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AFI Lifetime Achievement Award: The Incredibly Shrinking Past + BFI Fellowship Recipients

Ramon Novarro biography Beyond Paradise

This list of AFI Life Achievement Award winners was culled from Wikipedia. The number on the right represents the honorees’ age at the time of the award. Shirley MacLaine will be 78 next June 7.

1973 John Ford 79
1974 James Cagney 74
1975 Orson Welles 59
1976 William Wyler 73
1977 Bette Davis 68
1978 Henry Fonda 72
1979 Alfred Hitchcock 79
1980 James Stewart 71
1981 Fred Astaire 81
1982 Frank Capra 84
1983 John Huston 76
1984 Lillian Gish 90
1985 Gene Kelly 72
1986 Billy Wilder 79
1987 Barbara Stanwyck 79
1988 Jack Lemmon 63
1989 Gregory Peck 72
1990 David Lean 82
1991 Kirk Douglas 74
1992 Sidney Poitier 65
1993 Elizabeth Taylor 61
1994 Jack Nicholson 56
1995 Steven Spielberg 48
1996 Clint Eastwood 65
1997 Martin Scorsese 54
1998 Robert Wise 83
1999 Dustin Hoffman 61
2000 Harrison Ford 57
2001 Barbra Streisand 58
2002 Tom Hanks 45
2003 Robert De Niro 59
2004 Meryl Streep 54
2005 George Lucas 60
2006 Sean Connery 75
2007 Al Pacino 67
2008 Warren Beatty 71
2009 Michael Douglas 64
2010 Mike Nichols 78
2011 Morgan Freeman 74
2012 Shirley MacLaine 78
2013 Mel Brooks 86
2014 Jane Fonda 76

Tom Hanks, Angels & Demons
Tom Hanks in Ron Howard’s Angels & Demons.

From October 2010: Today, the American Film Institute announced that at a gala ceremony to be held in June 2011 Morgan Freeman will be handed the AFI Life Achievement Award, which “honors an individual whose career in motion pictures or television has greatly contributed to the enrichment of American culture.”

Past recipients include John Ford, Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, William Wyler, Frank Capra, John Huston, Bette Davis, Lillian Gish, Al Pacino, Fred Astaire, Henry Fonda, James Cagney, Barbra Streisand, James Stewart, Kirk Douglas, Mike Nichols, Jack Lemmon, Martin Scorsese, and Barbara Stanwyck.

As per the AFI selection criteria, “the recipient should be one whose talent has in a fundamental way advanced the film art; whose accomplishment has been acknowledged by scholars, critics, professional peers and the general public; and whose work has stood the test of time.”

So, why Morgan Freeman, whose film career began in earnest less than three decades ago?

What about Shirley MacLaine or Lauren Bacall or Diane Keaton or Woody Allen or Olivia de Havilland or Cliff Robertson or Jane Fonda or Joan Fontaine or Mel Brooks or … all of whom have been around making movies for forty years or longer.

Well, probably for the same reason Jude Law and Sylvester Stallone were handed career awards at the French Césars, and Tom Hanks (then 45) and Steven Spielberg (then 48) were honored with the AFI Life Achievement Award: television ratings.

After all, though no longer broadcast on one of the networks (TV LAND will air next year’s ceremony), those Life Achievement awards earn the AFI some cold, hard cash.

In fact, in 1993, in order to honor Steven Spielberg, and later the likes of Tom Hanks, Martin Scorsese, Michael Douglas, Meryl Streep, Dustin Hoffman, Clint Eastwood, Jack Nicholson, and Harrison Ford, the AFI Board of Trustees “extended the criteria to encompass individuals with active careers and work of significance yet to be accomplished.”

For comparison’s sake: When John Ford won his Life Achievement award in 1973, he had been making movies for more than half a century. The same goes for William Wyler, Alfred Hitchcock, and Frank Capra.

Bette Davis, Henry Fonda, James Cagney, Fred Astaire, and James Stewart had all been around for more than four decades.

Orson Welles was the sole newcomer, what with a mere 34 years of moviemaking.

At the rate things are going, expect Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Garrett Hedlund, Emma Stone, Miley Cyrus, and Daniel Radcliffe to be receiving Life Achievement awards by the time they’re 30.

I should also mention that the honoree must be willing to go to the party. That’s surely the reason why Katharine Hepburn and Greta Garbo were never honored. And the same goes for Cary Grant, who declined to be feted.

Ralph Fiennes & David Cronenberg: BFI Fellowship

Ralph FiennesCanadian filmmaker David Cronenberg and British actor-turned-filmmaker Ralph Fiennes (right) will receive the 2011 British Film Institute Fellowship, a sort of Lifetime Achievement Award given by the BFI. Cronenberg and Fiennes will be handed the honor at the London Film Festival.

Previous BFI Fellowship recipients include Isabelle Huppert, Michael Powell, Marcel Carné, Bette Davis, Maureen O’Hara, Orson Welles, Ousmane Sembene, Akira Kurosawa, Maggie Smith, Bernardo Bertolucci, Laurence Olivier, Deborah Kerr, Dirk Bogarde, Alec Guinness, Ridley Scott, and Jean Simmons.

David Cronenberg’s latest effort, the Freud-Jung drama A Dangerous Method, was recently screened at the Venice Film Festival and is a possible contender for the 2012 Academy Awards. Michael Fassbender, Viggo Mortensen, and Keira Knightley star. Cronenberg’s next release, which should come out next year, is Cosmopolis, starring Robert Pattinson.

This year, in addition to playing Lord Voldemort in the blockbuster Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Ralph Fiennes can be seen in David Hare’s Page Eight and in a film version of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus, which Fiennes himself directed from a screenplay adaptation by John Logan. Gerard Butler, Jessica Chastain, Brian Cox, and Vanessa Redgrave co-star.

Bette Davis olderThe list of those who have received a British Film Institute Fellowship since it was first handed out in 1983 is quite extensive. [See below.] BFI Fellows include not only Britishers, but also numerous foreigners who have somehow or other been associated with either the film world or the BFI itself, among them directors (Michelangelo Antonioni, Marcel Carné), producers (John Brabourne, David Puttnam), film executives (Harvey Weinstein, Sidney Bernstein), editors (Thelma Schoonmaker), cinematographers (Jack Cardiff), actors (from Alec Guinness to Bette Davis, from Jean Simmons to Isabelle Huppert), writers (Graham Greene), critics (Dilys Powell), and philanthropists (J. Paul Getty).

There are a number of puzzling omissions, however. For instance, the following are a few British actresses who have left an indelible mark on world cinema: Anna Neagle (left out perhaps because she died in 1986), Margaret Lockwood, Julie Andrews, Julie Christie, Lynn Redgrave, and Greer Garson. None of them has received the BFI Fellowship, though there’s still time for Andrews and Christie.

  • Robert Altman
  • Michelangelo Antonioni
  • Peggy Ashcroft
  • Richard Attenborough
  • Sidney Bernstein
  • Bernardo Bertolucci
  • Dirk Bogarde
  • Danny Boyle
  • John Brabourne
  • Michael Caine
  • Jack Cardiff
  • Marcel Carné
  • Souleymane Cissé
  • David Cronenberg
  • Terence Davies
  • Bette Davis
  • Gérard Depardieu
  • Clint Eastwood
  • Ralph Fiennes
  • Denis Forman
  • David Francis
  • J. Paul Getty
  • Lewis Gilbert
  • Graham Greene
  • Alec Guinness
  • Leslie Hardcastle
  • Isabelle Huppert
  • John Hurt
  • Jeremy Isaacs
  • Derek Jarman
  • Deborah Kerr
  • Abbas Kiarostami
  • Krzysztof Kieslowski
  • Elem Klimov
  • Akira Kurosawa
  • Verity Lambert
  • Lynda La Plante
  • David Lean
  • Mike Leigh
  • Ken Loach
  • John Mills
  • Jeanne Moreau
  • Maureen O’Hara
  • Laurence Olivier
  • Michael Parkinson
  • Dilys Powell
  • Michael Powell
  • Emeric Pressburger
  • David Puttnam
  • Satyajit Ray
  • Vanessa Redgrave
  • Nicolas Roeg
  • David Rose
  • Sydney Samuelson
  • Thelma Schoonmaker
  • Martin Scorsese
  • Ridley Scott
  • Ousmane Sembene
  • Jean Simmons
  • Anthony Smith
  • Maggie Smith
  • Elizabeth Taylor
  • Jeremy Thomas
  • Bob Weinstein
  • Harvey Weinstein
  • Orson Welles
  • Robert Wise
  • Alan Yentob
  • Fred Zinnemann

Twilight Portrait, Angelina Nikonova
Angelina Nikonova’s Twilight Portrait.

‘Twilight Portrait’ Tops Reykjavik Film Festival

Angelina Nikonova’s Russian drama Twilight Portrait was given the Reykjavik International Film Festival’s Golden Puffin Discovery Award last Saturday, Oct. 1. Twilight Portrait has absolutely nothing to do with vampires or werewolves. Instead, it’s a sociopolitical revenge drama set in modern-day Russia.

Special jury mentions went to Andrea Segre’s Shun Li and the Poet and Joachim Trier’s psychological drama Oslo, August 31st. Runar Runarsson’s family drama Volcano, Iceland’s submission for the 2012 Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award, received awards from the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) and the Church of Iceland.

The Audience Award went to Aki Kaurismäki’s Le Havre, Finland’s submission – and a strong contender – for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Le Havre deals with the issues of immigration and xenophobia in modern Europe.

The Reykjavik festival jury was led by actor Ulrich Thomsen (In a Better World, The Thing). Twilight Portrait was one of 12 features from first- and second-time filmmakers.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter.

Michelle Williams & Glenn Close: Hollywood Awards

Michelle Williams (right) and Glenn Close will receive, respectively, the Hollywood Film Festival’s Hollywood Actress Award and the Hollywood Career Achievement Award at the Hollywood Awards Gala Ceremony, to be held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills on October 24.

All those “Hollywood” mentions in the above paragraph are not my doing. The Hollywood Film Festival is just that: Hollywood. Glenn Close is a top contender for the 2012 Best Actress Academy Award for her performance in the gender-bending drama Albert Nobbs. Williams may turn out to be a strong contender as well for bringing back to life Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn, which will be distributed by Oscarmeister Harvey Weinstein’s The Weinstein Company.

Other honorees at this year’s Hollywood Awards ceremony are Supporting Actor Award winner Christopher Plummer (Beginners), Breakthrough Actor Award winner Joseph Gordon-Levitt (50/50), Hollywood Ensemble Award winner The Help (Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard, Sissy Spacek, Cicely Tyson, etc.), New Hollywood Award winner Felicity Jones (Like Crazy), and Breakthrough Actress Award winner Jessica Chastain, who can be seen everywhere you look, what with Terrence Malick’s Palme d’Or winner The Tree of Life, the aforementioned The Help, The Debt, Take Shelter, and Coriolanus.

Also: Rango will get the Hollywood Animation Award; Emmanuel Lubezki (The Tree of Life) the Hollywood Cinematographer Award; Stephen Mirrione (The Ides of March) the Hollywood Editor Award; James J. Murakami (whose work on J. Edgar hasn’t been viewed, yet) the Hollywood Production Designer Award; and Scott Farrar (Transformers: Dark of the Moon) the Hollywood Visual Effects Award.

Previous winners of the various Hollywood Awards – a sort of pre-awards-season reminder about the year’s countless contenders – include an eclectic range of talent. Those include just about everyone from Geoffrey Rush to Lindsay Lohan, from Christoph Waltz to Robert Pattinson, from John Travolta to Gabourey Sidibe, from Scarlett Johansson to Derek Luke.

According to the Hollywood Awards site, “in the last 8 years, a total of 73 Oscar nominations and 27 Oscars were given to films showcased and/or to the nominees and honorees of the Hollywood Awards.”

Entertainment Tonight‘s Nancy O’Dell will host the awards gala ceremony. The Hollywood Film Festival will take place Oct. 20-24 at the ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood.

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Keith Leidahl -

To the board members o AFI I understand this is just one fans opinion however i ask your indulgence. I became a student of movie history and films, albeit self taught because of my love of it. It was a saving grace for me as a child. Movies filled a large void for me back then at a time when my life was very difficult, films were an education for me they taught me about life, love, laughter, history, and the human condition. Those late night black and white lessons of honor, dignity, and the endless possibilities of the human spirit were the groundwork upon which were a core of ideas upon which i built the values of the person of which i have become and has served me well my entire life to this moment. And so thou I’m not an actor, producer or director or affiliated with the film industry i believe i have valid enough credentials to speak here. Jerry Lewis carries enormous credentials in his resume. In over 70 years of entertaining this country and the entire world and over 60 years in front of and behind the camera he has given of himself consistantly. His comic style and technique are legendary. hi work behind the camera has resulted in innovated techniques which are still apart of industry today. his use of video playback set a new standard at the time. His selfless and tireless humanitarism in the fight against muscular dystrophy has improved the lives of millions of children all over the world he is there true champion. Lastly he has been a champion and friend to so many in his own industry, all the examples of which we will never know He is a great producer, a producer of great laughter and tears he has in my opinion all to the bettermeant of us all. AFI members and board he is one of your own and one of the most treasured you have. HONOR HIM. not because time may be running out but because he is one of your most deserving. To the rest of us he is already a winner because his life has been a lifetime achievement in greatness. Your’s Sincerely Keith Brian Leidahl

ray -

No award for marlon brando? He was definitely a contender. hey Stella, whats up with that?

Margaret -

All most worthy recipients. However, one notable omission is Richard Basehart. He, without doubt, should have been awarded this accolade years ago. Film, television, stage, humanitarian work, animal welfare and the closing dialogue of the Olympic games qualified him well for the award . How blind can the Acadamy of Arts and Sciences be. It’s an insult to him and his family. Surely, a posthumous award can be bestowed on this most talented man. It’s now 29 years since his death…….. Don’t forget him. His fans don’t.

Regina -

Why isn’t John Waynes name among the recipients for the Lifetime Achievement Award? With all of the movies that he made and the inspiration that he was to this country….why was he never honored with this award. I see some names on this list of people that have not accomplished half as much film wise as the Duke but they were recognized. I’m sorry but that is an insult to a great man.


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