SCHINDLER’S LIST Blu-Ray Release Date Announced
By John H. Foote
In a nice surprise, Universal announced that Steven Spielberg‘s Academy Award winning masterpiece Schindler’s List (1993) will be released on Blu-Ray March 5. This marks another major Spielberg film to come to Blu-Ray within a year, as Jaws (1975), E.T. (1982) and the Indiana Jones films (81-84-89-08) were released on Blu-Ray in 2012.
Schindler’s List (1993) stunned critics when screened for critics twenty years ago because many of them just could not believe Spielberg had made the film, the thinking being he did not have such a picture in him. Though it is easy to see this now, given the success of the movie, I always believed Spielberg had greatness within him and that it had been reflected in his work many times before Schindler’s List (1993). However, this was the film in which he threw away all the things that made him Steven Spielberg and created a film directly from his soul. No sweeping shots, no soaring score, no shooting stars, just a dark, grim, often violent and straight forward story of a member of the Nazi party who for reasons not likely even known to himself decided to save more than one thousands Jews from the death camps during the Second World War. Shooting the film in black and white gave the picture an authenticity that color would have taken away, and the hand held shots brought to the film an urgency, a greater immediacy than any Spielberg film had ever had. It was, it remains, a masterpiece.
The film won twelve Academy Award nominations and took home seven Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director. At last Spielberg had his Best Director Oscar, and it seemed in winning after all those years, something in him was set free. I believe the shooting of Schindler’s List (1993) brought to him what was truly important in life, that of course being family, love and life. He got in touch with his heritage, and became a better person, recognizing that the film touched others during the making and he was not alone. For the first time in his career he seemed to fully comprehend what it was to be a collaborator.
The film swept the Best Picture prizes in 1993, winning the Oscar, the New York and LA Film Critics Awards, the National Society of Film Critics Award, the National Board of Review and every single Best Picture prize given that year of any importance. Oddly, the same was not true of his achievement as director. Though he collected the National Society of Film Critics Award as Best Director, the Globe and of course the DGA Award, other fillmakers took the prize with the LA and NY Critics. How strange.
The film is simply one of the greatest films ever made, and I cannot wait to see how Blu-Ray allows it to truly come to life once again.