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Steven Spielberg, Hollywood's most commercially successful director, received critical appraise by his peers Saturday when he was honored by the Directors Guild for Outstanding Directorial Achievement for his stark Holocaust film, Schindler's List. The award is seen as an harbinger of the Holy Grail of filmdom, the coveted Academy Award as Best Director. The "Oscar" has eluded Spielberg for nearly two decades. As producer of Schindler's List, Spielberg is also in line to walk away with the Best Picture of the Year when the annual Oscar awards are handed out by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles on March 21.

Et cetera . . .

Jim Carrey's Ace Ventura: Pet Detective continued to hound the box office competition, remaining the No. 1 movie in the country, according to early weekend estimates. In its fifth week of release, Ace grossed $5.2-million to push it over the $50-million mark, beating out Greedy, the Kirk Douglas-Michael J. Fox comedy that brought in $5-million in its debut. On Deadly Ground finished third, followed by Sugar Hill, the debut of The Chase, starring Charlie Sheen and Kristy Swanson, Schindler's List, Angie, Mrs. Doubtfire", Blank Check and Blue Chips.

Rock singer Kurt Cobain continued his recovery in a Rome hospital Sunday after falling into a coma caused by an overdose of sedatives and alcohol. Cobain might leave the Rome American Hospital today or Tuesday, his doctor said. Cobain, 27, emerged from a coma Saturday after collapsing at his hotel early Friday. His wife, Courtney Love, was staying at the private clinic.

Garrison Keillor and his radio show A Prairie Home Companion will leave the prairie for a special show in Nashville June 4. Keillor will broadcast from the newly renovated Ryman Auditorium.