TCM’s Williams/Spielberg ‘Master Class’ Reviews

 “Clearly, the pair make a great fit for a show about film collaboration. With little fanfare, John Williams and Steven Spielberg sit in front of a class at the AFI. The program is divided into three clear chapters — influences, collaboration, and Q & A. All three could have been a full hour long and the show’s biggest problem is that there’s simply too much history to cram into 44 minutes” – Full article at

“A running theme throughout the hour is just how much Spielberg relies on Williams’ scores as the central component of his films. Some might view this as a crutch Spielberg uses to ramp up the emotional manipulation of his work, but it’s clear from Master Class that he views Williams’ work as both necessary and instructive to make those works whole.” – Full article at A.V. Club

“The American Film Institute could have hardly chosen a more appealing pairing to inaugurate its Turner Classic Movies specials “Master Class — the Art of Collaboration” than Steven Spielberg and John Williams, whose 40-year relationship is one of the most fruitful and memorable in screen history. The ensuing hour manages to be both intimate and revealing, overcoming the seminar format to feel like a legitimate treat for discriminating movie fans — one that ought to enhance their appreciation of a composer’s contribution to films.” – Full article at Variety

“Interestingly, Spielberg says his collaboration with Williams on “Jaws” began with very little agreement. Spielberg finished cutting the film and before he sent it to Williams he added music from an old Williams score, just because he thought that was the kind of thing that would be appropriate. Williams saw the film, as Spielberg tells it here, “then called me to say ‘No, no, you have the music all wrong. This is a pirate movie.’” – Full review at NYDailyNews

“It’s an extremely entertaining hour, especially when the two talk about their own methods of collaboration and just how free form it can be. Their discussion of “Jaws,” is particularly entertaining and eye-opening. High marks also go to the students who ask pretty much all of the right questions (though had I been there myself, I probably would’ve also asked a question on whether or not Williams has joined Spielberg in editing after Spielberg’s first cut and Williams’ recording of the score).” – Full article at The Trades

“In a cozy setting at the AFI Conservatory and with an audience of aspiring AFI Fellows filmmakers, Spielberg and Williams discuss their collaborations. After so many years, they still greatly admire each other, professionally and personally. “He’s never once said to me, ‘I don’t like that,’ or ‘this won’t work,’” Williams says of his music for Spielberg, “He’s enjoyed everything, even the mistakes.”” – Full article at McClatchy

“For the first 15 minutes or so, Spielberg and Williams blow kisses at each other. Spielberg, Williams says, walks around the room and “imbibes the sound of the orchestra — and loves it, like he’s paid a ticket to a concert.” Williams — Spielberg calls him “Johnny” — creates music that takes the movies “to an entirely different level,” Spielberg says.” – Full article at Nuvo