An open letter to Steven Spielberg
April 21, 2012
Dear Mr. Spielberg,
most of what they tried to teach me during gymnasium Latin classes has long since evaporated from my memory. I no longer remember how to conjugate verbs and I’ve forgotten the bulk of my meagre vocabulary. Luckily though we also often discussed Roman and Greek history, religion and mythology which imprints itself onto one’s psyche with far greater ease. One of the stories from Greek mythology that most affected me concerned the brothers Kleobis and Biton, who were the sons of a priestess to Hera. One day, their mother was scheduled to perform a ritual at a temple and the oxen that were supposed to pull the cart were delayed. Kleobis and Biton pulled the cart instead with near super-human strength and endurance. So impressed was their mother that she asked Hera to award her sons the greatest of gifts a God can give a mortal. The following morning Kleobis and Biton were found dead in their room, they had died a painless death in their sleep, at the prime of their lives.
It cannot be reasonably denied that your work has had a major impact on modern cinema and you’ve certainly directed some of the most innovative and ambitious films that have graced the silver screen. Nobody’s track record is flawless and neither should it be. You —like every other human being— needs to be given the latitude to make new mistakes and gratitude once you’ve made them, so that all of us can be the better for it.
That being said, there are times when one must tread extra carefully because the subject matter in question is not yours alone. When you decided to turn The Adventures of Tintin into a full length film, you should have realised that this story belonged not just to you, but to all of us. What you have done amounts to nothing less than pillaging. The dissolution of a comic book series that so many of us have come to love from early childhood. There is no excuse for this. No rationalisation that could possibly mitigate the magnitude of this crime.
Mr. Spielberg, please stop making movies before you mutilate your legacy beyond recognition.