US director: Spielberg: evaluation of family history "scary"

US director
Spielberg: Analysis of family history "scary"

Director Steven Spielberg's new film draws heavily on the 75-year-old filmmaker's childhood.  Photo: Evan

Director Steven Spielberg's new film draws heavily on the 75-year-old filmmaker's childhood. photo

© Evan Agostini/Invision/dpa

The new film by US director Steven Spielberg has just celebrated its world premiere at the TIFF in Toronto. It is his most personal work to date.

For Steven Spielberg ("ET", "West Side Story"), searching for one's family history for his film The Fabelmans proved to be a "frightening experience" that was at times "very, very difficult to cope with." The US director said on Sunday (local time) during a press conference at the 47th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). His most personal work to date had celebrated its world premiere the night before in Toronto to thunderous applause.

The Fabelmans draws largely on the 75-year-old filmmaker's childhood and the story of his parents, played by Michelle Williams and Paul Dano. The film tells the story of Sam "Sammy" Fabelman, a boy who falls in love with cinema but struggles with family turmoil to pursue his dream. Spielberg said at the press conference that he had imagined the making of the film to be much simpler.

"It turned out to be a very scary experience, though, because I was trying to reconstruct, in a semi-autobiographical way, these big memories. Not just of my own life, but of the lives of my three sisters, my mother and my father, who are no longer with us," said Spielberg. "The responsibility that came with it just kept getting bigger."

"I quickly realized that there was no distance between me and this experience. I wasn't able to place a camera the way Sammy manages to place a camera between himself and the horrifying, realistic things that are happening to him happen," Spielberg said. "I've always been able to put a camera between myself and reality to protect myself. I couldn't do that with this story."


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