Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What about Spielberg’s Lincoln?

The press is alive this week with talk of Steven Spielberg and his proposed Lincoln film, which is supposed to star Liam Neeson as Abraham Lincoln and rumored to star Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln.

Why this week? Maybe because when someone wins a lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes, it puts them in the spotlight. And the light was on Spielberg big time as he was honored with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Cecil B. DeMille Award.

Congratulations, Mr. Spielberg
Lifetime achievement? How cool! You’re not even “old” yet!

As I think back on others who’ve received similar awards, they always seem to come very late in life when people are really old. Yet, Spielberg has accomplished more in his 62 years than most people could in a dozen lifetimes. It’s nice to see him honored at this stage of his life and career.

I read several articles about Spielberg this evening, but my hat goes off to Gregg Kilday of Hollywood Reporter.com. He wrote not only of the award, but of the film that started the “train rollin’” and piqued the film legend’s interest in moviemaking when he was just six years old.

Say when?
Like all the other writers, Kilday addresses the issue of when production will begin on the Lincoln project. Apparently, Spielberg says only it’s “coming together really quickly.” It would be nice if we could see progress on this film while the interest in Lincoln and the bicentennial of his birth is still timely – at least within the next year or so.

Spielberg's no dummy. He knows timing is everything. I don't think he'll let us down. When he’s ready to spread the word, this blogger would be glad to scoop the news. (Hint, hint, Mr. Spielberg.)

A gift to be treasured

You’ve got to like the guy, not only for all the great movies Spielberg’s brought us and the way he’s been a leader in his field, but also because he understands the importance of those who really make a difference – mentors. And, by the same token, he believes in serving as a mentor himself.

I’ve always been enthralled by the roles mentors play in others’ lives - from Lincoln and his mentors to Carl Sandburg and Philip Green Wright to the great mentors I’ve had. As one who has been blessed with strong and nurturing mentors in the workforce, academia and the Lincoln world, I’m convinced the influence of a good mentor is one of the greatest gifts a person can receive – or give. If only all could be so fortunate...

I can’t help but wonder, was Steven Speilberg’s most famous line, “May the Force be with you,” really his tribute to his own mentor, Sidney Sheinberg? In Kilray’s article, Spielberg is quoted as sharing Sheinberg’s promise to him, “I will be there for you in success, but I will also always be there for you during the tough times."

When you’re blessed with such a mentor and you recognize how lucky you are, you’re blessed indeed. My bet is the infamous line was Spielberg’s tribute to Shienberg. The Force was surely with this brilliant protégé.

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