Steven Spielberg wants to sell The Fablemans as his most personal film yet, but it could be tough.

Steven Spielberg fabelmens The way you’d expect it to begin an autobiographical story about the birth of a filmmaker: by admiring the magic of movies. As young Sammy Fabelman (Mateo Zorina Francis-Deford) heads to his first film screening, his parents, Burt (Paul Dano) and Mitzi (Michelle Williams) tell him about the miracles he is about to witness. . Burt, an electrical engineer, describes the persistence of vision as how moving pictures use the limits of our bodies’ own systems to cause us to see motion where none is present, while Mitzi, who is a concert The pianist may be, she was not the housewife of the 1950s, praises her qualities in less tangible terms. “Movies are dreams,” she smiles, “dreams you never forget.” There’s only one problem, Sammy replies: “Dreams are scary.”

family watching movies The Greatest Show on Earth, a memorable experience happens, if not magical: the scene of a fatal train derailment scares little Sammy so much that he can’t get it out of his head. But that trauma breeds an obsession. He asks his parents to give him an eight-piece train set, a car for each night of Hanukkah, and sets off in his basement to recreate the images in his head, to document the practice. Uses a camera so that he can see it over and over again. His father was initially annoyed that he was hitting trains, damaging the accuracy of his fine tools. But his mother understands what Sammy wants: He’s filming the images so he can control them.

Controlling images, of course, is what Spielberg has always done. when i saw her story of the west In the run-up to its New York premiere, my mouth practically broke open with my opening shot, a magisterial overview of an urban slum demonstrating a precisely executed midair pirate on a massive wrecking ball. . (I had to suppress the urge to throw up my arms and shout “Movies!”) And control is one of the impulses that lead to memorization, the desire to stick both hands into the messy blob of past experience and recognize some wrestling from it. Lol, a story where the characters behave in a way that makes sense and their actions once add up to more than just a vague sense of being somewhere else now. But when you’re a controller as skilled as Spielberg, when that form of mastery is second nature, the process can level something he wants to revive. On the rare occasions when Spielberg’s films have played film festivals, they usually equate to an art-house cheat day, a bit bfg Before you head back to the main Cannes slate. but fabelmens Arrived at the Toronto International Film Festival last Saturday night like a film it might need to captivate its audience instead of presenting it with politely bowed heads approaching awards season. (It’s kind of ironic that the film that sparked young Sammy’s passion for movies is one of the worst Best Picture winners in history.) story of the west The Oscars went to as if it had been recognized, and the result was 7 dutiful nominations but only one win. with fabelmensThe idea seems to set it up as a shorter, more bespoke film, even if its two-and-a-half hours feel anything but modest.

in Toronto, where Spielberg stayed after midnight Q&A: and returned for one Press conference The next morning, the filmmaker reiterated how personal the film was to him. “This movie, for me, is a way to bring my mom and dad back,” he said at the premiere. “And it brought my sisters, Annie, Susie, and Nancy closer to me than I ever imagined.” But it’s sharing the season with films that are equally personal, and feel more. James Gray’s armageddon time, which opens next month, is also the coming of age tale of a young Jewish artist, but it is a story filled with repetition and self-doubt that felt like an exorcism masquerading as a monument. does. Charlotte Wells’ after noon, which, like Gray’s film, debuted at Cannes and played at TIFF, stars Francesca Corio and Paul Mescal as a young woman and her father on vacation in Turkey, based on memories, to judge from the film, Both are touching and painful. The everlasting haze of the summer sun feels as though we’re traveling through the filmmaker’s mind, sometimes seeing things she’s not sure she wants to show, and its spectacular final shot reveals that of our loved ones. Memories can both preserve and imprison them. Taking those thoughts off the film can be a way to preserve them, but also to let them go in the end.

No film, though, feels as powerfully ambivalent about her practice of ditching her past as Joanna Hogg. eternal daughter, ,after noon And eternal daughter Will both be released by A24; Dates have not yet been set.) It is Hogg’s third consecutive autobiographical film, followed by Souvenir And Souvenir Part IIBut it’s more of a postscript than a sequel, with Tilda Swinton reprising her role as Hogg’s mother and as part of Hogg. MemorialSwinton’s Daughter Honor by Swinton Byrne, acquired by Tilda herself. Hogg began the TIFF screening by asking if anyone in the audience had a brush with “haunting experiences,” which might be the best way to describe the film, which sees Swinton, both mother and daughter, for a few days. Spends heavily in the mansion in the British countryside that now serves as a barely occupied hotel. The mother spent time at the home shelter during World War II, and the daughter has taken her to what appears to be a haze-covered walk down memory lane. But she is secretly recording her mother’s memories for the script for the film she is working on, and it turns out that many of her mother’s childhood memories are memorable, but not all are.

eternal daughter Openly not only does Hogg find his mother right on screen, but whether or not he has a right to have her there. The swiftness with which Betty slides her iPhone under a napkin as her mother approaches the dinner table suggests a guilt that the film explores without much enthusiasm. But the fact that both characters are played by the same actress, apart from a nifty bit of metafiction, is a clue that this isn’t about either of them personally, but the two of them together. Hogg isn’t using his mother to tell his story, or to explain it to someone other than himself, but is examining the ways in which, no matter how close they are, always each other. Whether struggling or falling for someone, how to love someone is always a bit like chasing a ghost.

It’s likely that Spielberg’s film will outdo all these others when they arrive in November. He has stated that it is not his swan song, and that he has no plans to retire, but with fabelmens And story of the west There is definitely a feeling of a farewell note, as well as a desire to be on top of your game. If his career ends the way he began by revisiting it, he would have left us with a lot of ghosts to live with.

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