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Feature: Spider-Man

Web-tastic hero

Ultimate DVD catches up with the Web-master himself, Spider-Man director Sam Raimi...

Peter Parker’s metamorphosis from shy science student into web-slinging superhero has captivated worldwide audiences this summer and will continue to do so as the hotly-anticipated DVD swings into town. Yet Sam Raimi’s own transformation from low budget Horror film-maker into the director responsible for the most successful big-budget movie of the summer is equally remarkable.

Moving from the Evil Dead trilogy into a variety of genres, taking in gun-slinging Western (The Quick & the Dead), baseball drama (For Love of the Game), doom-laden thriller (A Simple Plan) and Supernatural chiller (The Gift), Raimi’s constant reinvention has, according to the director, been a deliberate move.

“I have always prided myself on trying to do something different. When I made the first Evil Dead film, I tried to make it as different of a horror film as possible and when it came time to making the sequel, I tried to make that very, very different than the first Evil Dead film. And when we had a third Evil Dead film called Army of Darkness, again I tried to make that very different. I felt that I was reaching an end to original, creative thinking, if I kept along those lines of trying to just explore attempting to thrill the audience with wild camera moves and visuals and outrageousness. I felt that I had to really explore performance and the basics of telling a story, so that I could grow as an entertainer and a storyteller.

“I thought I had to experiment and challenge myself, so I tried to, with A Simple Plan, make a very different type of picture that I’ve never tried before. I tried to make a picture where the actors told the whole story and it was not about the camera or anything about me. It was me sitting back and trying to be invisible and trying to make the audience connect with the performers and their thoughts and their hopes and their fears.

“I found it to be thrilling, a breakthrough for me. Then I continued to explore that in pictures like The Gift and For Love of the Game, but when I heard that there was a chance of directing Spider-Man, I thought this would be a picture where I could take everything that I used to do. The visuals, the fun and the thrills – and combine it with what I had learned about directing the actors and what I had learned about the power of performance. So it really was a great opportunity to blend everything I knew into a new story and one that I loved. So it was a real coming together of things that I have learned.”

by Jason Caro

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Ultimate DVD #36

Feature © Visual Imagination 2002. Not for reproduction

Taken from
Ultimate DVD #36, see below for ordering options
Ultimate DVD #36
December (Spider Man) 2002
ships from Oct 31 2002
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UK £3.99 / US $7.99

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