January 18, 2013
Leon Leyson, 83, who was the youngest of 1,100 Jews saved from the Nazis by Oskar Schindler, died Saturday in Whittier, Calif., after a four-year battle with lymphoma, his daughter, Stacy Wilfong, told the Los Angeles Times. Mr. Leyson was nearly 10 when Germany invaded Poland in 1939. Six months later, his family was sent to a ghetto in Krakow. He survived as mass killings and deportations to concentration camps escalated. Mr. Leyson, who lost two brothers during the Holocaust, at 13 was the youngest of the Jewish workers Schindler, an industrialist, saved by declaring them necessary for production at his factories.
October 9, 2009 |
Steven Spielberg has grown accustomed to praise. One of the world's most successful filmmakers, ever, anywhere, he has received Oscars and honorary doctorates, won awards for public service and humanitarianism, and been granted nearly every superlative a man of art, thought, and heart could imagine. But he still seemed sincerely moved last night to be joining the ranks of the distinguished recipients of Philadelphia's Liberty Medal. "I am very, very genuinely humbled by this," Spielberg said after bowing his head so former President Bill Clinton, chairman of the National Constitution Center, could slip on the red, white, and blue ribbon with the heavy medallion.
September 22, 2006 |
Huey P. Long, the Depression-era Louisianan whose despotic reign as governor, and then senator, was built on deriding the rich and powerful and championing the poor and oppressed, was, without argument, a larger-than-life figure. And Broderick Crawford, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of Willie Stark in 1949's All the King's Men - an adaptation of Robert Penn Warren's Pulitzer Prize-winner about a Louisiana populist inspired by Long - was a burly, barrel-chested guy. But the only thing big about Sean Penn, who plays Stark in this laughably ill-advised and whoppingly miscast remake, is his hair.
March 23, 2003 |
In the Most-Nominated scenario, Chicago wins. In the Oscar-Remembers-the-Holocaust model, The Pianist wins. According to the Prosthetically-Enhanced-Thespian theory, Nicole Kidman takes the statuette - by a nose. During the weeks leading to this year's Academy Awards, pundits, studio execs, oddsmakers, fervent fans, and many of the 5,700-plus voting members of the academy have offered up arguments concerning who, what, why and how respective nominees will grab the prize. "Sometimes it's a guessing game, and in other cases it's obvious.
January 12, 2001 |
The problem with history isn't that it's written by the winners - the problem is that nobody reads it. Most of us would rather go to the movies, where history comes with special effects and popcorn. Movie history is not always reliable, but it's always brief. The missile-crisis movie "Thirteen Days," for example, is two hours - about 10 minutes per day. The movie's Web site helpfully offers a bibliography of 23 scholarly books, all flawlessly factual. But given the choice between a year's worth of fact, and a two-hour, action-packed Kevin Costner movie, we'll settle for the latter.
January 23, 2000 |
The Argentine government restored a $900-a-month pension last week to the widow of the man featured in the film Schindler's List. A change of government in December disrupted the payment to Emilie Schindler, ordered last year by former President Carlos Menem. German industrialist Oskar Schindler is credited with saving nearly 1,300 Polish Jews from Nazi concentration camps by drawing up lists of fictitious jobs to convince the German authorities that the "workers" were essential to the war effort.
June 15, 1999 |
I love the movies - the big screen, the sound, the stadium seating. Nothing like watching a blockbuster movie on its opening weekend. So why don't I go to movies much anymore? The answer is you, the inconsiderate, the loud and the feeble-minded. At least 25 percent of moviegoers fall into this category, I know this because one of you is always in front, behind or on either side of me. Problem moviegoers fall into one of the following universally recognized sub- classes of human being: The dumb couple: She just doesn't understand the plot, so he has to explain it to her every 10 minutes.
July 19, 1998 |
It's hard to imagine that the most successful filmmaker in history - a man with a clutch of Oscars, multimillion-dollar homes in the Pacific Palisades, Manhattan and East Hampton, and a principal stake in DreamWorks SKG, the first studio to be created in decades - could possibly be insecure. But entering his suite in the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead here, Hollywood's commander-in-chief is as anxious as a dogface on D-Day. His face is breaking out, says Steven Spielberg, pointing to a microscopic blemish on his cheek.
October 29, 1996 |
It was a warm summer day in 1942 when two trucks driven by German soldiers stopped on a street where Sol Urbach was walking. Urbach, 15, was one of about 40,000 Jews who had been sent to the ghetto of Krakow, Poland. He was one of 100 people loaded onto the trucks. "We didn't know whether we were being taken out to be shot, or to a concentration camp," Urbach, now 70, recalled, speaking to students recently at the College of New Jersey in Trenton. "Nobody told Jews where they were going.
May 27, 1995 |
In The American Film Institute Salute to Steven Spielberg, there are the predictable clips of the classic thrills and chills the director has given the world in big pictures, from Jaws to Jurassic Park. But the tribute also includes a little film, which few people outside his family have seen, that says even more about his unique gifts than the monster hits do. In a flickering home movie, made with the 8mm camera the very young Spielberg was forever borrowing from his father, there are hints of things to come.