“Lincoln” to open today

I still remember as a young kid the old Campus Theater on S. University in Ann Arbor, MI having lines hours long just for the shot at getting into the screening of one of Steven Spielberg’s first great triumphs: E.T. They sold ice cream bars along the street. There were those funky hairbands with springs and Styrofoam antennae attached. Glow wands. You name it.

This, of course, was before the days of the multiplex when several showings can happen at once.

Today, because of the new way we view movies, we’re not likely to see any stovepipe, beaver skin hats sold to us as we enter the theater, but for one of the most anticipated Spielberg movies in decades, at least for us politicos, today is just about as exciting as the day when E.T. opened.

Beginning today, “Lincoln” starring Daniel Day Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones, Sally Field, James Spader and Hal Holbrooke is to hit the big screen. Filmed in Virginia, it will also determine whether or not this state will remain open to the film business.

Our commonwealth has such a rich history and heritage. 400+ years of Europeans in America, not to mention the rich history of the Powhatan and those that came before, all reside here in the commonwealth. We have the longest serving democratic government. We truly are the cradle of the revolution (without Virginia, there is no revolution and no Constitution, not to mention Bill of Rights). We remain loyal to our country – VMI, Virginia Tech, Old Dominion/Hampton/Norfolk State – produce at least as many or more officers for the US military than the service academies themselves. Ours is a rich heritage.

More film production needs to come here. We’re perfect for historical films, not to mention our mountains, farmland, and shoreline – all teeming with natural beauty.

So it will be interesting to see how “Lincoln” portrays us and what the fallout is.

Is Virginia seen as the cradle of the confederacy? Are we to be vilified? Are we to be dismissed?

Or, is this a new kind of film which shows the incredible complexity of the war between the states? Does it show the pain and anguish of one man as he tries to hold a Union above all others?

“A house divided against itself cannot stand,” said President Lincoln. Are we ready today to heed those words even today? Even within Lincoln’s Republican party?

From what I understand, this film focuses on the last few months of Lincoln’s life, so there may not be too much of that. But it will be interesting to see what context towards Union this film presents.

I, for one, have been ready to see this film for months. And, I know many of you are too.

To see “Lincoln” at your local theater, check out Fandango.