I was wrapping up a pleasantly quiet Memorial Day weekend on Monday when I clicked over to Yahoo! News and read of the passing of Sydney Pollack. Immediately I thought of the night last year that he returned to Indianapolis to screen what would be his last film as a director, Sketches of Frank Gehry.
Jeff and Mr. Pollack chatted like old friends; fitting, really, as that’s exactly what they were. Pollack’s ties to Indiana–he was born in Lafayette–brought him back to the Hoosier state often. Jeff remembered his visit to the Festival in 1993 during an interview with WISH-TV:
It was a time when, who really knew what this film festival was about? And we really didn’t know what we were doing a whole lot back then, I think. But he was extremely gracious…In my career with Heartland I’ve met a lot of famous people. But no one more generous and giving and helpful than Sydney Pollack.
Despite a career that started in acting, he found his niche behind the camera. The filmmaker’s extensive resume lists credit after credit as producer on projects you probably never even realized he had a hand in. I know I didn’t. I suppose it’s a testament to his quiet strength and humility of spirit.
Our thoughts and prayers at Heartland go out to Mr. Pollack’s family; his is a cinematic voice that will truly be missed.