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Festival features film’s man with Midas touch

A MONTH of Steven Spielberg’s box office hits. Fans are spoilt for choice on M-Net Movies Showcase next month.

What’s so fascinating about this film-maker is that his TV outings have had a converse effect, in some instances.

MOVIE MARATHON: Award-winning filmmaker Steven Spielberg's movies spanning over 50 years like Jurassic Park III, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Hook will be airing on M-Net Movies Showcase in March.

The two examples that stand out are Terra Nova and Under the Dome, both impeded, in my opinion, by storylines that offered no scope for expansion.

I guess, sometimes being an influential director in Hollywood is no guarantee that every under-taking will mirror his legacy.

For viewers, though, it will be a nostalgic journey watching his movies as he ascended the ranks in Tinseltown. And there are a whopping 50 films on the menu.

Although legendary for his sci-fi exploits, Spielberg also left big footprints in other genres from thriller to action to adventure, either as director, producer or executive producer.

To whet the appetite, the iconic ET: The Extra –Terrestrial starts things, with Jurassic Park and The Lost World, Jurassic Park following it.

Of the more poignant and sweeping offerings, there is The Color Purple, which marked Oprah Winfrey’s finest outing as an actress (still not sure about the hype around her performance in The Butler).

The list also includes Amistad, Munich, Saving Private Ryan, The Terminal, War Horse and Schindler’s List.

The director’s other notable plaudits cover a wide spectrum with War of the Worlds, Lincoln, Sugarland Express, Jaws, the Indiana Jones franchise as well as Men in Black, Empire of the Sun, Hook, Minority Report, Catch Me if You Can, the Back to the Future series, The Goonies (going way back now), Money Pit and Gremlins on the list.

Oh, and his small screen forays Band of Brothers and The Pacific have also bagged praise.

With five decades’ experience under his belt, Spielberg is untouchable as far as the critics go. Let’s face it, that includes his bank balance.

Hits and flops aside, Spielberg’s creative expertise and vision have undoubtedly lent themselves to some stupendous historical moments for Hollywood. That deserves a salute – and then some!

• The Steven Spielberg film festival airs on M-Net Movies Showcase next month.

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