Slash Film and writer Chris Evangelista have been taking an interesting look at the film work of Steven Spielberg in the 21st Century over the past few months. Films like Minority Report, A.I. Artificial Intellegence and The Terminal are much more divisive films in the director’s filmography than the work he was putting out in the 70s, 80s and 90s.
Here is an excerpt from Evangelista’s analysis of Spielberg’s work on Catch Me If You Can:
Ultimately, Catch Me If You Can is a deft blend of sunshine and darkness. It’s Spielberg having fun while reminding us that he has serious things on his mind. And it’s a personal movie that may be more personal than he even realized.
Around the time Catch Me came out, Spielberg commented in several interviews that he could relate to Frank’s con artist ways because of one specific incident in his past. The story is pretty famous among those who are familiar with Spielberg’s past. The way the filmmaker tells it, he started sneaking on the Universal Studios lot at age 16, dressed in a suit and tie, and set up shop in an empty office on the lot for three months.
“When I was first trying to become a movie director, I became a 16-and-a-half-year-old executive,” Spielberg said. “I put on a suit and tie and carried a briefcase, and walked right past Scotty at the main gate at Universal Studios every day during summer vacation. Five days a week for three months, I walked on and off that lot…and was, for that one moment, Frank Abagnale. “