Malibu Seen: Remembering things past

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Malibu’s Steven Spielberg salutes an impressive performance by two-time Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis, who stars in his new release “Lincoln,” at this year’s Britannia Awards. 

In this era full of goofball comedies and weak box office fare, leave it to the Zen Master of celluloid, Steven Spielberg, to capture imaginations with plain old American history. Sure, we grew up with the flashy “E.T.,” the heart pounding “Indiana Jones,” the white knuckler “Jaws,” and the list goes on and on, but putting a historic epic like “Lincoln” together could not have been an easy task. 

Although the competition gets fierce at this time of the year, “Lincoln” is already generating a big Academy buzz, as well as awards. 

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles (BAFTA) honored the film’s acclaimed actor Daniel Day-Lewis at a star-studded bash at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The intense artist is known for completely immersing himself in his roles. He is a two time “Best Actor” Academy Award-winner for portraying Christy Brown in 1989’s “My Left Foot” and Daniel Plainview in 2007’s “There Will Be Blood.” Then there is the gritty “Gangs of New York,” the breathtaking “A Room with a View,” “The Unbearable Lightness of Being,” “The Boxer,” “The Last of the Mohicans,” “In the Name of the Father,” and that list, too, goes on and on. 

The two legendary talents came together on stage when local Spielberg presented the prestigious Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in film to Day-Lewis. 

The BAFTA gala, which was hosted by Alan Cumming, also feted another great. Name? Bond. James Bond. 007 is a smashing box office success and Daniel Craig received the Britannia Award for British Artist of the Year, which was bestowed on him by fellow action hero, Indy himself, Harrison Ford. “Pulp Fiction’s” edgy director Quentin Tarantino snagged the John Schlesinger Britannia Award for excellence behind the camera. The gong was presented by iconic scream king Roger Corman, who has launched many Hollywood careers and numerous memorable and not-so-memorable low budget horror flicks. 

And what would BAFTA be without a bit of humor? That prize went to Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the Emmy Award-winning creators of “South Park” and the Tony Award-winning smash “The Book of Mormon.” Both received the Charlie Chaplin Award for Excellence in Comedy. 

Throughout the evening, gussied-up guests like Sam Mendes, Sally Field, Kerry Washington and top Hollywood honcho Harvey Weinstein seemed to be having themselves a grand old time, and it was all for a good cause. Proceeds from the gala will support BAFTA’s education, scholarship, community service and archival projects, because that’s the way these film pros roll.