.

Since 1997

In 1994, Spielberg took a hiatus from directing to spend more time with his family and build his new studio, DreamWorks. In 1997, he helmed the sequel to 1993’s Jurassic Park with The Lost World: Jurassic Park, which generated over $618 million worldwide despite mixed reviews, and was the second biggest hit of 1997 behind James Cameron‘s Titanic .

His next film, Amistad, was based on a true story (like Schindler’s List), specifically about an African slave rebellion. Despite decent reviews from critics, it did not do well at the box office. Spielberg released Amistad under DreamWorks Pictures, which has issued all of his films since Amistad, a streak that ended in May 2008 .

In 1998, Spielberg re-visited Close Encounters yet again, this time for a more definitive 137-minute “Collector’s Edition” that puts more emphasis on the original 1977 release, while adding some elements of the previous 1980 “Special Edition”, but deleting the latter version’s “Mothership Finale”, which Spielberg regretted shooting in the first place, feeling it should have remained ambiguous in the minds of viewers.

His next theatrical release in that same year was the World War II film Saving Private Ryan, about a group of U.S. soldiers led by Capt. Miller (Tom Hanks) who try to find a soldier missing in France. The film was a huge box office success, grossing over $481 million worldwide and was the biggest film of the year at the U.S./domestic box office. Spielberg won his second Academy Award for his direction. The film’s graphic, realistic depiction of combat violence influenced later war films such as Black Hawk Down and Enemy at the Gates. The film was also the first major hit for DreamWorks, which co-produced the film with Paramount Pictures. Later, Spielberg and Hanks presented a TV mini-series based on Stephen Ambrose‘s book Band of Brothers. The ten-part HBO mini-series follows Easy Company of the 101st Airborne Division‘s 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment. The series won a number of awards at the Golden Globes and the Emmys.

In 2001, Spielberg filmed fellow director and friend Stanley Kubrick‘s final project, A.I.: Artificial Intelligence which Kubrick was unable to begin during his lifetime. A futuristic film about a humanoid android longing for love, A.I. featured groundbreaking visual effects and a multi-layered, allegorical storyline, adapted by Spielberg himself.

Spielberg and actor Tom Cruise collaborated for the first time for the futuristic neo-noir Minority Report, based upon the sci-fi short story written by Philip K. Dick about a Washington, D.C., police captain who has been foreseen to murder a man he has not yet met. The film received strong reviews with the review tallying website rottentomatoe

Spielberg directed Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which wrapped filming in October 2007 and was released on May 22, 2008. This was his first film not to be released by DreamWorks since 1997. The film received generally positive reviews from critics, and has performed very well in theaters. As of June 30 2008, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull has grossed $315 million domestically, and over $785 million worldwide250px-Steven_Spielberg_1999_4

Academy Award for Best Director

Academy Award for Best Picture

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