On the face of it, the second part of AFI’s Steven Spielberg retrospective seem about as necessary as Michael Jordan simultaneously playing two professional sports. But there’s something to be said for Spielberg’s embrace of ostentatious spectacle, and few of his films capture that wide-eyed wonderment better than Jurassic Park. Though it sidelines itself with the director’s penchant toward dewy sentimentalism and exaggerated pomp, Jurassic Park’s universal appeal is such that even a creationist would acquiesce. Think of all the good the film brought into the world: a worldwide love affair with velociraptors (sorry about that, Toronto basketball fans!), grounds for a paleontologist sitcom character, and lest we forget—John Williams’ booming score. Maybe it’s just the once-ubiquitous marketing lingering within my pre-adolescent unconscious, but I still get chills when Williams’ song blares as billionaire John Hammond dramatically declares “Welcome to Jurassic Park!”
THE FILM SHOWS at 4 p.m. AT THE AFI SILVER THEATRE AND CULTURAL CENTER, 8633 COLESVILLE ROAD, SILVER SPRING. $6–$10. (301) 495-6720.