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Steven Spielberg named 2013 Cannes jury president

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Spielberg at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival where he presented his E.T. Steven Spielberg has been named jury president for the 2013 Cannes International Film Festival. Collider says, “As arguably the most important American filmmaker working today, Spielberg is an ideal candidate.” The director remarked, “My admiration for the steadfast mission of the Festival to champion the international language of movies is second to none. The most prestigious of its…

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Spielberg and Ang Lee, Losing the Battle, Winning the War

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I dig Richard Rushfield’s rumination on Hollywood’s love/hate with the king of the them all, Steven Spielberg (“Once again, the Best Picture prize slips from his hands. What does Hollywood have against its most successful resident?”) Two Oscars ain’t half bad for the king of them all so I figure, hey, he can go down in the record books with the greats. Most times, the greats don’t win.  I thought Ang…

Spielberg, Always a Bridesmaid

Spielberg, Always a Bridesmaid

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I love this video of the young Spielberg who was famously “snubbed” for Jaws.  He learned his lesson later with The Color Purple when he was snubbed again he made sure there were no cameras around. Now, they didn’t snub him but are about to award Best Picture to a director who was snubbed. Spielberg can’t catch a break. But he’s a beautiful loser, and I’m going down with the…

Academy to Eat Crow Over Affleck?

Academy to Eat Crow Over Affleck?

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Fans truly believe that Ben Affleck was “snubbed” by the Academy and that the Academy will be sorry when Argo wins Best Picture.  Every pundit from Scott Feinberg to Steve Pond is saying Argo can’t lose – by now, the guilds tell the Academy what to do anyway so perhaps the Oscars are just an afterthought — or maybe they will surprise us. Doubt it. This scenario has only played…

Best Director – Heroes, Just for One Day

Best Director – Heroes, Just for One Day

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  “Unconsciously we all have a standard by which we measure other men, and if we examine closely we find that this standard is a very simple one, and is this: we admire them, we envy them, for great qualities we ourselves lack. Hero worship consists in just that. Our heroes are men who do things which we recognize, with regret, and sometimes with a secret shame, that we cannot…

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The State of the Race: Ruminating on Argo as The Frontrunner

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Before I begin, let me explain. It’s true that we’ve reached the moment in every Oscar year where the pundits and the bloggers have thrown up their hands and decided, the Oscar race is over.  Argo will win Best Picture and for the win to make sense it has to take Screenplay, Editing and perhaps one other award — score? Supporting Actor? Sound? Something in me prevents me from being…

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The Audacity of a Film About Ideas: the Case for Lincoln

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“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.” — Abraham Lincoln I was ten years old when Jaws was released in theaters. It’s…

How Spielberg’s Cinematographer Got These Eleven Shots

How Spielberg’s Cinematographer Got These Eleven Shots

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Vulture dives into the collaboration of Steven Spielberg and Janusz Kaminski, starting with AI and working up to Lincoln. For Lincoln he chooses the opening shot. But I suspect the one that will be most remembered for the film is this one. It has stirred conversation by critics who believe the film should have ended there. And it easily could have. I prefer the way Spielberg chose to end it,…

Two clips from Spielberg’s Lincoln

Two clips from Spielberg’s Lincoln

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Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens after the cut.

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“Masterpiece,” Declares the New York Times as Lincoln Enters the Race with the Best Reviews of the Year

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Because movies are mostly disappointing these days you sometimes forget why there are film critics at all, until a movie like Lincoln comes along. It takes awareness of both history and film history to appreciate Lincoln. It takes an attention span and a curiosity about life in general, politics, American history. If none of that works for you, you must know enough about acting, writing and directing to recognize greatness…