I found this to be exciting although it may be a little too soon. Achievement awards and career tributes should come towards the end of a career (not that Johnny Depp is undeserving by any means.)
AFI FEST is an annual event. This year it is November 3 -13 in Los Angeles.
AFI FEST 2005 presented by Audi has selected actor Johnny Depp as this year’s tributee. The Tribute to Johnny Depp will take place at ArcLight Hollywood on Friday, November 11, 2005, followed by the World Premiere of The Weinstein Company’s The Libertine, starring Depp, Samantha Morton and John Malkovich, as part of the Festival’s Special Screening series. The film is director Laurence Dunmore’s directorial debut.
Johnny Depp will make a rare appearance in a lively on-stage conversation with acclaimed film critic, commentator and author Richard Schickel. The Tribute will also include a career montage, and a series of clips that will take a close look at the work and art of this singular, stylish performer. The Tribute is made possible through a collaborative partnership with the Skirball Cultural Center. With special thanks to Montblanc and Media Partner LA Weekly.
“Johnny is a brilliant and truly unique actor, whose remarkable career has been defined by its diversity and veracity. The originality of both the characters he has portrayed and the films he has made, further emphasize his integrity and passion” , says Laurence Dumore, director of The Libertine. “I am delighted Johnny is being honored by AFI FEST.”
The Libertine stars Depp as history’s notorious enfant terrible, the Earl of Rochester. Rochester was a man of many contradictions: an anti-monarchist Royalist who was the friend confident of British King Charles II (played by John Malkovich in the film); an atheist who converted to Christianity; and a poet and pornographer in Restoration-era Britain. The film follows how Rochester’s famous cynicism is thrown for a loop when he falls in love with a struggling young actress (Morton).
“Johnny’s character in The Libertine is multifaceted and he conveys the complexities with brilliance,” says Harvey Weinstein. “He is a true master and his performance in this film is outstanding.”
Johnny Depp is one of the most versatile and compelling actors working in contemporary world cinema. His ability to recognize and then whole-heartedly immerse himself in memorable film roles has made him the rarest of movie stars– simultaneously iconoclastic yet eminently bankable–a true original. Pivotal performances in films as diverse as Cry Baby, Edward Scissorhands, What’s Eating Gilber Grape?, Ed Wood, Donnie Brasco, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Don Juan Demarco, Before Night Falls, Blow, Chocolat, and Once Upon a Time in Mexico make his matinee idol good looks almost incidental to his work as a great actor.
More recently, Pirates of the Carribean, Finding Neverland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the daring The Libertine, have earned Depp a new legion of fans and made him more in demand than ever, with a slew of new projects in the pipeline.
As part of the Tribute, AFI FEST 2005 will also screen a retrospective of four of Depp’s films during the ten day festival: Dead Man(Jim Jarmusch; 1995), Edward Scissorhands (Tim Burton; 1990), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Terry Gilliam; 1998), and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? (Lasse Hallström; 1993).
To go to AFI FEST has been one of my dreams for the past few years. If only I had money, and a job, and didn’t depend on my parents for my survival, then maybe I would go to California and go to AFI FEST.