University President Richard Levin told Spielberg he was being honored in recognition of a career in which he won Oscars for directing "Schindler's List" and "Saving Private Ryan," and turned out such all-time hits as "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial," "Jaws" and the Indiana Jones trilogy.
"Your movies entertain, engage and enlighten," said Levin. "For your artistry and imagination, we honor you with this degree of doctor of humane letters."
The university also recognized Spielberg's efforts to keep alive the memories of Holocaust victims with "Schindler's List" and the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation.
Spielberg is scheduled to pick up his bachelor's degree this Friday in commencement ceremonies at the University of California-Long Beach.
HONORS FOR EASTWOOD
Oscar-winning filmmaker Clint Eastwood will attend the third annual Maui Film Festival -- scheduled to run June 12-16 at Wailea -- to accept the 2002 Silversword Award, the festival's top prize.
Eastwood, who won directing and producing Oscars for "Unforgiven" in 1992, is also scheduled to sit for an open-to-the-public interview with Joel Siegel on June 14.
The Silversword was first presented to director Tim Burton ("Planet of the Apes," "Sleepy Hollow") in 2000. Last year, it was presented to the Earth Communications Office, a Santa Monica-based environmental organization.
This year's festival will feature 40 films, including "The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys" (Jodie Foster, Kieran Culkin); "The Good Girl" (Jennifer Aniston); "Searching for Debra Winger" (Rosanna Arquette, Jane Fonda, Sharon Stone, Frances McDormand, Gwyneth Paltrow); "A Shot at Glory" (Robert Duvall); and "Unforgiven."
'FAME' DIRECTOR IS KNIGHTED
Director Alan Parker -- "Fame," "Evita," "Midnight Express" -- was knighted Tuesday, five months after being named to receive the honor on the New Year's Honor's list.
Parker was nominated for an Oscar and was named best director by the National Board of Review in 1988 for "Mississippi Burning." He was nominated for the directing Oscar for "Midnight Express" in 1978.
He was knighted in recognition of his work as chairman of the Film Council, which helps fund British film projects.
IDLE HEADS FOR DIRECTOR'S CHAIR
Eric Idle will make his feature directorial debut, taking the helm of "The Remains of the Piano" -- a spoof of Merchant-Ivory films ("The Remains of the Day," "Howards End").
The London Free Press reported that Geoffrey Rush will star in the movie, scheduled to shoot this summer in Toronto.
Idle recently directed "Rutles 2: Can't Buy Me Lunch," a follow-up to the 1978 TV mock-umentary "The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash" -- a parody of Beatle-mania and serious films examining the Fab Four. He also stars in the sequel as the narrator and Rutles founding member Dick McQuickly.
Idle told the London Free Press he's ready to roll, as soon as producer Garth Drabinsky comes up with the rest of the funding for the project.
"It's got everything a Merchant-Ivory film has," Idle said. "Lovely costumes, lovely sets and lovely English acting."
Idle said he played "Rutles 2" for his friend George Harrison just before Harrison died last year.
"It made him smile," Idle said. "So far, it's had an audience of one, but it's a good one."
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT?
According to a report in the New York Daily News, the director of a new movie about a Hollywood agent who destroys himself with drugs and alcohol is making some people uncomfortable at the Creative Artists Agency, a leading Hollywood talent agency.
Writer-director Bernard Rose ("Anna Karenina," "Immortal Beloved") was a client of the late CAA agent Jay Moloney when he started work on "ivans xtc," also known as "To Live and Die in Hollywood." It's described as an update on Tolstoy's "The Death of Ivan Ilyich," set in contemporary Hollywood.
Danny Huston stars as a talent agent who reminds some people of Moloney, whose client list included Dustin Hoffman, David Letterman, Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg -- until he was fired from the agency in 1996 after bouts with depression and cocaine addiction.
Moloney left Hollywood for the Caribbean, where he worked as a janitor at a resort owned by friends. He committed suicide in 1999 at 35.
"CAA wishes the film would go away," Rose told the paper. "They view it as dangerous (to them). Obviously they feel a lot of guilt about Jay."
Rose -- who insisted his movie is a work of fiction -- said he has been told there are people at CAA "who would do their damnedest to squash me like a bug."
The News said CAA had no comment on the story.