SCHINDLER'S LIST

For Hicksflicks.com, June 21, 2013
 

The last film in Cinemark's latest vintage-movie cycle, dedicated to films by Steven Spielberg ("Jaws," "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" have come and gone) is "Schindler's List," which will be shown in various theaters at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 23, and again on Wednesday, June 26, at 2 and 7 p.m. Here is the website.

And for this one, 100 percent of the proceeds will be donated to the USC Shoah Foundation, established by Spielberg in 1994, and which, according to its website, is "Dedicated to making audio-visual interviews with survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides."

"Schindler's List" is, of course, Steven Spielberg's stirring, emotional, sometimes harsh and always compelling Oscar-winning film about Oskar Schindler, a German businessman and Nazi who became a war profiteer with a factory in Poland by employing cheap Jewish labor using prisoners from the nearby Krakow Ghetto. But with the things that he sees and experiences, Schindler eventually allows compassion to overcome greed and he uses his accumulated wealth to pay bribes to free his workers. Schindler is credited with saving more than 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust.

Spielberg's film, his first to carry an R rating, is a masterpiece, with a sterling performance by Liam Neeson as Schindler, a gentle turn by Ben Kingsley as his partner and accountant and an especially chilling one by Ralph Fiennes as the chief SS officer who is a psychopathic sadist.

Aiding the film are one of John Williams best musical scores, gorgeous black-and-white cinematography by Janusz Kaminski and a first-rate script by Steven Zaillian. But this is Spielberg's movie, announcing a maturity in his work that was something new in 1993, and which some would argue he has never achieved again, at least not on such an important level.