Peter Bogdanovich gets lifetime achievement award

Oct. 7, 2013 at 3:30 AM
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WOODSTOCK, N.Y., Oct. 7 (UPI) -- Actor-director Peter Bogdanovich accepted a lifetime achievement award at a New York film festival and Andy Garcia explained the sexiest part of being an actor.

Bogdanovich, who played Dr. Melfi's psychotherapist on the TV series "The Sopranos" and four decades earlier won acclaim for directing "The Last Picture Show," received the Woodstock Film Festival's Honorary Maverick Lifetime Achievement Award, getting an onstage hug from Garcia.

The five-day festival -- which characterizes itself as "fiercely independent" and included music by jazz tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins -- is based in Woodstock, about 100 miles north of New York City, but is also held in surrounding Hudson Valley venues.

"The key role in 'The Last Picture Show' was Ben Johnson playing Sam the Lion," Bogdanovich said in a panel discussion before receiving the award.

His role was pivotal because it helped translate the story's subtle underlying commentary on the Western genre into cinematic terms, he said.

Bogdanovich also criticized the increasing use of special effects in movies.

"I'm bored to death with special effects," he said. "Now that they can do anything and do everything, who gives a [expletive]!" the Times Herald-Record of Middletown, N.Y., quoted him as saying.

Garcia and actor Stephen Dorff were among roughly a dozen other stars and executives who participated in panel discussions and case studies during the festival, which ended Sunday night.

Garcia said at a Sunday panel, in answer to an audience question, the sexiest part of being an actor was the "embodiment of a character," the Daily Freeman of Kingston, N.Y., reported by Twitter.

The Cuban-born actor -- whose latest character is a buttoned-up heart surgeon in Adam Rodgers' new romance film "Middleton," screened at the festival -- has played roles ranging from an illegitimate son of a Mafia don in "The Godfather Part III" to a detective in "The Pink Panther 2" and a prison guard who's a closet actor in "City Island."

He told the Freeman the original "Godfather" film, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, gave him the acting bug.

"I wanted to be in movies like that," he said. "It was a great influence to me. So the fact that I was able to be part of that trilogy was such a -- you got to give it up to somebody upstairs who's in the control room. It was a great privilege when your dreams come true."

Garcia said working with Al Pacino in "The Godfather Part III" was "just extraordinary."

"He's my uncle Al," Garcia said.

Among the juried awards for cinematic achievement, "The Forgotten Kingdom," about a Lesotho man living in South Africa who finds his place in the world in the village of his youth, won the Maverick Award for Narrative Best Feature, as well as Best Cinematography and Best Editing.

"American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs," about a 98-year-old Chinese-American social activist in Detroit who rights activist Angela Davis says in the film "made more contributions to the black struggle than most black people," won the Maverick Award for Best Feature Documentary.

Best Animation went to Daniel Sousa for "Feral," about archetypes and people's inner struggles, and the Meera Gandhi Giving Back Award was presented to filmmaker-activist Mira Nair, who established a trust for India's street children from her film profits.

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