Via press release:
Beverly Hills, CA ‚Äî The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted last night to present the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award to producer-director Francis Ford Coppola and Honorary Awards to historian and preservationist Kevin Brownlow, director Jean-Luc Godard and actor Eli Wallach. All four awards will be presented at the Academy‚Äôs 2nd Annual Governors Awards dinner on Saturday, November 13, at the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center¬Æ.
‚ÄúEach of these honorees has touched movie audiences worldwide and influenced the motion picture industry through their work,‚Äù said Academy President Tom Sherak. ‚ÄúIt will be an honor to celebrate their extraordinary achievements and contributions at the Governors Awards.‚Äù
Brownlow is widely regarded as the preeminent historian of the silent film era as well as a preservationist. Among his many silent film restoration projects are Abel Gance‚Äôs 1927 epic ‚ÄúNapoleon,‚Äù Rex Ingram‚Äôs ‚ÄúThe Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse‚Äù (1921) and ‚ÄúThe Thief of Bagdad‚Äù (1924), starring Douglas Fairbanks. Brownlow has authored, among others, The Parade‚Äôs Gone By; The War, the West, and the Wilderness; Hollywood: The Pioneers; Behind the Mask of Innocence; David Lean; and Mary Pickford Rediscovered. His documentaries include ‚ÄúHollywood,‚Äù ‚ÄúUnknown Chaplin,‚Äù ‚ÄúBuster Keaton: A Hard Act to Follow,‚Äù ‚ÄúHarold Lloyd: The Third Genius‚Äù and ‚ÄúD.W. Griffith: Father of Film,‚Äù all with David Gill; Brownlow also directed ‚ÄúCecil B. DeMille: American Epic‚Äù and ‚ÄúGarbo,‚Äù the latter with Christopher Bird.
Coppola began his film career in the early 1960s making low-budget films with 2009 Honorary Award recipient Roger Corman. By the end of the 1970s he had won five Oscars¬Æ: Best Picture (‚ÄúThe Godfather Part II‚Äù); Directing (‚ÄúThe Godfather Part II‚Äù) and Writing (‚ÄúPatton,‚Äù ‚ÄúThe Godfather,‚Äù ‚ÄúThe Godfather Part II‚Äù). Among his numerous producing credits are ‚ÄúAmerican Graffiti, ‚ÄúGardens of Stone,‚Äù ‚ÄúBram Stoker‚Äôs Dracula,‚Äù ‚ÄúMary Shelley‚Äôs Frankenstein,‚Äù ‚ÄúJack‚Äù and ‚ÄúTetro.‚Äù In 1969 he established American Zoetrope, an independent film studio that helped launch the careers of George Lucas and Carroll Ballard, and has since produced more than 30 films, including ‚ÄúThe Black Stallion,‚Äù ‚ÄúThe Outsiders,‚Äù ‚ÄúLost in Translation‚Äù and ‚ÄúThe Good Shepherd.‚Äù
A key figure in the French New Wave movement, Godard started out writing about cinema before beginning to make his own short films. His influential first feature, ‚ÄúBreathless‚Äù (1960), impressed audiences and filmmakers alike with its jazzy take on the American crime film. For fifty years, Godard has continued to write and direct challenging, and sometimes controversial, films that have established his reputation as one of the seminal modernists in the history of cinema. His more than 70 features include ‚ÄúContempt,‚Äù ‚ÄúAlphaville,‚Äù ‚ÄúWeekend‚Äù and ‚ÄúKing Lear.‚Äù Godard is also credited with having influenced numerous contemporary directors, including Bernardo Bertolucci, Martin Scorsese, Steven Soderbergh and Quentin Tarantino.
Born in Brooklyn in 1915, Wallach made his debut film appearance in Elia Kazan‚Äôs 1956 feature ‚ÄúBaby Doll,‚Äù starring alongside Karl Malden and Carroll Baker. Since then he has starred in more than 50 features including ‚ÄúThe Magnificent Seven,‚Äù ‚ÄúThe Misfits,‚Äù ‚ÄúThe Good, the Bad and the Ugly,‚Äù ‚ÄúThe Godfather, Part III‚Äù and ‚ÄúThe Holiday.‚Äù Throughout his lengthy career, Wallach has worked with such directors and actors as Francis Ford Coppola, Michael Douglas, Clint Eastwood, John Ford, Clark Gable, John Huston, Sergio Leone, Marilyn Monroe, Al Pacino, Gregory Peck and Kate Winslet. Wallach will next be seen in ‚ÄúWall Street: Money Never Sleeps.‚Äù
The Honorary Award, an Oscar¬Æ statuette, is given to an individual for ‚Äúextraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy.‚Äù
The Thalberg Award, a bust of the motion picture executive, is given to ‚Äúa creative producer whose body of work reflects a consistently high quality of motion picture production.‚Äù
The Governors Awards presentation will be produced for the Academy by producer Sid Ganis with Don Mischer Productions.
Clip from historian Kevin Brownlow’s excellent documentary: