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 Posted:   Oct 13, 2013 - 11:08 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

THE CINEMASCOPE CAT-I agree, you have made the wisest statement yet on this thread.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 14, 2013 - 12:08 AM   
 By:   zooba   (Member)

I, too, loved Lincoln. It seems some people feel compelled be negative just to be negative. The
initial comment says a great deal more about the person making the comment than the film itself.



Lot of negativity here:

Just watched Spielberg's LINCOLN again last night after so long and I can honestly now say, that it's the Best Looking, Best Acted, Best Musically Scored...

 
 Posted:   Oct 14, 2013 - 1:48 AM   
 By:   OnlyGoodMusic   (Member)

Indeed. Some people here need to grow up (literally and figuratively). It's always the same:

A: Great movie/score!
B: Yay!
C: Yay!!
D: Yay!!!
E: I found it less than compelling despite ...
A,B,C,D: Buäääähhhhhh! So much negativity.

I myself am a sucker for anything U.S. Civil War-related, from literature, to art to music to documentaries to feature films. It's my "favorite" war, so to speak.

Nonetheless, I found LINCOLN mostly dull. When Spielberg tries to make a profound statement by "understatement", he negates the very qualities that distinguish him as a film maker. SCHINDLER'S LIST was a fine movie because it did NOT try to underplay the emotions inherent in the story. Despite the b/w photopgraphy, it was colorful and compelling. LINCOLN, despite the (albeit muted) colors, was resolutely monochromatic. It's a history lesson, and feature films should never be history lessons - documentaries do this much more compellingly. It suffers from rigor artis. Day-Lewis was great, no doubt, as was Tommy Lee Jones. But I'd rather watch the entire Ken Burns mega-documentary over and over before I'll ever watch LINCOLN again. And I think people possibly learned more about the Civil War from NORTH AND SOUTH than they did from LINCOLN.

 
 Posted:   Oct 14, 2013 - 2:04 PM   
 By:   Morgan R   (Member)

My response to the film was rather unique for this thread. I live in Richmond, Virginia, which has a rather complex relationship with the film. On the one hand, Richmond was the city seen burning for a short shot toward the end of the film, and the longest-standing capital of the Confederacy during the war, where for about a century thereafter "Lincoln" was a bad word among the white community; in sum, the subject matter remains salient to my city, even today. On the other hand, it and neighboring Petersburg (20 miles south) were the main filming locations for the movie, where the production was the talk of the town for a few months (e.g. "Mr. Spielberg was spotted eating at ____ for dinner"). So combining these two, when I went to see it showing at our second-run movie palace, the Byrd, it was exciting to see it get huge applause at the end.

Speaking for myself, I got a lot of fun out of it trying to see and recognize all the local filming locations. Much of it was filmed in actual locations I've been to, rather than sound-stages; for instance the Virginia State Capitol served as the U.S. Capitol exterior (digitally matted) and interiors (cleverly made-up), and also the exterior of the White House. Scenes set in D.C. were filmed yards apart from ones set 130 miles away. I think that affected my reaction so much that I can't separate it from how a neutral audience would have seen it ("I've been there... and there... ooo, clever faking there!").

I also love history, so seeing a great historical figure often subject to apotheosis, instead brought down to the mortal sphere and humanized by a great actor, was enough to keep my attention regardless of pacing. Add in the score, setting, and costumes, and I'd gladly sit down to watch it again, if just to escape into the atmosphere.

 
 Posted:   Oct 14, 2013 - 5:35 PM   
 By:   Dana Wilcox   (Member)

Nonetheless, I found LINCOLN mostly dull. When Spielberg tries to make a profound statement by "understatement", he negates the very qualities that distinguish him as a film maker. SCHINDLER'S LIST was a fine movie because it did NOT try to underplay the emotions inherent in the story. Despite the b/w photopgraphy, it was colorful and compelling. LINCOLN, despite the (albeit muted) colors, was resolutely monochromatic. It's a history lesson, and feature films should never be history lessons - documentaries do this much more compellingly. It suffers from rigor artis. Day-Lewis was great, no doubt, as was Tommy Lee Jones. But I'd rather watch the entire Ken Burns mega-documentary over and over before I'll ever watch LINCOLN again. And I think people possibly learned more about the Civil War from NORTH AND SOUTH than they did from LINCOLN.

And they'd learn a whole lot more about the Civil War by reading Doris Kearns Goodwin's "Team of Rivals," the book upon which LINCOLN was partially based. One of the problems with a 2 or even 3 hour movie is that there simply is not enough time to flesh out all the nuances of the story, or to get to know any but a very few of the main characters. LINCOLN did a pretty good job of "humanizing" the bigger-than-life icon of American political history, and the character study is probably its major accomplishment. But the passage of the 13th Amendment (the main subject of the film) was about 10 pages of a 754-page book which not only explained the context of the events and the characters of the other major players, but revealed the true genius of Abraham Lincoln the man.

I disliked in the film that people are left with a picture of Lincoln the politician as a wheeler-dealer who got what he wanted by bribing people with patronage jobs. He was a vastly more skillful negotiator than that, because he appreciated that those on the other side of the table were as passionate and as invested in their points of view as he was in his. By understanding the opposition, he was able to fashion compromises in which everyone came away feeling that they had gotten something they wanted, and just as importantly, that they had been treated with respect. (Oh, how we could use a man like that today!)

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 16, 2013 - 8:54 PM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

Hey Dana, per response above, I read the bio by D.H. Donald that won the Pulitzer back in '95. He stated that there is hardly anything out there about the 13th amendment process. So I was left with the impression that Spiely's flick was pure conjecture. Perhaps Ms. Goodwin was privy to newly-discovered material in the 20 years since? Guess I need to google...

 
 Posted:   Oct 16, 2013 - 9:29 PM   
 By:   Dana Wilcox   (Member)

Hey Dana, per response above, I read the bio by D.H. Donald that won the Pulitzer back in '95. He stated that there is hardly anything out there about the 13th amendment process. So I was left with the impression that Spiely's flick was pure conjecture. Perhaps Ms. Goodwin was privy to newly-discovered material in the 20 years since? Guess I need to google...

Doris Kearns Goodwin is a Pulitzer Prize winning historian and "Team of Rivals" is exceptionally well researched. Check it out! Not to mention that she's one hell of a writer. I could hardly put the book down. BTW, I do believe the "jobs for votes" aspect of LINCOLN (in getting the 13th passed), if not exactly a fabrication, was a bit of a Hollywood stretch, historically speaking.

 
 Posted:   Oct 16, 2013 - 9:31 PM   
 By:   Wedge   (Member)

Add me to the chorus recommending TEAM OF RIVALS. One of my all-time favorite nonfiction reads.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2013 - 5:51 PM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

Well I'm just going to have to take y'all's challenge and read it. When I finally settle in after my lastest move, that is. roll eyes

 
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