Friday, September 11, 2009

YOU KNOW HOW TO WHISTLE, DON'T YOU, STEVE: The first victims of the unfortunate decision to move all the lifetime achievement Oscars to a November dinner have been announced -- former Sony Pictures Entertainment and United Artists chairman (and Meg Tilly's ex-husband) John Calley will receive the Thalberg; and honorary Oscars will be presented to Lauren Bacall, Roger Corman and cinematographer Gordon Willis. It is a shame they will not be recognized as part of the main awards extravaganza.

The honoraries require little explanation, though I will point you to this great 2007 profile of Willis and this obligatory Lauren Bacall clip, filmed when she was only nineteen.

For Calley, who doesn't (yet) have a Wikipedia page, this data point: while at Warner Brothers in the 1970s, he was responsible for shepherding such films as Dirty Harry, A Clockwork Orange, McCabe And Mrs. Miller, Deliverance, Enter The Dragon, Mean Streets, The Exorcist, Blazing Saddles, The Towering Inferno, Dog Day Afternoon, Superman, and Chariots of Fire. (See, related, this 1993 article.) Indeed, early in his Sony reign, he said: "I don't think you can decide how many films you are going to make. You have to make films you are crazy about."

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