Monday, 13 February 2012

SBIFF - Martin Scorsese - 2012 American Riviera Award

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  • Photography by David Palermo
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Martin Scorsese was born on November 17th, 1942 in Queens, New York. He is 5 '4'' inches tall and is often called by his nickname, Marty. He graduated from NYU as a film major in 1964 and during his time there, caught the eye of film maker Roger Corman with the student films he made while at the university.

Throughout his stellar career he has directed 48 movies. He has directed 17 different Oscar nominated actors 5 of whom went on to win the coveted Academy's top prize.

He is the stand alone "idolmaker" of Hollywood, the man every actor longs to work for, and the recipient of the 2012 American Riviera Award as presented by the Santa Barbara Film Festival.

The evening started with the usual throngs of photographers and eager fans but no wannabees on this red carpet asLeonard MaltinLeonard Maltin only moderator Leonard Maltin, presenter Ben Kingsley, and Mr. Scorsese himself made the walk of fame stroll into the "standing room only" Arlington Theater.

Leonard Maltin moderated the event and at times appeared speechless and overwhelmed with the man sitting beside him. "So many questions to ask," he endearingly stated. Maltin however, pulled it all together and orchestrated a fun and exciting cinematic journey that lasted 3 hours.

In typical Scorsese fashion, it was he who chose the film clips for all of us to see. Taxi Driver, Mean Streets, Goodfellas, Raging Bull, and Gangs of New York brought enthusiastic applause from all in attendance.

Yet it was the short "reality" movie that Scorsese made of his parents that brought the most applause and laughter. Sitting on their plastic furniture in Ben KingsleyBen Kingsleytheir New York apartment, his mother was talking about meatballs and sauces while his dad was rolling his eyes sitting as far away from his wife as possible.

I had the good fortune of sitting about 4 feet across from Ben Kingsley, and Sir Ben was bellowing as much as everyone else.

Academy award winner Ben Kingsley was on hand as the official presenter and his words had Scorsese in tears after 3 sentences.

This is truly a "once in a lifetime opportunity" as Ben Kingsley so eloquently stated for "2000 plus people to spend an evening with the man whose range now goes from Taxi Driver to Hugo and has changed the lives of so many actors, producers, and fellow directors."Martin ScorseseMartin Scorsese

Aside from his brilliant film making, the relationships that Scorsese has cultivated with his actors is very special. "If it works once, it should work again," Kingsley stated. Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta, and Joe Pesce have been in multiple Scorsese pictures and whose careers have flourished as a result.

The evening wrapped up with everyone donning their 3D glasses to watch a film clip of Hugo. "I needed to make a film my young daughter and her friends could watch," he stated.

Roger Durling certainly has a knack of awarding the right talent with the right award at just the right time. With Hugo racking up the most Academy Award nominations at 11, Martin Scorsese could not have been a better recipient of tonights American Riviera honor.

Ben KingsleyMartin Scorsese

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Sir Ben Kingsly presents Martin Scorsese with the American Riviera Award

Copyright A. Arthur Fisher