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November 3, 2002 | Elaine Dutka
Schindler's List (1993): The horrors of the Holocaust are vivid as Spielberg renders the story of a German man (Liam Neeson, with Ben Kingsley) who saved the lives of more than 1,000 Polish Jews. Amistad (1997): A newly captured slave (Djimon Hounsou) leads a rebellion on a slave ship and winds up a defendant in a Supreme Court Case, argued by former President John Quincy Adams. A.I.
April 22, 2014 | By Oliver Gettell
Another day, another potential Steven Spielberg movie. As a number of competing projects and producers vie for the director's attention to be his next film, Spielberg has added a Cold War thriller starring Tom Hanks to his ever-expanding list of candidates, according to the Hollywood Reporter . The yet untitled film written by Matt Charman would tell the true story of James Donovan (Hanks), an American attorney who was enlisted by the CIA to slip behind the Iron Curtain and negotiate the release of downed U-2 spy plane pilot Gary Powers.
December 20, 2012 | By Glenn Whipp, Los Angeles Times
When Steven Spielberg asked Sally Field to play Mary Todd Lincoln in 2005, deep down, the two-time Oscar-winning actress knew the road to playing the contentious first lady wasn't going to be easy. Writers on the film project came and went, as eventually did Liam Neeson, the actor originally cast to play Abraham Lincoln. When Daniel Day-Lewis agreed to come on board, Spielberg wasn't sure Field still fit, owing largely to their age difference. Lincoln was nearly 10 years older than his wife, but Field had more than a decade on Day-Lewis.
April 18, 2014 | By Oliver Gettell
As Steven Spielberg continues to take his time pondering his follow-up to 2012's "Lincoln," the director has added another movie project to his plate, the religious drama "The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara," according to a Variety report. Spielberg plans to produce and may direct "Edgardo Mortara," which would be a co-production between DreamWorks and the Weinstein Co., but it will not be his next project, the report says . Based on David Kertzer's nonfiction book, the film will tell the true story of an Italian Jewish boy who in 1858 was taken from his parents by authorities in the Papal States and raised as a Catholic; he later became an Augustinian priest.  Tony Kushner, who wrote the screenplays for Spielberg's previous historical dramas "Lincoln" and "Munich," is in the early stages of adapting the book.  BEST MOVIES OF 2013: Turan  |  Sharkey  |  Olsen News of the project once again raises the question of when Spielberg will get back behind the camera, and for which film.
November 9, 2012 | By Glenn Whipp
When Steven Spielberg's animated movie "The Adventures of Tintin" premiered last year at the AFI Fest, the filmmaker sent a taped message to the audience, passing along his regrets at not being able to attend. He was in Virginia at the time, busy making a little movie about our nation's 16th president. Spielberg brought that film to the closing night of this year's AFI Fest, screening "Lincoln" to a capacity crowd that rose to its feet when the 65-year-old director took the stage to introduce it. "What we wanted to do, more than anything else, is see Lincoln," Spielberg told the audience.
February 6, 1986 | JACK MATHEWS, Times Staff Writer
As expected, Steven Spielberg's "The Color Purple" and Sydney Pollack's "Out of Africa" dominated the 1985 Academy Awards nominations, announced Wednesday by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Each film received nominations in 11 categories, including that of best picture. But in a list laced with modest surprises, there was one shocking omission: Spielberg himself was not nominated as best director.
January 5, 1986
I'm sick of the recent round of Steven Spielberg-bashing over "The Color Purple" ("Seeing Red Over 'Purple,' " Outtakes, Dec. 22). Why are critics questioning his motives in making this movie? I didn't see anyone scrutinize Richard Attenborough's reasons for filming "Gandhi." Now, there's a noble and prestigious picture that was begging for Academy Awards. It seems that critics are taking Spielberg to task because he's become too successful. That's a shame. Spielberg has turned a beautiful book into a warm and wonderful movie.
January 12, 1986 | Lee Margulies
The numbers continue wild for Steven Spielberg's "Amazing Stories." The Dec. 29 episode, written by Spielberg and directed by Clint Eastwood, attracted the smallest audience yet for the NBC series--about 11 million homes. But last Sunday's installment, about a baby-sitter who uses voodoo on her young charges, drew the second-best ratings of the season--nearly 18 million homes, topped only by the premiere episode Sept. 29.
July 21, 2001
In response to Christopher Griffin (Saturday Letters, July 14): Composer John Williams, the man behind the music of Steven Spielberg's "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "E.T." and most recently "A.I.," credits the director with the idea to incorporate "When You Wish Upon a Star" in the five-note motif that appears throughout "Close Encounters" ("re mi do do so"). Williams wrote roughly 350 five-note patterns using the notes from "When You Wish Upon a Star" before he and Spielberg agreed on the now-famous motif.
June 16, 2002
I am a 55-year-old who just graduated from Cal State Northridge in sociology. Math and statistics are both required. In answer to Irene Clark (letter, June 5), there is no secret. I am not math-oriented either, and I did stumble many times; fortunately I had great professors who picked me up when I did stumble. Like Steven Spielberg, if you want it bad enough, you go for it, no matter what your age. I fulfilled a long-held dream; maybe you can too, Irene--go for it! Congratulations to Spielberg for a job well done.
February 7, 2014 | By Susan King
Bob Balaban was born, so to speak, into movie royalty. His father and uncles were founders of the Balaban and Katz theater chain of Chicago movie palaces. His uncle Barney Balaban was president of Paramount for three decades, and grandfather Sam Katz was an MGM executive. As a "little nerdy Jewish kid in Chicago," Balaban loved the movies and theater but had no inkling he would be involved in show business. "I was trying to do well in school and hoping I would survive adolescence," said Balaban, currently appearing in George Clooney's World War II adventure "The Monuments Men," which opens Feb. 7. But then he broke his arm at age 10.  "My parents could think of nothing for me to do in the summer, so we got on a train to Los Angeles," said Balaban, 68, by phone from New York, where he lives.
January 17, 2014 | By Jeffrey Fleishman
In a canvas tent in the Himalayan foothills, where winter breaths drifted in the twilight, Tibetan monks, their feet dangling from benches, watched a pirated copy of "Titanic. " The diminutive men, camped along a rutted road leading to the Dalai Lama's residence in exile near Dharamsala, India, did not understand what Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio were saying. But they knew the sleek black steel and tinkling jewelry were sailing toward doom. A cold wind shook the tent, but the monks, some fidgeting with prayer beads, others bundling their burgundy robes in coats, were entranced at the grainy spectacle before them.
January 8, 2014 | By Oliver Gettell
A year ago, Steven Spielberg was front and center with "Lincoln," a critical and box office success and an awards season mainstay. Since then, the director has taken his time settling on a new project, experiencing a few false starts and leaving his fingerprints on some TV deals along the way. Now it looks as though Spielberg is eyeing a return to action with a historical epic about the Spanish conquistador Cortez and his clash with the Aztec leader...
November 20, 2013 | By Mike Boehm
Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg are giving $10 million each to the funding campaign to build an Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and will have their names on galleries branching off its ground floor lobby. They fall in behind David Geffen ($25 million) and the Chinese business conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group ($20 million) as the leading donors to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' effort to establish a major movie museum at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, next to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Bill Kramer, managing director of the academy's museum project, said the two gifts lift the total pledges past $200 million.
October 30, 2013 | By Amy Kaufman
DreamWorks is heading back to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. A year after Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" became a box office hit and award-season favorite, the filmmaker's DreamWorks Studios has announced plans to make another presidential drama -- and based on the work of the same author who helped make "Lincoln" possible. The studio has acquired the rights to historian Doris Kearns Goodwin's upcoming book "The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism," which is set for publication Nov. 5. Kearns also wrote 2005's "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln," which became the basis for Tony Kushner's "Lincoln" script.
October 18, 2013 | By Mark Olsen
Still regarded as one of the finest theaters in Los Angeles, the Cinerama Dome will celebrate its 50th anniversary with an upcoming series of screenings and events. Designed by Welton Becket and Associates and completed in 1963, the structure was the world's first all-concrete geodesic dome, made from 316 interlocking panels. The theater itself features a screen 32 feet high and 86 feet wide. The anniversary series opens on Tuesday with a screening of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" with a Q&A before the movie with its director, Steven Spielberg.
June 25, 1995 | Peter Rainer
This 1979 multi-Oscar winner--it won for Best Picture, Actor, Director, Screenplay, and Supporting Actress--was one of the first of the touchy-feely Sensitive Guy movies. Dustin Hoffman drew on a thick fund of sympathy playing a single father, and Meryl Streep, as his ex-wife, became the villain of the piece.
December 11, 1994
Regarding the news that Bill Gates "harbors directing ambitions" ("Dream Team May Get New Player--Bill Gates," Dec. 2): The Industry is breathlessly awaiting the announcement of Spielberg's animated version of "Windows95," with a soundtrack by longtime Geffen clients the Eagles. "Somebody's gotta do it," said a source close to Spielberg. Meanwhile, Jeffrey Katzenberg is rumored to be hard at work on another of his famous memos. Sources say that the memo decries the current computer industry practice of using new, tight, fresh, expensive computer code when there is plenty of bulky, slow, older, cheaper code around that doesn't have an agent.
October 14, 2013 | By Steven Zeitchik
The results this weekend for Tom Hanks' hijacking drama “Captain Phillips” - which took in $26 million in U.S. ticket sales from just more than 3,000 theaters -- are a tricky beast to size up. On the one hand, the movie beat expectations; on the other, it was defeated by a holdover, Sandra Bullock's “Gravity.” Back on that first hand, it was, given how hard it is for stars to open movies, a solid number for a one of the few actors still...
July 3, 2013 | By Martha Groves
Jim McGinn, a TV writer and producer, moved into his Pacific Palisades home on July 1, 1967. Three days later, the world, or so it seemed, streamed by the neighborhood newbie's front door. "That's when we found out about the parade," McGinn said. Pacific Palisades' two-hour Fourth of July procession - replete with bands, dogs wearing flag bandannas and kids riding bunting-bedecked bikes - is the centerpiece of the coastal enclave's rapturous celebration of Independence Day. "It is not the Rose Bowl Parade, with million-dollar floats coming down the street, but it is one of the best hometown parades you're going to see," said Robert Weber, 45, president of the Palisades Americanism Parade Assn., the organizing committee.
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