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Thread: Steven Spielberg's Lincoln

  1. #31
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    I'm not saying he was for slavery, but when he ran/entered his presidency he had no intention of abolishing slavery, and at the start of the War his thoughts were not about freeing slaves. Yes, he was thought to be the president that was going to do it because he ran under the party that was pushing for abolishing slavery. Lincoln believed it was the States that had to do that. He was just against allowing it in the new states. The foremost reason he declared war of any kind was because he felt he needed to keep the Union in one piece. Ironically, he went in believing he would continue to uphold the States' Power... and he ultimately destroyed it - rightly or wrongly. He busted down the door for "Big Government" in a way.

    He certainly was not a racist for his day, and I don't think he should be seen as such. His job was much bigger than race wars. Unfortunately the people he "left in charge" after his death saw it in a more petty light and I truly believe they are the reason we took so long to get where we are now - and yes I realize racism still exists, it will always exist in some form - but everyone was fighting a losing battle in the 1860s and years leading up to and out of it... Johnson should have followed the outline Lincoln laid out for healing. Instead he set out with a vengence and everyone suffered.

  2. #32
    Custom Title Johar's Avatar
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    The viewers' comments at the Internet Movie Database were harsh.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0443272/board/

  3. #33
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Anyone watch(ing) the Oprah interview with Steven, Daniel, and Sally? It's interesting to hear how Spielberg was ready to drop Sally due to her age and how they didn't want to use prothetics to make her younger looking than Daniel (Mary was 10 years younger than Lincoln) and she fought for it and it was Daniel Day-Lewis who kept her in the part. Very cool.

    The whole thing was very very good - when it wasn't the *Oprah show* and she just let them talk.

  4. #34
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    How lovely! Thanks for calling our attention to this, Toni. Sorry I missed it. For some reason I didn't recall that Mary was so much younger than Abe. It's great that Day-Lewis insisted on retaining Field for the part.

  5. #35
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    I didn't either - probably because she looks so "old" in her most famous portrait (which I think was taken after Abe died?).

    Sally made sure to say that Spielberg was heartbroken believing that she wouldn't be able to play her (when it cast her in 2005 it was a non issue as they were going with Liam Neeson at the time and she was a bit younger lol).

  6. #36
    Custom Title CoyoteChris's Avatar
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    I am going to try and see it this week. I am going to be interested in the demographics in the theatre, for one thing. (No vampires or car chases or blazing automatic weapons or monsters) As for the IMDB forums, I liked the comments from the folks over the pond. But hey, half of the young Brits can not tell you which WAR the Battle of Britain was fought in.....I would be suprised to see many youngins in the theatre. To them, Vietnam is just a name in the history books....but the Civil War? Hey, I was THERE!

  7. #37
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    Yes, my sister saw it and my mom and my brother. They all say it is outstanding. Unfortunately my husband and I have not been able to see it yet. I hope it will be showing for another week. Maybe we can go this weekend. Thanks for the clip.

  8. #38
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    Ignorance always breeds contempt. Most of these people sound as though they slept through history class. I am a Canadian and even I know a lot about the Civil war and Abraham Lincoln and the struggles of the black Americans to gain their freedom from slavery. I think this movie will be well received all over the world.

  9. #39
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    I think the problem stems from how Lincoln has been talked about and taught for decades in this country. He's personified as this larger than life perfect figure. He's not taught to be a human who had faults and limits and some such.

    Listening to Spielberg and Day-Lewis talk about him made me feel they "get it" though and that they wanted to show him as the man not the Myth, not the Monument. It was a great interview. Sadly with Field Oprah wanted to rehash old topics and not more on Field's view on her character and the history. Just that Field has always wanted to play her.

  10. #40
    Custom Title CoyoteChris's Avatar
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    Just saw the movie. I think it is a must see and see it at the theatre so you can appreciate the acting. I usually only go to two or three movies a year at the theatre and see a few at home on DVD and I am a very harsh critic of Hollywood, but this is one film they got right. Acadamy Award night should be a real interesting show.... (I record it and fast forward through all the bravo sierra.) I think this movie and Les Mis will go head to head for oscars.... BTW, the new Lone Ranger due out next year is going on my
    "buy the dvd when the price drops" list. The preview looked interesting. I would also encourage anyone not familiar with American History to spend a few minutes on Wikipedia at the Lincoln site and the Civil war site before seeing Lincoln.
    (Forgot to mention that there were no young people in the theatre but it was shown at 3:30 pm on a weekday)
    Last edited by CoyoteChris; 12-06-2012 at 10:14 PM.

  11. #41
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    what's your definition of young people?

  12. #42
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    Glad to hear the review, Chris. I hope to see the movie at some point.

    To continue your discussion about how the people of that time viewed race, Toni, we did some research on Prudence Crandall, a Quaker teacher who opened a school where she taught black girls in the early 1830s. She was arrested--in fact the local government made up a law just so that she would be in violation of it. Later she was released, and she vowed to continue teaching black girls, because they deserved an education just as much as anyone else. Then her school was firebombed, and she realized it was too dangerous to her students for her to continue. So she closed the school and eventually moved west.

    This all happened in Connecticut.

    Yes, many people in Connecticut were abolitionists. But in those days, many people who thought themselves enlightened wanted to free slaves and then repatriate them to Africa. (This is the motivation behind the founding of Liberia not long before--hence its name, and the name of its capital, Monrovia, after James Monroe.) Most people (with the exception of groups like the Quakers and the Unitarians) hadn't yet progressed to the idea of a multiracial society. Thank goodness people and cultures do evolve.

    The people who were able to see things differently included the Alcotts--Louisa May Alcott wrote an astonishing short story called The Brothers--and, eventually, Lincoln himself. You're right, Toni, that he felt that his primary mission was preserving the Union. He said as much himself. But after meeting people like Frederick Douglass, his thoughts moved forward. In his extraordinary second inaugural address, Lincoln said this:

    If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."

    This is the generation that did all the hard thinking so that subsequent generations didn't have to deal with that root issue. Social justice still hadn't been achieved, but at least the baseline was higher. A lot of blood was spilled to achieve that, including Lincoln's.

  13. #43
    Custom Title CoyoteChris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    what's your definition of young people?
    YOU! Actually, I would say there was no one below 40 and most had grey hair....
    The nice thing about being retired is you can go to a movie mid-week at 3 pm and there is hardly anyone there.
    You can get the matinee discount or the old farts discount (which is the same) and still pay $8.
    It will be interesting to see (if anyone will let us know) if this movie will be a financial success, all things considered, with no vampires, zombies, space aliens and machine guns.

  14. #44
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Most movies like lincoln arent blockbusters, but it will make spielberg money for sure.

    Btw, 40 is not old... And i am not retired but i have a job where my hours are insanely flexible.

  15. #45
    Custom Title CoyoteChris's Avatar
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    During the movie, during the roll call scene, I was astonished at how many Northern state congressmen voted for slavery.
    Makes me want to see a list of Nations with the dates they abolished literal slavery.
    BTW, the wiki information on Robert L. is fasinating.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Todd_Lincoln
    He looks just like the actor that portrayed him! He was indeed at Appomatix and later became sec of War. I would love to visit his mansion as the picture of it in modern times looks great....

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    Glad to hear the review, Chris. I hope to see the movie at some point.

    To continue your discussion about how the people of that time viewed race, Toni, we did some research on Prudence Crandall, a Quaker teacher who opened a school where she taught black girls in the early 1830s. She was arrested--in fact the local government made up a law just so that she would be in violation of it. Later she was released, and she vowed to continue teaching black girls, because they deserved an education just as much as anyone else. Then her school was firebombed, and she realized it was too dangerous to her students for her to continue. So she closed the school and eventually moved west.

    This all happened in Connecticut.

    Yes, many people in Connecticut were abolitionists. But in those days, many people who thought themselves enlightened wanted to free slaves and then repatriate them to Africa. (This is the motivation behind the founding of Liberia not long before--hence its name, and the name of its capital, Monrovia, after James Monroe.) Most people (with the exception of groups like the Quakers and the Unitarians) hadn't yet progressed to the idea of a multiracial society. Thank goodness people and cultures do evolve.

    The people who were able to see things differently included the Alcotts--Louisa May Alcott wrote an astonishing short story called The Brothers--and, eventually, Lincoln himself. You're right, Toni, that he felt that his primary mission was preserving the Union. He said as much himself. But after meeting people like Frederick Douglass, his thoughts moved forward. In his extraordinary second inaugural address, Lincoln said this:

    If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."

    This is the generation that did all the hard thinking so that subsequent generations didn't have to deal with that root issue. Social justice still hadn't been achieved, but at least the baseline was higher. A lot of blood was spilled to achieve that, including Lincoln's.

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