Coming in June: Coppola’s ‘Tetro.’ Will it bring him back?

Posted by · 3:39 pm · March 13th, 2009

TetroNo other director in the history of the cinema dominated a 10-year span as Francis Ford Coppola did the 1970s. Beyond directing four of the decade’s greatest films — “The Godfather”, “The Godfather, Part II”, “The Conversation” and “Apocalypse Now” — his name was on “Patton” and “The Great Gatsby” as screenwriter and “American Graffiti” as producer.

In addition, Coppola created American Zoetrope in the hopes of building a haven for young directors to make small films free of the studios.  But he also believed what the press were saying: he was a genius who would turn whatever he touched into gold.  His ego got in the way and he alienated friend and comrade George Lucas, eventually making up with the director years later when positions of power had been reversed.

In the years after “Apocalypse Now,” the Oscar-winning Coppola fell on hard times with one failure after another it seemed, his once golden touch lost in the jungles of the Philippines while making his Vietnam epic. There were glimmers of former greatness from time to time, such as the expressionistic brilliance of “Rumble Fish,” the Cab Calloway sequence in “The Cotton Club,” the haunting scene with Kathleen Turner and her grandparents in “Peggy Sue Got Married” and Jeff Bridges’s wonderful work in “Tucker.”

But “One from the Heart” was a mess.  “The Outsiders” was a sentimental disaster of a film. And then there was “The Godfather, Part III,” a failure because Paramount failed the director, breaking their word after making the promise he would have complete control, refusing to pay Robert Duvall, integral to the story, half of what Al Pacino was making, forcing a major re-write (that cost…?) and casting his daughter (the poor girl) in a key role when she simply lacked the acting chops to work with that ensemble.  On and on.

There was much to like in “Bram Stoker’s Dracula.”  Visually the film was superb and Gary Oldman rocked as the neck-biting title character, but then Coppola gave us the wretched “Jack,” easily the worst film of his career. Since that mess we have had just two films: “The Rainmaker” (based on the John Grisham novel) and “Youth Without Youth” (a bizarre sort of intellectual “Benjamin Button” that did not quite work).

I would like to believe the man has one more masterpiece left in him. I would like to believe the greatest director of the cinema’s greatest decade can do better than greet guests at his winery and sign autographs. And I would like to think he is still a filmmaker first.

When Coppola stood alongside Steven Spielberg and George Lucas to present Martin Scorsese with that long overdue Oscar two years ago, we had the four greatest filmmakers and pioneers of the 1970s on stage together at once, having overcome old grudges.  Lucas had gone on to become a technological wizard, less a director than pioneer of film presentation, while Spielberg and Scorsese continue to do brilliant work to this day. It was for me a little sad because it was a reminder of what Coppola once was, and how far he has truly fallen.

That said, if he had never made another film after “Apocalypse Now,” he would still to this day be considered one of the greatest of all time. Failure is supposed to teach us, to help us understand our errors and avoid them, yet Coppola cannot seem to get over that hump. Hopefully “Tetro” will be the film that brings him back to the where he so belongs. I hope so, because I believe of all the great American directors Coppola is the one with that one true masterpiece left in him.

Check out Coppola’s short video diary from the official “Tetro” website:

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47 responses so far

  • 1 3-13-2009 at 4:12 pm

    BurmaShave said...

    I’m not saying it’s a great film, but I find it odd you’d completely overlook GARDENS OF STONE. I think it’s a solid movie, maybe one without any real character or Coppola quality, but Caan did great work in it.

  • 2 3-13-2009 at 6:33 pm

    Michael McKay said...

    I thought Youth Without Youth was a strangely fascinating film, with a stellar performance from Tim Roth.

  • 3 3-13-2009 at 10:02 pm

    Zan said...

    How the hell did it all happen? It’s like after AN, he just stopped being able to make great films. I wonder if it was like a Michael Cimino downward spiral.

  • 4 3-13-2009 at 10:17 pm

    Zac said...

    As great as Spielberg’s run from 1975-1982 was, Coppola’s 1972-1979 run towers over that.

    Spielberg: Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Art and E.T.

    Coppola: The Godfather, The Conversation, The Godfather Part II and Apocalypse Now.

    8 of the greatest films of all time, but head-to-head, it’s not even close.

    I, too, keep hoping that Coppola has one more great movie left in him. Even if that never happens (he turns 70 this year), he’ll still be remembered as one of the greats.

    I’ve been fortunate to see The Godfather and Apocalypse Now: Redux on the big screen. Hopefully, some day soon, I’ll be able to see The Conversation and The Godfather Part II on the big screen.

  • 5 3-13-2009 at 10:17 pm

    Zac said...

    That should be Ark, not Art. Doh! :)

  • 6 3-13-2009 at 11:31 pm

    Patryk said...

    Zac, I’m with you. Those 4 Coppola masterpieces set the standard and no one has matched it. No one.

    And one of my favorite films of the 1960’s, “You’re a Big Boy Now,” is criminally unavailable on DVD. Coppola light and funny. Can we start a campaign or something to get Warner Home Video off their asses to restore and reissue this early Coppola gem? Rip Torn and Geraldine Page are hilarious.

  • 7 3-14-2009 at 12:02 am

    Michael McKay said...

    Hitchcock (1953-1963) and Kurosawa (1949-1959) had similar runs of greatness in the 1950’s.

    Also, Kubrick between 1964 and 1975.

    And I love Herzog’s work between 1972 and 1982.

    Not to mention 3 sprawling masterpieces by Paul Thomas Anderson within a 10 year window.

  • 8 3-14-2009 at 2:42 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    I can’t disagree with you that “One From the Heart” is indeed a mess, but I find it an oddly beautiful one. And a recent re-viewing of “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” proved very rewarding for me — that film really flirts with greatness.

    I like the “Tetro” poster design, by the way.

  • 9 3-14-2009 at 6:47 am

    JAB said...

    I’ve only seen Apocalypse Now Redux.
    While I appreciated the quality, it just felt like it went on forever, and so much of what I’m assuming was added for this edition just seemed totally unnecessary. Would it be worth it to watch just the regular version?

    I also really like that Tetro poster, it looks like it could also be a poster for broken embraces though.

  • 10 3-14-2009 at 7:32 am

    John Foote said...

    Agree with you Guy, “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” has some stunning images — Oldman was a wonderful Dracula though I wish Coppola had more of him in the top hat as the young Vlad, that was quite extraordinary (and to be there at the birth of the cinema??) — the sequence with Lucy Frost as a vampire in the crypt is unforgettable, and one does not even mind Hopkins hamming it up as Van Helsing — Keanu though??…ugh…and yes while ‘One from the Heart” is a mess as a film, the cinematography and art direction are very good.

  • 11 3-14-2009 at 7:33 am

    John Foote said...

    And of Spielberg — we are in the midst of his greatest run, 1993 to now…the body of his work, the incredible evolution of the man as an artist? What a thrill to see…

  • 12 3-14-2009 at 8:04 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    In the midst of his greatest run? I can’t agree … not with missteps like “The Terminal,” “War of the Worlds” and “Crystal Skull” stinking up his CV of late.

    He’s always misfired here and there, but I’m more impressed by his 70’s/early 80’s streak, where only “1941” failed to impress.

  • 13 3-14-2009 at 8:30 am

    Daniel said...

    I think Gallo is a strong actor, so while being a total jackass, I would love to see him get some recognition. He just hasn’t been able to properly follow up on Buffalo ’66

    Never really cared for Coppola in general though. Even his critical successes have left me lukewarm. PTA, Scorcese, Herzog, Kubrick, Chaplin, and Kurosawa had a much more interesting series of great films.

  • 14 3-14-2009 at 9:07 am

    Mr. Milich said...

    I’m of the opinion that two tops were Coppola’s ’70s run and Kubrick from ’64-’75:

    Dr. Strangelove
    2001: A Space Odyssey
    A Clockwork Orange
    Barry Lyndon

    You could argue back and forth… Kubrick didn’t actually win any BP’s, Coppola won two… but Coppola was a director for hire on one, while Kubrick had complete autonomy… and so on…

    I think Coppola had the greatest entire film career in history during that one decade, if you add Patton and American Graffiti. But I think Kubrick’s 4 films were simply peerless in their use of form, ideas and technology — and whereas Coppola’s success was based on collaboration (Storaro, Murch, Willis, etc.), Kubrick’s films are thought of as the work of one man.

    Ultimately, it’s about personal preference. For me, the edge goes to Kubrick.

  • 15 3-14-2009 at 10:33 am

    BurmaShave said...

    I agree with whomever brought up Hitch. VERTIGO, NORTH BY NORTHWEST and PSYCHO back-t0-back-to-back will never be equaled.

  • 16 3-14-2009 at 1:00 pm

    Speaking English said...

    Speaking of hot streaks, let’s not forget Bergman’s masterful run from 58-63. The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, Through a Glass Darkly, Winter Light, The Silence. Unbelievable. Then we can extend that to include his 66-69 run, with Persona, Shame, Hour of the Wolf, and The Passion of Anna.

    Absolutely awe-inspiring.

  • 17 3-14-2009 at 1:01 pm

    Speaking English said...

    Woops, I forgot The Virgin Spring.

  • 18 3-14-2009 at 1:37 pm

    Michael W. said...

    Coppolas streak in the 70s truly was something special but I have always thought that Frank Capra in the 30s is just as amazing.

    Lady for a Day
    It Happened One Night
    Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
    Lost Horizon
    You Can’t Take It With You
    Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

    3 directing Oscars for Capra and 2 best picture winners fra 33 to 39!!

  • 19 3-14-2009 at 1:44 pm

    John Foote said...

    Guy really? ‘Schindler’s List”, “Amistad”, ‘Saving Private Ryan”, the brilliant “A.I.”, “Minority Report”, “Catch Me If You Can”, ‘Munich” — pretty damned good run — and ‘The Terminal” had a wonderful Hanks performance if nothing else — “War of the Worlds”, though a terrible ending had moments of intense visceral terror, very strong stuff in 9/11 America — cannot think of another director who has given us such consistently remarkable work in the last eighteen years — sure there have been some clunkers, who hasn’t had one (with a filmography of more than ten), it happens — but Spielberg has done some growing these last few years…

  • 20 3-14-2009 at 2:19 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Sorry, John, we’re obviously not on the same page at all when it comes to Spielberg! I haven’t really liked a Spielberg film since 2002 — though “Minority Report” fluffs its ending, and “Catch Me If You Can” is an engaging trifle, nothing more.

    Meanwhile, I found “Munich” interesting but misconceived, “Ryan” dramatically inert after its incredible opening and “Amistad” just plain awful. For me, it’s pretty much been downhill since “Schindler’s List,” I’m afraid. But we’ll have to agree to disagree there.

  • 21 3-14-2009 at 3:03 pm

    Patryk said...

    And speaking of streaks…Woody Allen: “Annie Hall,” “Interiors,” and “Manhattan.”

  • 22 3-14-2009 at 3:44 pm

    Edward L. said...

    Patryk: Absolutely! If Coppola was the director of the ’70s, for me, Woody Allen had a similarly impressive – though very different – hot streak in the ’80s. Between 1977 and 1989, he directed Annie Hall, Manhattan, Stardust Memories, Broadway Danny Rose, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Hannah and Her Sisters, Radio Days and Crimes and Misdemeanors (all classics or close), as well as five other features. And he hasn’t been bad since either…

    I too would love to see Coppola return to his former greatness. But even if he doesn’t, nothing can shake the wonder of those earlier movies.

  • 23 3-14-2009 at 6:00 pm

    Billyboy said...

    True. It amazes me how people forget Woody Allen as one of the greatest filmmakers to emerge from the 70’s.

    He’s the one with the larger body of work and the most consistant of them, IMO. From 40+ films I could easily say only 5 of them are not great-good films.

    That being said I love Coppola. After Woody he’s my favorite filmmaker to emerge from the 70’s. Here’s hoping Tetro is great.

  • 24 3-14-2009 at 6:38 pm

    John Foote said...

    Fair enough Guy, respect you too much to attack — I love Spielberg, always have — the chat about Woody Allen is interesting because Woody directs a film a year, sometimes two, and many of them are masterpieces, but in between them they range from curious, like ‘Zelig” to awful, “The Curse of the Jade Scorpion” — when the littly guy is on he’s one and he did make some brilliant films in the seventies didn’t he??

  • 25 3-14-2009 at 8:34 pm

    Adrianna said...

    Since I’d heard what a mess “Youth Without Youth” was, I was reluctant to even rent it, but actually I really loved it. It seemed to have so many people working on it on such a personal level, that it spoke to me very personally too. In a way, I thought it was a step forward in its approach to editing and storytelling ( I find the editor Walter Murch’s work very interesting). I think it admirable that Coppola works so well with all the various artists who collaborate in a movie. It made me interested in him again.

  • 26 3-14-2009 at 9:17 pm

    Marvin said...

    Spielberg in the midst of his greatest run? With turds like The Terminal and War of the Worlds, to a lackluster Indiana Jones movie, his first in 20 years, I can’t agree there.

    He’s had a decent decade highlighted by A.I., Minority Report, Catch Me if You Can and Munich.

    As for Mr. Coppola, I am myself unfamiliar with him. Outside of his Godfather movies the only other movie of his that I’ve seen is Dracula.

    I remember he was featured in the audio commentary for Criterion’s release of The Thief of Bagdad along with Mr. Scorsese and was sadly eclipsed by Marty. He couldn’t come up with an interesting thing to say that didn’t involve the private screenings of the movie he did for his kids years ago.

  • 27 3-14-2009 at 9:24 pm

    Michael McKay said...

    Spielberg hasn’t made a really good film since Saving Private Ryan. Munich was respectable, and the rest were lackluster.

  • 28 3-14-2009 at 9:45 pm

    Mr. Milich said...

    Spielberg was the best mainstream American filmmaker working between ’98 and ’05. I’ll go with that. And I don’t even like half the movies he made during that period — but even the ones I didn’t like were better shot and edited than anything else out there. Unless something else comes along to completely shake my world, I’ll probably combine his trilogy of A.I., Minority Report and War of the Worlds together as my top choice for the decade — though the top single entry so far would be Elephant.

    And yes, also, to Woody Allen’s run. As there was overlap from Kubrick to Coppola, there was overlap from Coppola to Allen. Allen was the best american writer-director from the late ’70s to the mid-’80s.

  • 29 3-14-2009 at 10:01 pm

    Speaking English said...

    “As for Mr. Coppola, I am myself unfamiliar with him. Outside of his Godfather movies the only other movie of his that I’ve seen is Dracula.”

    Wow. You have to see “Apocalypse Now” and “The Conversation.” No excuses.

  • 30 3-15-2009 at 2:53 am

    Glenn said...

    “One from the Heart” is my favourite Coppola film. There, I said it.

  • 31 3-15-2009 at 12:44 pm

    John Foote said...

    Speaking English — great advice — Can any real film nut be unfamiliar with Coppola???

  • 32 3-15-2009 at 1:21 pm

    Chad said...

    Tetro sounds interesting but why is Dom DeLouise introducing it?

  • 33 3-15-2009 at 1:53 pm

    Zan said...

    “Apocalypse Now” may be one of the most interesting stories outside of the film, from the scripting issues to the on-set tension between Coppola and the actors at certain points, the strange happenings…it’s all really interesting stuff if you have the Complete Dossier version of the DVD.

    As for Spielberg, you too soon equate mainstream appeal with talent. Spielberg’s not a top 5 director of today. His run was way too long ago to put him above the like of PT Anderson, who possesses more directorial talent in each film than Spielberg ever has in any film.

    One cannot deny Spielberg’s impact on the box office in the 70s, but people forget that films like “Jaws” and “Close Encounters” were movies designed for teenagers. They aren’t widely considered top 100 movies of all time and rightly so. Any top 100 will include Coppola’s three greatest works because I believe his style, like Anderson’s, was more like that of an auteur filmmaker rather than just a director that seeks to purely entertain.

  • 34 3-15-2009 at 2:42 pm

    Mr. Milich said...

    Zan, that’s just plain dumb.

    First of all, Spielberg’s sole purpose is not to entertain. And if you’ve watched any of his films from the past decade you’d realize how much more mature and intellectually profound they are than anything Anderson’s done.

    Furthermore, when Spielberg arrived, nobody sat around pointing out his obvious visual and narrative references the way they did with Anderson (Scorsese, Altman, Demme, etc.). Spielberg arrived as a hydrogen bomb on the filmmaking landscape. Anderson is still building steam.

    Spielberg, as many have noted, is essentially a modern day Hitchcock, in that he’s generally derided as a craftsman and commercial filmmaker. But, like Hitchcock, his status will rise. It undoubtedly will.

    Spielberg is probably the finest shot for shot narrative filmmaker I’ve ever seen (which is not to be confused with being the greatest filmmaker ever — quite a different thing). I don’t even like Saving Private Ryan, but the Normandy sequence is still above and beyond anything that any other filmmaker has attempted before or since.

    All that said, Spielberg is a fan of Anderson’s. At a Lincoln Center tribute in 2002, Spielberg said he thought Anderson was the most talented young filmmaker working.

  • 35 3-15-2009 at 4:26 pm

    Michael McKay said...

    Spielberg, and intellectually profound in the same sentence??

    Hmm…I must not have been paying close enough attention.

    Hitchcock’s films had style and suspense. Spielberg’s films have neither.

  • 36 3-15-2009 at 5:42 pm

    Mr. Milich said...

    Based on both statements, Michael, I’d agree, you haven’t been paying attention.

  • 37 3-16-2009 at 9:19 am

    John Foote said...

    Mr. Milch…for the last statement to Michael…ditto…this slagging of Spielberg has become fashionable and rather unkind — the man is brilliant, most of his films remarkable (not all I concede) but most of them…end of story.

  • 38 3-16-2009 at 12:38 pm

    Michael McKay said...

    There are two types of people in this world…those who think Steven Spielberg walks on water…and those who don’t.

    He’s directed close to 40 features, of which, only 6, are of any real lasting value. Those being Jaws, Close Encounters, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T., Schindler’s List, and Saving Private Ryan.

    His films have no particular sense of style, or atmosphere, and he doesn’t stick with any one genre, so his films aren’t unified by any common theme. I don’t see any particular thread that runs through all his work. It’s just meat and potatoes. His work has no “edge” about it, or anything divisive that might cause some in the audience to dislike it. He just isn’t a risk taker, and tries too hard not to offend.

    He simply gives his audience exactly what they want, each time out.

  • 39 3-16-2009 at 4:24 pm

    Mr. Milich said...


    You’re not writing about Steven Spielberg. You’re writing about a fictitious character. You are. Most of the people leveling these types of criticisms against Spielberg don’t realize these criticisms don’t apply to him — it’s some imaginary composite filmmaker that doesn’t exist. I think, realistically, your mind has confused Spielberg with Ron Howard or Robert Zemekis or Chris Columbus. Those are basically the types that have no personal style and choose their projects in a reptilian manner of anonymous craft without art.

    Furthermore, the idea that because he works in multiple genres makes him an artist without a unified theme has no basis. Kubrick’s films were different each outing. As were Coppola’s. As are most great filmmakers, in my opinion. It takes a great deal more talent to not repeat yourself than to keep doing the same thing over and over.

    Furtherfurthermore, if all he was interested in doing was safe, predictable entertainment, perhaps you could tell me why he’s only made one straightforward blockbuster in the past decade (Indy IV)? Insofar as I’m aware, most of his films this past decade have either underperformed or have been considered critical favorites. Even movies that were expected to do well commercially suffered because they were too dark and thematically challenging for mass audiences; that’s what he’s been up to — using his mainstream leverage to force-feed ideas to the public.

  • 40 3-17-2009 at 5:46 am

    John Foote said...

    Wow Michael are you misinformed — indeed the six features you mention are terrific films (enough I think to allow Spielberg claim to great filmmaker status) but you missed a few — “Empire of the Sun” might be the most under appreciated masterpiece of the eighties, and “A.I: Artificial Intelligence” is bold and daring, audacious and demanding on its audience, a departure from his crown pleasing work — ‘Minority Report” might be the finest science fiction film of the decade, and “Catch Me If You Can” was a marvelous, frothy, bouncy character study with superb performances from Di Caprio and Walken — not edgy for you…”Munich” the chilliest film of his career? I am not saying the man walks on water, after all he made “Hook” but I believe it is hight ime he get his credit as one of the finest directors in film history…period. After “Schindler’s List” he chose to grow as an artist rather than rest on his box office laurels, and not all of his films were succesful with audiences — ‘The Terminal” with a wonderful Tom Hanks performance was such an odd film no one quite knew what to do with it — come on, get off him, the man is brilliant and though he is just now getting his due as a great director, “Jaws” was the work of a great director wasn’t it???

  • 41 3-17-2009 at 1:18 pm

    Michael McKay said...

    I’m surrounded by Spielberg disciples!!

    John, couldn’t disagree more on your assessment of Spielbergs work this decade…I’m on the same page as Guy Lodge on this one. Only the real enthusiasts of his work, seem to cherish his recent output. In fact, many of his films this decade, have received rather modest reviews (in comparison to his early work), in quite a few film circles. Like Mr. Milich hinted in his previous posts, Spielberg and his work, have received noted criticism among many in the film community in the last decade. So I know I’m not completely alone on an island with my opinions of the man, and his work. I see him as a master whose time has passed.

    With the exception of Munich, he hasn’t done one film this decade that didn’t disappointment me (A.I. being the biggest culprit), or leave me feeling indifferent. I admire his early work, and do consider him a talented (if greatly overrated) filmmaker. But, I guess his film sensibilities just aren’t to my taste. Too much of his work, while technically well crafted, just leaves me empty on
    so many levels.

    Kubrick did work in different genres, but he had certain themes that seemed to run like a thread through his entire filmography.

    Is Spielberg among the top 50 filmmakers of all-time??…in my opinion…no. Top 100…without a doubt.

  • 42 3-17-2009 at 2:53 pm

    John Foote said...

    Guess like Guy we will agree to disagree —

  • 43 3-17-2009 at 4:54 pm

    Chad said...

    Spielberg’s careers isn’t a straight ascending or descending line. I would argue that this decade contains by far his most interesting film (A.I.) and by far his shittiest (Indiana Jones). In general, he’s amazingly gifted but also too predictable and sentimental. He’s also quoted as saying, “If a person can tell me the idea in 25 words or less, it’s going to make a pretty good movie.” Pretty much the exact opposite of what I believe.

  • 44 3-17-2009 at 5:30 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    A lot of people drink the koolaid when it comes to Spielberg because he has UNDENIABLE visual storytelling talent. One of a kind, really, the likes we’ll never see again. I’m actually more positive on some of his clunkers than most, but if you can’t understand how “Munich” is a Tony Kushner-ruined shell of a great Eric Roth script, how “Minority Report” totally screws the pooch with exposition regurgitation in the final act, how “War of the Worlds” ultimately panders with the son sub-story, how “Catch Me If You Can” and “The Terminal” are hardly artistic works that don’t serve to do more than entertain (nothing wrong with that), how “Saving Private Ryan” and “Schindler’s List” are nearly upended by dubious bookend devices and how “Indiana Jones 4” is one of the biggest pieces of shit ever committed to celluloid, I don’t think you’re being honest with yourself.

    All that said, he has to be considered one of the greatest of all time. There was a quote from a video game developer in a recent issue of Nintendo Power, of all places, that sums it up nicely. The piece concerned the upcoming Wii game Boom Blox: Bash Party (a sequel to an extremely entertaining game that Spielberg conceived):

    “That”s what makes Spielberg Spielberg — the ability to put his finger on what’s compelling for just about every human being on the planet.”

  • 45 3-18-2009 at 7:04 am

    John Foote said...

    Yep great quote Kris, but I totally disagree with you on all other areas, with the exception of Indiana Jones 4, the son bullshit in “War of the Worlds” and “The Terminal” — have to ask, what;s wrong with just entertaining us? Sometimes it’s nice to go to the movies and not have to think too hard — obviously going to defend him in an article upcoming.

  • 46 3-18-2009 at 11:16 am

    Michael McKay said...

    No!! John…Please, there is no need to defend Spielberg in an upcoming article!! Enough about him already!!

    I’ll take back everything I said in previous posts, but please…please…don’t do that!! Spielberg totally rocks!! Just let it die…your right…i’m wrong…Kris is wrong…Guy is wrong…your right…and so is Mr. Milich.

  • 47 3-18-2009 at 11:28 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Yeah, I don’t think a Spielberg defense is novel at this stage. It’s an endless debate and all sides have been well-represented.