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Matthew Zoller Seitz

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    VIDEO ESSAY: MAGIC AND LIGHT: THE FILMS OF STEVEN SPIELBERG - Chapter 6: Indiana Jones and the Story of Life

    What does it mean to be a father? What does it mean to come of age without a father? These questions have been at the center of many Steven Spielberg films. Both light entertainments and dark historical dramas have considered them. The director’s evolving views on fathers and fatherhood are on surpr...

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    VIDEO ESSAY: MAGIC AND LIGHT: THE FILMS OF STEVEN SPIELBERG, Chapter 5: Father figures

    Steven Spielberg is the product of The Greatest Generation -- a Baby Boomer raised on idealized images of the nuclear family, progress, and American might. He is also a child of divorce -- a dreamer from a broken home. Spielberg’s attempt to reconcile these two biographical facts—the mythic ideal of...

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    VIDEO ESSAY: MAGIC AND LIGHT: THE FILMS OF STEVEN SPIELBERG, Chapter 4: Evil and Authority

    The antagonist, in Steven Spielberg’s films, has many faces. It can be government scientists involved in seemingly shady plots. It can be unstoppable behemoths such as the shark in Jaws or the tanker truck in Duel. Warped ideologies, as in Schindler’s List. Or the tangled and self-defeating all...

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    VIDEO ESSAY: MAGIC AND LIGHT: THE FILMS OF STEVEN SPIELBERG - Chapter 3: Communication

    Steven Spielberg's movies are often described as hopeful, optimistic, sweet -- or, pejoratively, as sentimental, naive, and "feel-good." In some sense, all those adjectives are right. Many of his movies are transcendently cheerful. Even the bleakest offer a shred of hope for humanity, or else lam...

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    VIDEO ESSAY: MAGIC AND LIGHT: THE FILMS OF STEVEN SPIELBERG, Chapter 2: Blood & Pulp

    When you think of the films of Steven Spielberg, violence may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But Spielberg’s films wouldn’t be Spielberg’s films if he didn’t show and imply violent actions. Violence is just another color on Spielberg’s palette and he’s not shy about using it, either to e...

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    SLIDE SHOW: The best TV shows of the year

    We’re living in some kind of new Golden Age of scripted TV, and this year’s best offerings were amazing. I decided to be rigorous and restrict myself to just 10 entries. It wasn’t easy. These 10 picks represent what I think were the most creative and consistently satisfying scripted comedies and ...

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    VIDEO ESSAY: MAGIC AND LIGHT: THE FILMS OF STEVEN SPIELBERG: Chapter 1: Introduction

    Steven Spielberg is one of the most popular storytellers of all time. Based solely on box-office receipts, that’s an inarguable fact. It's been true since 1975, when the box office take of his breakthrough Jaws redefined the the word "blockbuster." Look at the top grossing movies of all time, ...

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    MATT ZOLLER SEITZ: Where can AMERICAN HORROR STORY go from here?

    “Just because we’re dead doesn’t mean we don’t have wants … desires,” said Tate, the pouty, bratty, forever-teenage rubber-suit-wearing, mom-of-the-house raping, suicide pact-making … sorry, I feel like there should be about 12 more adjectives in there, because the ghostly Tate, like most of the cha...

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    MATT ZOLLER SEITZ: GLEE has a Judy Garland Christmas

    All together now, readers: If you hate Glee so much, Matt, why do you keep watching it? I don’t know, folks. At the risk of sounding like a masochistic romantic who’s stuck in a tortuous relationship — Dear diary, I can’t TAKE this anymore, it’s horrible and it’s ...

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    Dear HBO: Renew ENLIGHTENED

    “Everything can be transformed,” said Laura Dern’s character, Amy Jellicoe, on last night’s first-season finale of “Enlightened,” walking to work and then through the corridors of her office. “Every single thing. Goodness exists. It’s all around. It’s just sleeping. It can be wakened.”

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