Spielberg speaks on Gettysburg Address
Two-time Academy Award-winning director Steven Spielberg expressed a sense of humility Monday as he delivered the keynote address during ceremonies to mark the 149th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address.”
“I’ve never stood anyplace on earth where it’s easier to be humbled than here,” said Spielberg, whose biopic about the 16th president is currently in theaters.
His remarks were made at the annual event at the Soldier’s National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pa., near the site where Lincoln gave the famous oration amid the American Civil War in 1863, four months after the battle in which the Union turned back an invasion of the North by Confederate troops under Gen. Robert E. Lee.
After spending seven years working on his new movie “Lincoln,” Spielberg said the president came to feel like one of his oldest and dearest friends, and he sensed he was living in the presence of what he called Lincoln’s “eloquent ghost.”
Spielberg spoke of the interplay between history and memory, and between memory and justice.
“It’s the hunger we feel for coherence, it’s the hunger we feel for progress for a better world,” he said. “I think justice and memory are inseparable.”
The crowd, estimated at 9,000, gave him a standing ovation.
“Lincoln,” which stars Daniel Day-Lewis in the title role, concentrates on the period leading up to the president’s assassination in 1865.
Reporter apologizes for blacklist role
The son of the Hollywood Reporter founder Billy Wilkerson is apologizing for his father’s and the trade paper’s role in the 1947 Hollywood Blacklist that destroyed the careers of writers, actors and directors accused of having communist ties.
In an article published Monday by the Hollywood Reporter, Willie Wilkerson, 61, calls the Blacklist era “Hollywood’s Holocaust” and says, “On the eve of this dark 65th anniversary, I feel an apology is necessary.”
He says his father supported the Blacklist to exact revenge against the Hollywood titans he felt denied him entry to their club when he wanted to establish a movie studio in the late 1920s. Billy Wilkerson founded the Hollywood Reporter in 1930, and after World War II, used the paper as a vehicle for a series of editorials attacking communist sympathizers and their influence in Hollywood.
The birthday bunch
Actress Estelle Parsons is 85. Vice President Joe Biden is 70. Singer Norman Greenbaum is 70. Actor Samuel E. Wright (Sebastian in “Little Mermaid”) is 66. Musician Joe Walsh is 65. Actress Bo Derek is 56. Actress Sean Young is 53. Actress Ming-Na (“ER”) is 49. Actor Joel McHale is 41. Country singer Dierks Bentley is 37. Country singer Josh Turner is 35. Actress Nadine Velazquez (“My Name Is Earl”) is 34. Actress Ashley Fink (“Glee”) is 26.