A make of car from the Lincoln-Mercury division of Ford Motor Company. Lincolns come in two main flavors as of model year 2000: Mark VIII and Continental. They are generally big luxury cars, like Caddies, but a little less ostentatious (as if there's a big difference when you're spending $40K on an American luxury sedan...). The Mark series is smaller and has come in a Luxury Sport Coupe version, while the Continentals are often converted to limos. John F. Kennedy was shot riding in a Lincoln Continental (one of the many weird connections between Presidents Kennedy and Lincoln.

1970s Lincolns are straight-up pimpmobiles.
They Might Be Giants' second studio album, released in 1988 on Bar/None Records.

This album contains most of the rest of the songs fron their demo tape which did not appear on the previous album, with of course an assortment of other songs added to round out the album.


Was once a wonderful up and coming band in the same nerd rock genre as They Might Be Giants, Ween, and The Eels. Originating from New York, they released only one album (self titled) in 1997, and then disbanded in the fall of 1998. The members were Chris Temple, Dan Miller, Dan Weinkauf, and Gonzalo Martinez. Miller also played on the first album by the Fountains of Wayne, and with Weinkauf has since gone on to play with TMBG. Nothing further is known of Temple and Martinez, other than that Temple appeared on the soundtrack to the film Welcome To The Dollhouse. I lament their passing every time I listen to their excellent CD.


A Steven Spielberg film

Screenplay by Tony Kushner

Based in part on Team of Rivals:
The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

by Doris Kearns Goodwin


Daniel Day-Lewis
Sally Field
David Strathairn
Tommy Lee Jones

The singular disappointment of Steven Spielberg’s marvelous LINCOLN is that the director and 20th Century Fox decided to release the film AFTER the 2012 Presidential Election, thereby depriving its audience of an historic glimpse into a White House-at-war while American voters were in search of real leadership as the nation endures a series of stultifying multi-front conflicts.

Yellow journalist Rupert Murdoch owns Fox. I saw the completed film a month ago in an audience of 800 Hollywood professionals. Mr. Spielberg, for his part it is said, did not want his film to be "politicized." Since the director is a staunch Democrat and fervent supporter of President Barack Obama, it is an inconvenient truth for modern Democrats that their Civil War-era brethren were very much pro-states' rights and thus pro-slavery. The argument goes that LINCOLN was originally scheduled to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, though the film has nothing to do with the Emancipation Proclamation. It concerns itself—in its totality—with the arduous task of being the President of the United States and shepherding the 13th Amendment, which outlaws slavery and involuntary servitude, through Congress WHILE prosecuting the American Civil War AND fighting personal demons that would bring a lesser man to his knees. It concerns itself with what it feels like to BE the President, and the job--we discover viscerally--is far more difficult and soul-searing than any TV talking head and/or Teflon Newspeak candidate can possibly infer. Rupert Murdoch is not a stupid man. Nor is Mr. Spielberg. The film's release date serves both men's agendas: though film goers MIGHT have conflated 21st-century Democrats with the obstructionist "bad guys" in Lincoln's day, I believe President Barack Obama might have had another five million votes if Americans had seen this masterpiece before waiting in line at the polls. It is ACTION that made Lincoln the man he was, and it is ACTION (in consort with well-wrought words that cajole, heal and inspire) that the highest office in the land requires. Never has a film about the mundane process of everyday politics been so riveting.

Now, that being said, admittedly, this is one talky movie. In fact, more than one two-or-three martini-drenched viewers complained after our screening that it was just “words.” But WHAT words! Carefully modulated by Pulitzer Prize-winning Tony Kushner (Angels in America), LINCOLN’s dialog is practically Shakespearean.

Fitting the historical facts into a 149-minute film is an extremely tall order. Though desperate talk of “constitutional amendment” has run high this election season, the actual process of changing America’s bedrock document is a maze of twisty, tiny passages, so to speak, and it needs to be explained to the audience through ingenious exposition. The lawyerly fact that Lincoln felt the Emancipation Proclamation might be seen as merely a war-powers political act AFTER the war, and thus be declared unconstitutional, weighed heavily on the President’s mind. In the process of laying out his dramatic battlefield, Kushner shows us, through brilliant character development, how slavery and the war became, for Lincoln, one and the same thing. Both needed to be ended by means of political genius (which, not so incidentally, included what might be termed bribery and chicanery). So what we have in LINCOLN is a complex Drama of Legislation. Add Mary Todd Lincoln’s tenuous grasp on reality, the President’s grief over the death of his son, the hundreds of thousands of casualties which continued to mount during the last year of the Civil War, and the President’s well-documented manic-depressive personality and, well, I submit this is enough movie for any sober thinking American. LINCOLN’s explosions are metaphorical, for the most part (though there is some brutal civil war action), and its drama is as far from contrived as real theatre gets. If melodrama can be described as conflict in excess of its substance, LINCOLN is ALL substance. In today’s guns-and-neuroses culture, it’s a miracle the film ever got made.

Daniel Day-Lewis is astounding as a virtually biblical Father Abraham. If he doesn’t win his third Academy Award in 2013, it will be because the Academy voters are equally impressed by the riveting performances of Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman in P.T. Anderson’s powerful, one-of-a-kind THE MASTER, thus splitting the vote.

“I did not want to make a movie about a monument,” says Steven Spielberg. “I wanted the audience to get into the working process of the president.”

The film covers the rough-and-tumble approximately four-month period leading up to the President's assassination. Everything Mr. Day-Lewis does in his uncanny inhabitation of the soul of Abraham Lincoln, including his reedy, not-at-all stentorian tenor and his good-humored country manner, serves to remind us of how difficult the job of President is: Noisy petitioners right outside his office door; imperious and egotistical Congressmen, all working the political angles; a dubious General Ulysses S. Grant, worried that politics may trump tactics and cost the Union the war.

Dramatically, aside from living out the President’s own internal conflicts in a series of brilliant choices, Mr. Day-Lewis is well-served by David Strathairn and Tommy Lee Jones, who play William Seward, Lincoln’s Secretary of State, and Thaddeus Stevens, the fiercely independent abolitionist who feels, because of politics-as-usual, Lincoln isn’t doing enough. He refers to the President as “the capitulating compromiser, the dawdler.” But it is his dogged pursuit of “equality under the law” that makes Stevens Lincoln’s staunchest ally during the Congressional in-fighting that is the dramatic heart of the film. The film’s denouement is poetry aflame.

Seward, also fiercely anti-slavery, serves as a steady boon companion to Lincoln. The two of them, dealing with REAL conflicts that have come to define America quintessentially, are a marvel to behold. It’s a virtual textbook on film acting, and in my opinion not to be missed.

And then there is Mary Todd Lincoln, as portrayed by Sally Field. She is a true revelation, taking a character much-maligned by “history” and melodramatic necessity, and delivering a palpable humanity, certain to be nominated for an Oscar. Mr. and Mrs. Abraham Lincoln are a couple with the weight of the 19th-century world on their shoulders. Their grace and humility, as brought to us by Steven Spielberg, is, in a word, breathtaking.

We have just endured one of the bitterest and most vitriolic elections in American history. People on both sides of whatEVER question believe, without a doubt, that they are right. In the end, however, what politics and true GOVERNANCE come down to is action based on character and a complete understanding of the facts--both pro and con--of the matter.

What Daniel Day-Lewis, in his portrayal of America’s most beloved President, reminds his fiercely-combative Congressional cohort, Tommy Lee Jones's Thaddeus Stevens, in so many words is: A compass will show you North, but it won’t show you the swamps between you and your goal. If you can’t avoid the swamps, what’s the use of knowing where North is?

Abraham Lincoln understood human nature. His patience and stoic belief in the rightness of his cause ultimately cost him his life, but his self-sacrifice saved the nation. And his words and ideals, if God is just, will continue to inspire men of good will in pursuit of life and liberty.

Lincoln denounced slavery in 1854, but he also declared that coming out against slave owners would never change them. Doris Kearns Goodwin writes that the President compared slaveholders to alcoholics:

Though the cause be “naked truth itself, transformed to the heaviest lance, harder than steel” (Lincoln said), the sanctimonious reformer could no more pierce the heart of the drinker or the slaveholder than “penetrate the hard shell of a tortoise with a rye straw. Such is man, and so must he be understood by those who would lead him.” In order to “win a man to your cause,” Lincoln explained, you must first reach his heart, “the great high road to his reason.”



Directed by
Steven Spielberg

Writing credits Tony Kushner (screenplay)
Doris Kearns Goodwin (book "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln") (in part)


Daniel Day-Lewis...Abraham Lincoln
Sally Field...Mary Todd Lincoln
David Strathairn...William Seward
Joseph Gordon-Levitt...Robert Lincoln
James Spader...W.N. Bilbo
Hal Holbrook...Preston Blair
Tommy Lee Jones...Thaddeus Stevens
John Hawkes...Robert Latham
Jackie Earle Haley...Alexander Stephens
Bruce McGill...Edwin Stanton
Tim Blake Nelson...Richard Schell
Joseph Cross...John Hay
Jared Harris...Ulysses S. Grant
Lee Pace...Fernando Wood
Peter McRobbie...George Pendleton
Gulliver McGrath...Tad Lincoln
Gloria Reuben...Elizabeth Keckley
Jeremy Strong...John Nicolay
Michael Stuhlbarg...George Yeaman
Boris McGiver...Alexander Coffroth
David Costabile...James Ashley
Stephen Spinella...Asa Vintner Litton
Walton Goggins...Clay Hutchins
David Warshofsky...William Hutton
Colman Domingo...Private Harold Green
David Oyelowo...Corporal Ira Clark
Lukas Haas...First White Soldier
Dane DeHaan...Second White Soldier
Carlos Thompson...Navy Yard - Shouting Soldier
Bill Camp...Mr. Jolly
Elizabeth Marvel...Mrs. Jolly
Byron Jennings...Montgomery Blair
Julie White...Elizabeth Blair Lee
Charmaine White...Minerva - Blair's Servant
Ralph D. Edlow...Leo - Blair's Servant
Grainger Hines...Gideon Welles
Richard Topol...James Speed
Walt Smith...William Fessenden
Dakin Matthews...John Usher
James 'Ike' Eichling...William Dennison
Wayne Duvall...Senator Bluff Wade
Bill Raymond...Schuyler Colfax
Michael Stanton Kennedy...Hiram Price
Ford Flannagan...White House Doorkeeper - Tom Pendel
Robert Ayers...White House Petitioner (as Bob Ayers)
Robert Peters...Jacob Graylor
John Moon...Edwin LeClerk
Kevin Lawrence O'Donnell...Charles Hanson
Jamie Horton...Giles Stuart
Joe Dellinger...Nelson Merrick
Richard Warner...Homer Benson
Elijah Chester...Union Army Officer
Dave Hager...Captain Nathan Saunders - River Queen
Sean Haggerty...Officer in Peace Commissioners Exchange
Mike Shiflett...Senator R.M.T. Hunter (as Michael Shiflett)
Gregory Itzin...Judge John A. Campbell
Stephen Dunn...Petersburg Siege Lines - Confederate Officer
Stephen Henderson...William Slade
Chase Edmunds...Willie Lincoln
John Hutton...Senator Charles Sumner
Robert Ruffin...Major Thompson Eckert
Drew Sease...David Homer Bates
John Lescault...Gustavus Fox
Scott Wichmann...Charles Benjamin
Adam Driver...Samuel Beckwith
Jean Kennedy Smith...Woman Shouter
Shirley Augustine...Woman Shouter
Sarah Wylie...Woman Shouter
Margaret Ann McGowan...Woman Shouter
Hilary Montgomery...Woman Shouter
Asa-Like Twocrow...Ely Parker
Lancer Dean Shull...Union Soldier - Bodyguard
Robert Wilharm...Wounded Soldier
Kevin Kline...Wounded Soldier
Sgt. John Jones...Wounded Soldier
Paul Gowans...Wounded Soldier
Joseph Miller...Wounded Soldier
John Bellemer...Faust
Mary Dunleavy...Marguerite
Christopher Evan Welch...Clerk - Edward McPherson
Alan Sader...Sergeant At Arms
Gannon McHale...Aaron Haddam
Ken Lambert...Augustus Benjamin
Thomas K. Belgrey...Arthur Bentleigh (as Tom Belgrey)
Ted Johnson...John Ellis
Don Henderson Baker...Walter Appleton
Raynor Scheine...Josiah S. 'Beanpole' Burton
Armistead Wellford...Nehemiah Cleary
Michael Ruff...Harold Hollister
Rich Wills...House of Representatives - Soldier One
Stephen Bozzo...House of Representatives - Soldier Two
Christopher Alan Stewart...Sergeant - Grant's HQ
Teddy Eck...Corporal - Grant's HQ
Todd Fletcher...Walter H. Washburn
Charles Kinney...Myer Strauss
Joseph Carlson...Joseph Marstern
Michael Goodwin...Chilton A. Elliot
Edward McDonald...Daniel G. Stuart
Jim Batchelder...Howard Guillefoyle
Gregory Hosaflook...John F. McKenzie
Joe Kerkes...Andrew E. Finck
William Kaffenberger...John A. Casson
Larry Van Hoose...Avon Hanready
C. Brandon Marshall...Rufus Warren

Produced by
Kathleen Kennedy .... producer
Jonathan King .... executive producer
Daniel Lupi .... executive producer
Kristie Macosko .... co-producer
Jeff Skoll .... executive producer
Adam Somner .... co-producer
Steven Spielberg .... producer

Original Music by
John Williams

Cinematography by
Janusz Kaminski (director of photography)

Film Editing by
Michael Kahn

Casting by
Avy Kaufman

Production Design by
Rick Carter

Art Direction by
Curt Beech
David Crank
Leslie McDonald

Set Decoration by
Jim Erickson
Peter T. Frank

Costume Design by
Joanna Johnston

On Hollywood and filmmaking:

Below the Line

sex drugs and divorce

a little life, interrupted
  1. Hecho en Mejico
  2. Entrances
  3. Sam's Song
  4. Hemingway and Fortuna
  5. Hummingbird on the Left
  6. The Long and Drunken Afternoon
  7. Safe in the Lap of the Gods
  8. Quetzal Birds in Love
  9. Angela in Paradise
  10. And the machine ran backwards

a secondhand coffin
how to act
Right. Me and Herman Melville
Scylla and Charybdis Approximately
snowflakes and nylon

I could've kissed Orson Welles
the broken dreams of Orson Welles
the last time I saw Orson Welles
The Other Side of the Wind

Below the Line
completion bond
Film Editing
Film Editor
Final Cut Pro
forced development
HD Video
king of the queens
Kubrick polishes a turd
movies from space
Persistence of Vision
Sven Nykvist
Wilford Brimley

21 Grams
Andrei Rublyov
Apocalypse Now Redux
Hearts and Minds
Ivan's Childhood
The Jazz Singer
The Sacrifice
We Were Soldiers
Wild Strawberries

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