It's a pretty common phenomenon.
A creative artist comes along who becomes the game-changer in his or her field. They make the biggest difference among their generation. Then, as future generations come of age, they recede a bit. Sure, they are still revered, as the old lions; yesterday's creative icon becomes today's master of "old school."
So decades after a young Steven Spielberg teamed up with John Williams to create "Jaws," "ET, The Extra-Terrestial," "Raiders of the Lost Ark," and other classics, establishing themselves as the new storytellers; years after legions of other directors have, in their own ways, brilliantly stole the pop-cultural spotlight for themselves - Ethan and Joel Coen, Danny Boyle, Darren Aronofsky, Steven Soderberg, Peter Jackson, James Cameron and others - Spielberg and Williams make "Warhorse."
And in so doing they remind us not just that what they did then, they can still do now; but that what they did then is just as right, and every bit as effective, today. Because one thing will always trump new technology, innovative technique, and celebrity: a great story, told simply. Even with all the clichés, especially those that are clichés for a reason.
"Warhorse" might be criticized when it appears later this year. This movie is not hip, it's not terribly innovative. It's sappy. (After all, it's about a man's love for a horse.) But it is Story, with a capital "s." And Story will trump technique forever.
I imagine Steven calling John one night and saying, "It's time we remind everyone." And John responding, "Yeah, it's that time again. I'll be right over."
I saw a preview of "Warhorse." It will be out soon. You won't need your 3-D glasses.