Filmmaker Woody Allen will be the recipient of the next Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globe Awards, scheduled for next January, according to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013.
"There is no one more worthy of this award than Woody Allen," said HFPA president Theo Kingma. "His contributions to filmmaking have been phenomenal and he is an international treasure."
Woody Allen has had a career that has spanned over 60 years. This jack-of-all-trades filmmaker is an actor, writer, director, producer, composer and musician. He has made over 55 films, winning four Oscars, two Golden Globes and one Grammy Award.
Allen has always been an independent filmmaker and commented on his relationship with Hollywood, "My relationship with Hollywood isn't love-hate, it's love-contempt. I've never had to suffer any of the indignities that one associates with the studio system. I've always been independent in New York by sheer good luck. But I have an affection for Hollywood because I've had so much pleasure from films that have come out of there. Not a whole lot of them, but a certain amount of them have been very meaningful to me."
Woody Allen was born Allan Stewart Konigsberg on Dec. 1, 1935, in Brooklyn, New York. He started working in the entertainment industry at the age of 15. His first job was selling one-line bits for gossip rags. His first film experience was writing the screenplay for "What's New Pussycat" in 1965. One year later, he directed his first film "What's Up, Tiger Lily?" He co-wrote, acted in a James Bond spoof in 1967, called "Casino Royale," which became his first big hit in the film business.
It was Allen's film "Annie Hall," made in 1977, that finally brought Allen's career to whole new level. The film is a delightful, charming and funny story of love in the 1970's. It is true reflection of Allen's thoughts on love and his obsession with death. Allen was nominated for three golden globes and three Oscars for this film. Although he didn't take home a Golden Globe honor for "Annie Hall," he won 2 Oscars for Best Screenplay and Best Director.
Since "Annie Hall," Allen has been churning out films almost on a yearly basis. He writes and directs all of his films. In 1979, Allen received two Academy Award nominations and two Golden Globe nominations for his dark drama "Interiors." In 1980's, Allen became a favorite at the Academy Awards - getting seven Academy Awards for his films: "Manhattan," "Broadway Danny Rose," "The Purple Rose of Cairo," "Hannah and her Sisters," "Radio Days," and "Crimes and Misdemeanors." During this time he won an the Oscar for his screenplay for the sweet story of three sisters in "Hannah and her Sisters."
The Golden Globes also kept Allen busy, honoring the filmmaker with four nominations during the decade for: "Zelig," "The Purple Rose of Cairo" and "Hannah and Her Sisters." He clinched his first Golden Globe win for writing the screenplay for "The Purple Rose of Cairo."
The 1990's were a tumultuous decade for the filmmaker. Plagued with bad press over his break-up with his long-term girlfriend Mia Farrow and his affair and ultimate marriage to Mia adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn, the bad press equated to lower ticket sales, as many fans started to boycott his films.
Although the 1990's was a difficult time for Allen with finding an audience, he still receive acclaim for his work. He received six Academy Award nominations during this period, but failed to win any Oscars. He was not nominated for a Golden Globe during this decade.
It was the turn of the century that brought Allen a turn in his downward trajectory. In 2006, he was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards and one Oscar for his brilliant film "Match Point." And in 2012, he was nominated twice again for Golden Globes and two Oscars for his very original comedy "Midnight in Paris." He took home a Golden Globe and an Oscar for his extraordinary screenplay.
Allen is a director that pays attention to the finest detail in his films. Every film he makes has a glowing score, and features music hand-picked by Allen. He is famously known in Hollywood for being extremely secretive about his future film projects. Actors are only give partial scripts, never are the allowed the entire script. Hitting a mark and saying your line, is the last thing this contemporary director wants. Actors are always delighted when Allen comes calling for them. Allen's current film "Blue Jasmine" is in theaters now (see video attached.)
The Cecil B. DeMille Award, is named after its first recipient, director Cecil B. DeMille, which was bestowed upon the filmmaker in 1952. Other noted recipients are Sidney Poitier, Walt Disney, Paul Newman, Steven Spielberg, Henry Fonda, Robin Williams, Robert De Niro and last year the lovely Jodie Foster.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association will honor Allen with this illustrious award during the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards held on Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014.
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Whatever your movie choice this week, please remember your movie theater etiquette: silence your cellphones and no texting, please don't talk during the film and remove your children if they become a distraction to other audience members. Don't forget that laughing, crying and cheering are always approved behavior and even encouraged.
-Kay Shackleton is a film historian with special focus on Silent Films, see her work at SilentHollywood.com