...I just rewatched the sequel to Jurassic Park this weekend. It's my "favourite" Steven Spielberg film; it seems his most misanthropic -- you genuinely want to see some characters get eaten -- and in a way it most perfectly embodies the contradictions of his work, overtly praising and celebrating the family and human emotional integrity while at the same time being ruthlessly manipulative to the point of heartlessness. It seems his most auteur-like film, the most essential distillation of what he's doing -- basically a Jaws remake, but much, much more revealing (however unintentionally) of the true nature of his work. Plus there are some wonderfully fun little details. The video store poster for Arnold Schwarzenegger as King Lear is as hilarious a jab at Hollywood as I've seen (screen capture on this page, if you scroll down). I wonder if Spielberg is self-hating enough to have the mock-up identify the movie as "a Steven Spielberg film"...? Also, the cut from the mother screaming to Jeff Goldblum yawning, early in the film, somehow merits some sort of respect, makes Spielberg worthy of inclusion in the filmic fraternity sometimes referred to as "the cinema of cruelty." And what can I say, I like Pete Postlethwaite, and I admire the blatant Gorgo ripoff (sometimes ripoffs can induce a feeling of intimacy with the thief in charge). Anyhow, here's some fun trivia about the film.
But that's not what I was blogging about -- I just happened to bump into a couple of interesting links on articles on cloning. Russian scientists are apparently gearing up to clone a mammoth; and organic matter, tho' nothing likely to have DNA, has possibly been found inside a tyrannosaurus skeleton (does anyone else out there find the shortened moniker "T-rex" to be kind of offensive, a tacit admission that no one can spell?). On the heels of a viewing of The Lost World, it was kind of neat to read these stories.
I really should write something about the Jurassic Park films... The first two, anyhow. They're fascinating.