Following a laudatory introduction, CineVegas Half-Life Award winner Christina Ricci quipped to the intimate gathering of filmmakers at the Hard Rock Hotel pool Friday night, “I don’t deserve any of that. I just did it for the money.”
Marquee award winner Helen Mirren was recognized for a career free from pigeonholing. “The flame was always there in my heart,” she said. “And it’s brought me here to Las Vegas, which is so surreal.”
Vanguard director award winner Taylor Hackford, who admits he has a knack for finding difficult films to make, declared, “I take this award in celebration that I’ve got a hard head.”
Thesps Catherine O’Hara and Dennis Hopper also were in attendance.
The mood was more raucous Thursday night as Hopper was feted at the Venetian’s Tau nightclub for his 70th birthday.
After a prerecorded birthday greeting from the animated rock group Gorillaz played for the crowd of cinephiles, several Tau girls carrying sparklers accompanied Hopper’s birthday cake into the room. Sharing his cake and the festivities were Hackford, Mirren and Seymour Cassel.
Of reaching the milestone, Hopper said, “My feelings about things have not changed. I still want to do most of the things I did when younger. The drive is still there: to paint, take photographs and make movies.”