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by The Ultimate Dancing Machine

"Obscure trivia question of the day"
3 stars

If you've ever wondered why Steven Spielberg calls his production company Amblin Entertainment--then you need something better to do with your time, but anyhow the answer is this half-hour short he directed in his early 20s.

It's a well-produced, episodic tale about two hitchhikers doing not much except wander around, in that '60s way, and look pretty for the camera. By his own admission, Spielberg is not a writer, so it's no surprise--probably good artistic sense, too--that this movie has no dialogue; the emphasis is on visuals. Occasionally, these become self-consciously arty--in one shot, a closeup of the male actor's pants zipper seamlessly segues into the dividing line of a two-lane road--but the movie overall looks great. There's also a dreamy soundtrack, including a good title song by a band called the October Country.

It feels like more a calling card than a fully-realized project; the movie is the work of a young director showing off his strengths--and AMBLIN' does that well enough.

Not much else to say about a film under thirty minutes long, except to add that, for better or worse, the Spielberg empire basically started here.

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originally posted: 12/12/02 14:51:32
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  18-Dec-1968 (NR)



Directed by
  Steven Spielberg

Written by
  Steven Spielberg

  Richard Levin
  Pamela McMyler

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