Wednesday, February 14, 2018

STEVEN SPIELBERG CELEBRATES PRESS FREEDOM WITH “THE POST”


Variety raves that Steven Spielberg's The Post, “Pulses ahead like a detective yarn for news junkies, one that crackles with present-day parallels.”

USA Today declares, “The Post is an inspirational reminder of the importance of a free press while unabashedly making journalism look like the most awesome job ever.”

And Rolling Stone praises, “Spielberg's tense, terrific new drama, with Streep and Hanks at their finest, celebrates the passionate bond between a free press and every thinking human being.”


Fresh from receiving a Best Picture nomination in the 90th Academy Awards, Univeral Pictures' The Post is headed to Philippine cinemas on February 21, a week before the actual Oscars.

Indeed, it seems The Post cannot be more timely as it arrives in Philippine cinemas at a moment when press freedom finds itself in the headlines.

Steven Spielberg directs Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks in The Post, a thrilling drama about the unlikely partnership between The Washington Post’s Katharine Graham (Streep), the first female publisher of a major American newspaper, and editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks), as they race to catch up with The New York Times to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets that spanned three decades and four U.S. Presidents. The two must overcome their differences as they risk their careers – and their very freedom – to help bring long-buried truths to light.

The story of The Post drew the attention of Meryl Streep even before Steven Spielberg was on board to direct. “I was familiar with the stories about The Washington Post and Watergate from Alan Pakula’s All The President’s Men, where Kay Graham makes a brief but fleeting appearance. But I really didn’t know much about her,” she recalls. “But Liz Hannah’s script really seemed to capture the flavor of that time. I found it incredibly compelling. And a story that hasn’t been told.”

Spielberg also had a visceral reaction to the script. Despite being in the midst of intensive preparation for the special effects-heavy Ready Player One, this deeply historic, and human, story called to him. “Liz’s writing, her premise, her critical study and especially her beautiful, personal portrait of Graham got me to say: ‘I might be crazy, but I think I’m going to make another movie right now,’” he recalls. “It snuck up on me.”

It all came together at an unusually brisk pace, even for Spielberg whose work ethic is renowned. The two leads he wanted to cast as Graham and Bradlee—Streep and Hanks—each expressed immediate interest. Almost miraculously, both had openings in their schedules. Here was an opportunity for three gifted artists in film today to work in partnership and all were determined to move ahead full speed.

Especially interesting to Spielberg was the risk-taking involved, which made the story equal parts thriller, drama and character study of a woman uncovering the ringing strength of her voice. “The Washington Post took a huge chance publishing after the judge told The New York Times to halt,” he says. “The timing couldn't have been worse. The Post was kind of bleeding out and they needed to go public to remain solvent. And in the middle of it all was Graham, who had to make the biggest decision of the newspaper’s history. I saw the story being as much about the birth of a leader as about the growth of a national newspaper.”

In Philippine cinemas February 21, The Post is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

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