Last night was surreal. My darling husband swept us away to the city for a "fancy surprise" which turned out to be an Evening With Steven Spielberg and John Williams. Not in theory. Not just their combined movies and music but ACTUALLY THEM. On stage. Speaking to a captivated full-house audience.
Held at the San Francisco Symphony, John Williams, now 83 years-young, led the orchestra in multiple scores from our favorite heart-bursting films. He opened with the theme from Harry Potter, which made us want to marathon through all seven films ASAP. Chills. Later, Steven spoke beautifully about their 41 year collaboration; how music brings film to life, makes his movie moments soar like E.T. and the kids' bikes over the moon.
A screen came down highlighting the difference between a sequence of the third Indiana Jones film Before Music (pretty funny) and then with the live orchestra (exhilarating). Plus, River Phoenix. (Love you, River. R.I.P.)
They played scores from Schindler's List, War Horse, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind where Steven spoke about "otherworldly beings" communicating with humans through music—also accompanied by scenes from the film.
When they played the Jaws theme, Steven joked those few notes will be how their combined careers are most remembered: in pools, hand fin up, humming the tune while chasing some unsuspecting swimmer around.
Both John Williams and Steven Spielberg were kind and funny and lovingly spoke of the art that they loved. They seemed as excited to be there as we were to be watching them speak and dazzle us with their craft. A magical night we'll remember forever.