Steven Spielberg talks about The Fabelmans, his latest feature film, and the difficulty of bringing his life to film.
The Fabelmansnew feature film by Steven Spielberg, is among the director’s most personal works. Perhaps the most intimate. In one of the last interviews released, Spielberg himself confessed that he had never brought himself into a film for so long.
“There’s nothing more personal than committing yourself to actually directing something“, said Steven Spielberg ahead of the release of his latest film, The Fabelmans, which presents itself as an experience as unique as it is difficult for the director himself.
The film, as reported by Yahoo Entertainmente, tells the story of Sammy Fabelman (played as a teenager by Gabriel LaBelle). As he falls in love with cinema, and begins directing films at home, Sammy discovers a shocking secret and the power of cinema itself to uncover the truth.
“I have never, for such an extended period of time, participated in the actual story on the screen” said the director. “It was Kafkaesque… I never got used to it. I didn’t feel comfortable. But when the actors got to that point where they work so well together, I got lost in their performances“.
“But I always knew it was my sisters, my mother and father who are no longer here, and myself. And so there was never a moment that I didn’t realize that this was an opportunity that I had taken that I had to be grateful for and that is that at my age I finally had the temerity, or the guts, to decide to tell this story. I wouldn’t have had the distance or perspective had I decided to tell this story 30 years ago. It wouldn’t have been the same movie“.
A journey, the one taken by the filmmaker, which allowed him to discover a lot more about himself and his family. “I think it was, more than anything, about the fact that I had a very complicated family. And I had a very unique family‘ said the director, who credited co-writer Tony Kushner with encouraging him to tell his story.
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“I mean, the dynamics of my mom’s relationship with my dad’s best friend, and how I discovered things I wouldn’t have discovered were it not for my obsession with home movies and making 8MM films of all our camping trips and all our weekend outings. I was my family’s videographer, even when I was 12, 13, 14, 15 years old. But the unique thing is that I discovered something that suddenly made me see my mother not as a parent but as a person“.
“And that shouldn’t happen when you’re 16. It should come much later, when you have children of your own. You suddenly realize that your parents are your peers, not your parents anymore. But I found out too soon that my mother was a human being and she couldn’t hide behind the face of being a caregiver. And that changed the dynamics of every choice I made after that“.
The protagonist face of the film is that of Gabriel LaBelle, a nineteen year old from Vancouver who grew up with Steven Spielberg’s films, who declared, regarding the opportunity to interpret a fictionalized version of the director: “It’s mind blowing. It’s incredibly exciting. And it’s a huge privilege, honestly. It is an honor.”
The cast, echoing the young actor’s words, said they were both surprised and honored to be in such intimate contact with the director. “I think I was surprised to find how willing he was to open up to us and the crew and everyone on this film“said Paul Dano, the face of Sammy’s father.
“It is exactly what it iscontinued Michelle Williams, who played Sammy’s mother.He is open and sincere and gives himself so generously as to be disarming“.
“I’m so amazed at everything he’s done to make something so personal” said Seth Rogen, the face of the best friend of Burt, father of Sammy. “It was really inspiring to see someone like him decide to push himself in new directions even after doing so many things“.
The Fabelmans will arrive in Italian cinemas on December 22, 2022.