Lauren Bacall, Roger Corman, and Gordon Willis have been chosen by the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to be the next recipients of the Academy’s Honorary Award. Additionally, producer-executive John Calley will be given the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award.
Previously, special awards were handed out at the Oscar ceremony, but from this year onward they will be presented at the Governors Awards ceremony. The first-ever such event will take place on Saturday, November 14, at the Grand Ballroom at the Hollywood & Highland Center.
This year’s honorees:
Lauren Bacall has one Academy Award nomination to her credit: her stern mom in Barbra Streisand’s much panned (and surprisingly enjoyable) 1996 melodramatic romantic comedy The Mirror Has Two Faces. Everyone was sure that Bacall was going to win that year’s best supporting actress Oscar – which ended up going to Juliette Binoche, the de facto female lead in The English Patient.
Among Bacall’s best-known film appearances are her pairings with Humphrey Bogart – To Have and Have Not (1945), The Big Sleep (1946), Dark Passage (1947), and Key Largo (1948) – plus How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), Woman’s World (1954), Written on the Wind (1956), Designing Woman (1957), Harper (1966), The Fan (1981), and Dogville (2003).
The 85-year-old actress remains active. She has three movies scheduled to come out in 2010: Carmel, Wild Blue Yonder, and Firedog.
Roger Corman is the director and producer of numerous low-budget cult classics, among them It Conquered the World (1956), Teenage Doll (1957), The Little Shop of Horrors (1960), House of Usher (1960), Pit and the Pendulum (1961), Premature Burial (1962), The Raven (1963), The Masque of the Red Death (1964), The Wild Angels (1966), and The Trip (1967).
In addition to giving lots of employment to Vincent Price, Corman is also credited for opening the door to a number of young filmmakers, including Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, James Cameron, Jonathan Demme and Ron Howard.
Cinematographer Gordon Willis has received a mere two Academy Award nominations: for Zelig and The Godfather: Part III. Among the Willis-shot films that didn’t make the Academy cut were Klute (1971), The Godfather (1972), The Godfather Part II (1974), All the President’s Men (1976), Annie Hall (1977), Manhattan (above, 1979), and The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985).
Among the films John Calley has produced are The Loved One (1965), Castle Keep (1969), Postcards from the Edge (1990), best picture-nominee The Remains of the Day (1993), Closer (2004), The Da Vinci Code (2005), and Angels & Demons (2009). Additionally, Calley held top posts at Warner Bros., United Artists, and Sony Pictures.
The Honorary Award, an Oscar statuette, is given to an individual for “extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy.”
The Thalberg Award, a bust of the motion picture executive, is given to “a creative producer whose body of work reflects a consistently high quality of motion picture production.”
Ingmar Bergman auction
Nearly 340 items that belonged to Ingmar Bergman are to be auctioned by Bukowskis in Stockholm on Sept. 28. Among the items are film cameras, Golden Globe awards, and the chess set that was “probably” used by Max von Sydow’s Antonius Block and Bengt Ekerot’s Death in the 1957 classic The Seventh Seal.
Also in the auction are a wooden puppet autographed by the actors featured in From the Life of the Marionettes; a portrait of Bergman taken in 1964 by American photographer Irving Penn; a puppet theater similar to the one used in Fanny and Alexander; photographs showing Bergman next to Igor Stravinsky and Bruce the Shark (from Jaws); portraits of cinematographer Sven Nykvist and actor-director Victor Sjöström; and an old suitcase covered in stickers with which Bergman traveled to Cairo and Rome.
According to various reports, Bergman had it stipulated in his will that those assets be auctioned so as to prevent them from being caught up in some “kind of emotional hullabaloo.”
As per Bukowskis spokeswoman Charlotte Bergstrom, interest has been so great that even the limited-edition Bergman auction catalog has become a collector’s item.
Ingmar Bergman died in his sleep at his home on the island of Fårö, off the coast of Sweden, in 2007. He was 89.
Dr. No poster (top); Paul Crifo at work (bottom)
Art of the Movie Poster: From the Paul Crifo Archive
Posters for Dr. No, Ragtime, and dozens of other movies will be on display in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ new exhibition, “Art of the Movie Poster: Illustrated One-Sheets and Design Concepts from the Paul Crifo Archive,” opening on Thursday, September 17, in the Academy’s Grand Lobby Gallery in Beverly Hills. Admission is free.
As per the Academy’s press release, “’Art of the Movie Poster’ will focus on the decades from the 1950s through the ‘80s, showcasing the creative process by which a finished movie poster was achieved. Each stage of the process will be represented, through reference stills, concept sketches, and hand-rendered and photographic ‘comps’ (design mock-ups incorporating graphics and text). Also featured will be many of the approved original illustrations of ‘key art.’ Multiple poster concepts will be displayed alongside the final ‘winning’ posters, which are from the collections of poster designer Paul Crifo and the Academy’s Margaret Herrick Library. This exhibition marks the first time that much of Crifo’s work will be on display for public viewing.”
Other films represented in the exhibition include The Great Escape, In the Heat of the Night, Paths of Glory, Separate Tables, Tom Jones, Zorba the Greek, The Group, How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, The Producers, Play It Again, Sam, A Separate Peace and Mahogany.
Paul Crifo studied illustration at Pratt University; from 1942 through 1986, he worked on more than 400 motion picture advertising campaigns, personally designing 120 film posters for Hollywood studios, foreign distributors and independent film companies, mostly while working out of New York City.
“Art of the Movie Poster” will be on display through December 13. The Academy’s Grand Lobby Gallery is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills and is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and weekends, noon to 6 p.m. The gallery will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, November 26 through 29.
For more information call (310) 247-3600 or visit www.oscars.org.
Photos: Courtesy of the Paul Crifo Archive (Crifo / The Great Escape), Courtesy of the Margaret Herrick Library (In the Heat of the Night, Dr. No)
Paul Crifo & Lon Chaney’s Great-Grandson at Academy Exhibition
Sept. 21 update: Poster artist Paul Crifo poses in front of the In the Heat of the Night poster at the opening of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences’ new exhibitions “Art of the Movie Poster: Illustrated One-sheets and Design Concepts from the Paul Crifo Archive” and “Irving Thalberg: Creating the Hollywood Studio System, 1920-1936,” on Wednesday, September 16, 2009.
Photos: Greg Harbaugh / © A.M.P.A.S.
Ron Chaney poses next to great-grandfather Lon Chaney’s original make-up kit.
“Perspectives on Editing” Seminar Series
The art and craft of film editing is the topic of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ four-evening seminar series “Perspectives on Editing.” Sessions will be held on three consecutive Tuesdays, September 22, September 29, and October 6, concluding on Wednesday, October 14, with a tribute to Oscar-winning editor Anne V. Coates. Each session will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood.
As per the Academy’s press release, “Perspectives on Editing” will tackle the editing of live action films, animated features and documentaries “from the perspective of motion picture editors themselves.” Each session will feature film clips and open discussions between the evening’s special guests and members of the audience.
The evenings will be hosted by Academy Film Editors Branch governors Donn Cambern (The Last Picture Show, The Bodyguard) and Mark Goldblatt (Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Starship Troopers).
The series schedule is as follows, with presenters subject to availability (text from the Academy’s release):
Tuesday, September 22 - A Conversation with Walter Murch
Murch, a nine-time Academy Award nominee, won Oscars for Film Editing for The English Patient (1996) and Sound for Apocalypse Now (1979) and The English Patient. His other Film Editing nominations include Julia (1977), Apocalypse Now, Ghost (1990), The Godfather: Part III (1990) and Cold Mountain (2003). He also received a Sound nomination for The Conversation (1974).
Tuesday, September 29 - Editing for Animation
A discussion with Kent Beyda (Alien Nation, Scooby-Doo), John Carnochan (Ice Age, The Simpsons Movie), Nancy Frazen (Runaway Brain, Surf’s Up) and Lois Freeman-Fox (Fantasia/2000, Osmosis Jones). Additional guests to be announced.
Tuesday, October 6 - Editing for Documentary Films
A discussion with Kate Amend (The Long Way Home, Jimmy Carter Man from Plains), Joe Bini (Little Dieter Needs to Fly, Grizzly Man), William Cartwright (The Making of the President 1960, Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision) and Brian Johnson (Buena Vista Social Club, Fighting for Life).
Wednesday, October 14 - Anne Coates: Profile of an Editing Master
A discussion with Coates, who received her first nomination and Oscar for Film Editing for Lawrence of Arabia (1962). Since then she has received four additional nominations, for Becket (1964), The Elephant Man (1980), In the Line of Fire (1993) and Out of Sight (1998).
Tickets for the entire Perspectives on Editing series are $40 for the general public and $30 for Academy members and students with a valid ID. Tickets for individual evenings are $10 for the general public and $7.50 for Academy members and students with a valid ID. Tickets may be purchased by mail, in person at the Academy during regular business hours or online at www.oscars.org.
The Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater is located at 1313 Vine Street in Hollywood. For more information, call (310) 247-3600.
Irving Thalberg: The Hollywood Studio System exhibition
The career of legendary production executive Irving Thalberg – Hollywood’s “Boy Wonder” of the 1920s and early 1930s – will be explored in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ new exhibition, “Irving Thalberg: Creating the Hollywood Studio System, 1920–1936,” which opens on Thursday, Sept. 17, ’09, in the Academy’s Fourth Floor Gallery in Beverly Hills.
“Irving Thalberg: Creating the Hollywood Studio System, 1920–1936” is guest curated by historian and Thalberg biographer Mark Vieira, whose Hollywood Dreams Made Real: Irving Thalberg and the Rise of M-G-M was profiled on Alt Film Guide several months ago and whose Irving Thalberg: Boy Wonder to Producer Prince is due out in early November. Admission is free.
Lon Chaney, Nigel De Brulier in The Hunchback of Notre Dame
The exhibition will showcase unpublished photographs, documents, poster art, props and costumes from motion pictures overseen by Thalberg, in addition to feature portraits by George Hurrell and Clarence Bull of many of Thalberg’s stars, among them Norma Shearer (Thalberg’s wife), Lon Chaney, Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, and Joan Crawford.
Films represented include the mammoth Ben-Hur (1925), which reportedly was the cause of Thalberg’s heart attack in the mid-1920s; the Academy Award-winning Grand Hotel (1932) and Mutiny on the Bounty (1935); and the Norma Shearer vehicles Romeo and Juliet (1936) and Marie Antoinette (1938).
Irving Thalberg (born in Brooklyn on May 30, 1899) became the general manager of Universal Studios at age 20. Three years later, he joined Louis B. Mayer at his small Los Angeles studio, Louis B. Mayer Productions, which in 1924 was merged with two larger studios – Metro Pictures and the Goldwyn production company – to form what eventually became known as Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Mayer and Thalberg – whose relationship underwent a number of ups and downs – were responsible for turning MGM into the most successful film studio of that era. Thalberg himself is credited for the introduction (or revamping) of numerous studio practices, including story conferences, sneak previews and extensive retakes (Ben-Hur was a case in point).
Jean Harlow, Irving Thalberg, Norma Shearer at the May 6, 1934, wedding of actress Carmelita Geraghty and screenwriter Carey Wilson.
Thalberg died in September 1936 at the age of 37. Shortly afterwards, the Academy created the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, which is presented periodically to producers “whose body of work reflects a consistently high quality of motion picture production.”
(At the end of Hollywood Dreams Made Real, Mark wonders about what would have happened had Thalberg gone on living: “What about the stars Thalberg groomed? Imagine where he might have taken [Jean] Harlow’s career. He might have brought her to his new company and made her the foremost comic star of the 1940s, precluding the ascendance of Lucille Ball. He might have borrowed Clark Gable and Carole Lombard for his own version of My Favorite Wife. He was planning, in fact, to remake The Hunchback of Notre Dame with Charles Laughton. …)
“Irving Thalberg: Creating the Hollywood Studio System, 1920–1936” will be on display through December 13. The Academy’s Fourth Floor Gallery is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills and is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and weekends, noon to 6 p.m. The gallery will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, November 26 through 29.
For more information call (310) 247-3600 or visit the Academy’s website.
Photos: Courtesy of the Margaret Herrick Library
Marsha Hunt, Ann Rutherford & Mark Vieira at Irving Thalberg Exhibition
Sept. 21 update: Former MGM contract actress Marsha Hunt, Academy Special Events Programmer Ellen Harrington, and former MGM contract actress (and Gone with the Wind supporting player) Ann Rutherford at the opening of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences’ new exhibitions “Art of the Movie Poster: Illustrated One-sheets and Design Concepts from the Paul Crifo Archive” and “Irving Thalberg: Creating the Hollywood Studio System, 1920-1936,” on Wednesday, September 16, 2009.
Photos: Greg Harbaugh / © A.M.P.A.S.
Hollywood Dreams Made Real: Irving Thalberg and the Rise of M-G-M author Mark Vieira
Miscellaneous items from the Irving Thalberg exhibition
Montreal World Film Festival Awards
2009 Montreal World Film Festival (Montreal Festival des Films du Monde): Aug. 27–Sept. 7, 2009
Set in occupied France during World War II, Freedom follows a Gypsy family as they travel throughout the French countryside until legal maneuvers prevent them from continuing with their nomadic ways. Not long thereafter, they are arrested and placed in an internment camp. “I have been thinking about shooting a film on the Roma Holocaust since I began making films…,” Algerian-born filmmaker Tony Gatlif says on the Montreal World Film Festival website. “It is important that those who don’t know, learn that the Roman [sic] were deported in France and in the whole of Europe. That they learn of the evil laws of 1912 (anthropometric identity cards) against the Gypsies, and the Vichy laws which forbade nomadism on French territory: those laws which led to the Nazi extermination camps.” In the Freedomcast: Marc Lavoie, Marie-Josée Croze, James Thiérrée, Rufus.
Grand prix des Americas:
KORKORO (FREEDOM) by Tony Gatlif (France)
Special Grand Prix of the jury:
WEAVING GIRL by Wang Quan’an (China)
VILLON’S WIFE (VIYON NO TSUMA) by Kichitaro Negishi (Japan)
MARIE LEUENBERGER for WILL YOU MARRY US? (DIE STANDESBEAMTIN) by Micha Lewinsky (Switzerland)
CYRON MELVILLE for LOVE AND RAGE (VANVITTIG FORELSKET) by Morten Giese (Denmark)
I’M GLAD THAT MY MOTHER IS ALIVE (JE SUIS HEUREUX QUE MA MÈRE SOIT VIVANTE) by Claude Miller and Nathan Miller, screenplay by Alain Le Henry (France)
Best Artistic Contribution:
SAINT GEORGE SHOOTS THE DRAGON by Srdjan Dragojevic (Serbia-Bosnia-Bulgaria)
ATASHKAR (FIRE KEEPER) by Mohsen Amiryoussefi (Iran)
PIGEON IMPOSSIBLE by Lucas Martell (U.S.A.)
ATTACHED TO YOU (FÄST VID DIG) de Carin Bräck, Cecilia Actis, Mia Hulterstam (Sweden)
ZENITHS FOR THE BEST FIRST FICTION FEATURE FILMS 2009
Golden Zenith for the Best First Fiction Feature films:
JE TE MANGERAI (YOU WILL BE MINE) by Sophie Laloy (France)
Silver Zenith for the First Fiction Feature Film:
WHEN THE LEMONS TURNED YELLOW by Mohammadreza Vatandoost (Iran)
Bronze Zenith for the Fisrt Fiction Feature Film:
LOS CANALLAS (RIFF RAFF) by Cristina Franco, Jorge Alejandro Fegan; Diego Coral López, Nataly Valencia (Ecuador)
Audience Award for the most popular film of the Festival:
KORKORO (FREEDOM) by Tony Gatlif (France)
Audience Award for the most popular Canadian Feature Film:
A CARGO TO AFRICA by Roger Cantin (Canada)
Glauber Rocha Award for the Best Latin American Film:
ANDRÉS NOS QUIERE DORMIR LA SIESTA (ANDRÉS DOESN’T WANT TO TAKE A SIESTA by Daniel Bustamante (Argentina)
Award for Best documentary:
THE MAIN THING IS TO STAY ALIVE (L’IMPORANT C’EST DE RESTER VIVANT) de Roshane Saidnattar (France-Cambodia)
Award for Best Canadian Short Film:
SURMENAGE by Alexandre Leblanc, Benoît Bourbonnais (Canada)
FIPRESCI PRIZE (INTERNATIONAL FILM CRITICS)
WEAVING GIRL by Wang Quan’an (China)
CEASEFIRE (WAFFENSTILLSTAND) by Lancelot von Naso (Germany)
Special mention of the Ecumenical jury:
KORKORO (FREEDOM) by Tony Gatlif (France)
Special Awards for their exceptional contribution to the cinematographic art:
PIERRE LEBEAU (Canada)
GU JUN (China)
Official Competition Jury:
President: JAFAR PANAHI, director (Iran)
EIJI OKUDA, actor and director (Japan)
DIANE DEMERS, representing the general public (Canada)
DAVID LAHAYE, actor (Canada)
FERNANDO MENDEZ-LEITE SERRANO, author and critic (Spain)
PASCAL THOMAS, director (France)
REINHARD WAGNER, composer (France)
Members of the jury of the First Fiction Films:
Georges Jeter (Belgium)
Alissa Simon (U.S.A.)
Kevin Tierney (Canada)