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Judging Spielberg

June 15, 2008

PETER RAINER's flip dismissal of Steven Spielberg's Lincoln project was appalling ["The Director's Craft, May 18]. If Lincoln's life and presidency can continue to be reexamined from new points of view in books, why should Spielberg be dissed for doing so in film? Rainer gives the proposed film a yawn, not on the basis of a script or a trailer, let alone the film itself. Has competition with the fanboy critiques of the Internet led Rainer to this kind of mean-spirited rush to judgment?

John Musker

La Canada Flintridge

Musker is the co-director of "The Little Mermaid," "Aladdin" and "Hercules."

IT WAS great to see a real essay from Peter Rainer on Spielberg and his generation of movie directors. Great also to hear him praise, however implicitly, Spielberg's most overlooked film, "War of the Worlds," which was taken for granted probably because it starred Tom Cruise but is nonetheless arguably the best "9/11 film" out there.

A big part of that movie was Tim Robbins, playing an odd but intelligent guy who literally went underground to survive the invasion of the aliens. In his last line, he reassured Cruise and his family -- "Occupations always fail." With that, Robbins, Spielberg and the screenwriter(s) wrote the epitaph for the war in Iraq.

Kit Stolz

Upper Ojai

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