Spanish director follows in Quentin Tarantino’s footsteps
MADRID — Following in the illustrious footsteps of Clint Eastwood (2009), Milos Forman (2010). Gerard Depardieu (2011), Ken Loach (2012) and Quentin Tarantino (2013), Pedro Almodovar will receive the 6th Lumiere Award at France’s 2014 Lumiere-Grand Lyon Festival.
A unique film event, organized by the Lumiere Institute’s Bertrand Tavernier, the celebrated French cineaste, and Cannes Festival topper Thierry Fremaux, the Lumiere Festival is held in France’s city of Lyon. Its program is made up almost entirely of theatrical screenings of movie re-runs, restorations and re-issues.
As Tarantino before him, Almodovar will program a selection of films at the festival, under the section title, Almodovar: Mi Historia del Cine.
“Pedro Almodovar is one of the world’s most important directors today,” said Fremaux. “He is also a movie buff and he’d like to pay tribute to Spanish films which are really unknown abroad,” Fremaux added. Almodovar’s Lumiere Prize ceremony will take place Friday Oct. 17.
2014’s 6th Lumiere Fest will also host its second Classic Film Market after a debut 2013 edition that saw deals – Twilight Time’s pacting with London-based Protagonist Pictures on U.S rights to a package of Film4 movies – strategic announcements – Italy’s thrusting Cineteca di Bologna’s entry into distribution, for example – and ample round table debates plus analyses of a heritage movie market which exists – niche but burgeoning – and is led by Hollywood movies, France and cinema’s greats, and ranges from silent films right down to ‘90s revivals. Supported by France’s CNC Film Board, this year’s Classic Film Market unspools Oct. 15-17. It will include a focus on cinema history docus.
“Before DVD, classic cinema was restricted to cinematheques or specialist cinemas. Now classic cinema is everywhere,” Fremaux said.
Among other industry events, Warren Lieberfarb, who will attend the festival, will receive a tribute for his contribution to DVD.
“DVD changed our lives, not only movie buffs but the general public. I like the idea of paying tribute to a man who achieved that though he is not known to the general public and we’d be very interested in hearing what he thinks about the future of classic film distribution,” Fremaux said.
Of potential festival highlights, tributes take in Isabella Rossellini, who will present not only films she starred in bit also one’s she’s directed, and Canadian director Ted Kotcheff, best known for Sylvester Stallone’s “First Blood,” but whose credits also span the Australian movie “Wake in Fright,” now regarded as a classic, BBC Play for Today “Edna, the Inebriate Woman,” and 1974’s “The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz,” a big hit in Canada and a Berlinale Golden Bear winner.
Retrospectives take in the panorama Directed by Frank Capra, based on Sony Pictures’ major restoration project of the films Capra made at Columbia before 1939-
“It’s not only to pay a tribute to a great director but to return to a portrait of a country which it’s essentially to know about today,” said Fremaux.
Also on the provisional lineup, announced Thursday in Lyon: 1964: A Certain Bob Robertson (the director’s credit Sergio Leone took on “A Fistful of Dollars”), a homage to Henri Langlois, the legendary co-founder of the Cinematheque Française in 1936 which pioneered film preservation, and The Times of Claude Sautet, 1960-1995, a reappraisal of a director now talked about in the same breath as Francois Truffaut, per Fremaux. Sautet is best known for 1978’s Academy Award-nominated “A Simple Story” and 1993’s “A Heart in Winter,” a Venice Silver Lion winner.
Ida Lupino, the pioneering actress-turned-director-producer-screenwriter, will be featured in the festival’s Permanent History of Women Filmmakers. Lumiere Institute president Bertrand Tavernier will deliver a master class as part of the section My Voyage Through French Cinema.
A historical panorama will look at the transition years of 1928-32, when talkies gradually replaced silent films.
Though focusing on classics, 2013’s Lumiere Festival notched up a remarkable 130,000 spectators to screenings or events. Part of its attraction is based on the presence of French or international stars who present films that have inspired them. About 1,000 film figures or professionals attended last year.
For Fremaux, “The festival is based on people’s capacity of admiration.”
An “Alien” Night will feature the four Aliens, helmed by Ridley Scott, James Cameron, David Fincher and Jean-Pierre Jeunet. French actress Catherine Frot will perform at a concert, singing popular French songs. Triple Academy Award winner Michel Legrand, who worked in both France (“The Umbrellas of Cherbourg”) and the U.S., winning his first Oscar for the song “The Windmills of Your Mind” in “The Thomas Crown Affair,” will be the guest of honor at a film music sidebar.
Still to be announced are multiple events, including the opening night guest, a memorable Jean-Paul Belmondo last year.
The 6th 2014 Lumiere-Grand Lyon Festival runs Oct. 13-19.