Warren Beatty will receive the Akira Kurosawa Award for lifetime achievement in film directing at the 45th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 18 – May 2, 2002). The Award will be presented to Beatty on Thursday, April 25, 2002 at Film Society Awards Night at San Francisco’s Argent Hotel. The San Francisco Film Society will be the beneficiary of the gala fundraiser honoring Warren Beatty and the yet to be announced recipient of the Peter J. Owens Award for brilliance, independence and integrity by an actor. A public presentation, including a compilation of clips from Beatty’s career, an onstage interview and screenings of REDS and BULWORTH will also be shown during the Festival.
Roxanne Messina Captor, Executive Director of the San Francisco Film Society, announced Beatty’s upcoming appearance at Film Society Awards Night with great pleasure noting that “Academy Award-winning director Warren Beatty is a multi-talented filmmaker, who is passionate about film and extremely active in all aspects of moviemaking. The Film Society is proud to bring Mr. Beatty, an American icon of cinema to San Francisco for this tribute to his distinctive directorial achievements.” Beatty’s work behind the camera as director, writer and producer has had a profound impact on movies for four decades. Pictures produced by Beatty have received 53 Oscar nominations. He received the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ highest honor, the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 2000 and a Golden Lion for Career Achievement from the Venice Film Festival in 1998. France honored him as a Commander of Arts and Letters in 1992.
After having established himself as an actor in theater, television and films Beatty made an impressive directorial debut in 1978 co-directing HEAVEN CAN WAIT, an update of 1941’s HERE COMES MR. JORDAN, with Buck Henry. The film was nominated for an Oscar as Best Picture and Beatty received acting, writing (with Elaine May) and directing nominations. Orson Welles is the only other person to have received Oscar nominations in four categories for a single film (CITIZEN KANE). Beatty repeated the achievement with REDS.
Made in 1981, REDS is epic in scope, progressive in politics and universal in its humanism. At a time when bio-epics like LAWRENCE OF ARABIA and DOCTOR ZHIVAGO were fading into Hollywood’s past, Beatty took on the sweep of history, filming the Bolshevik Revolution through the eyes of one of its American participants, John Reed. REDS is one of the great American films, not only because of its grand concepts, but also because from the heart of Hollywood Beatty made a daring attempt to probe the appeal of the American Communist Party. Beatty won the Academy Award for directing this timely monument to dissent and America’s radical tradition.
DICK TRACY (1990) is one of the most successful attempts to bring a comic book alive on the screen. The technical achievements, particularly the razor sharp editing and the wonderfully imaginative use of color set a high standard for future film versions of comic strips. Instead of toning down DICK TRACY’s graphic art roots, Beatty pumped them up, resulting in one of the most startling production designs of its time and an Oscar for Richard Sylbert’s art direction.
REDS was an unusual film to be made in Hollywood because of its politics. DICK TRACY was unusual because of its look. Beatty’s next film BULWORTH (1998) combined political attitude with innovative form, daring to provoke, take risks and offend. BULWORTH is a no-holds-barred, cynical look at what a politician will do to succeed and what he will become when he confronts the reality of society. Beatty’s work on BULWORTH received the Los Angeles Film Critics award for Best Screenplay, Oscar and Writers Guild nominations for Best Original Screenplay and three Golden Globes Awards (for producing, writing and acting).
The 45th San Francisco International Film Festival is presented by the San Francisco Film Society, a nonprofit arts organization whose goal is to lead in expanding the knowledge and appreciation of international film art and its artists by showcasing the most compelling, thought-provoking international films, special tributes and major restorations, and today’s brightest stars.
The 45th San Francisco International Film Festival runs April 18-May 2, 2002 at the AMC Kabuki 8 Theatres, the Castro Theatre, the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley and Landmark’s Park Theatre in Menlo Park. For more info, call 415-931-3456 or visit the official web site for the San Francisco International Film Festival.
Check out FILMTHREAT.com’s FILM FESTIVAL ARCHIVES for more fest news!