Photo byTiziana Fabi/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images show Pollack in Rome after a press conference for the last film he directed, Sketches of Frank Gehry (2005).
A. O. Scott's New York Times tribute, "Sydney Pollack, Filmmaker New and Old," which is set to run tomorrow, might not have caught my attention, if Google had not listed it as, "A Master of the Mainstream, When It Still Aimed High." The official obit from today is here.
It's hard to imagine him gone, whether you're a fan of something old, like Tootsie, or something new, like Recount--about the 2000 presidential ballot fight in Florida. This last piece aired on HBO Sunday, the day before he died. And Pollack acted, playing among other roles, Will's semi-cad Dad on Will and Grace.
Information Activies Lisa Pease (blog, email) has written today about the very political nature of Pollack's films for Consortium News, saying it so well, I won't have to:
And while he brought a strong social consciousness to everything he
touched, he never let the message overtake the entertainment. He made great
films that mesmerized and moved and delighted.
You didn't realize until you were leaving the theater that you'd also
gotten a little lesson in history or morality as well.
I hope future directors will find the heart and courage to follow
in his exceedingly large footsteps. We lost a giant this week.