AFI Life Achievement Award: Sir Sean Connery

Sir Sean Connery has been selected by the American Film Institute’s Board of Trustees to receive the 34th AFI Life Achievement Award, the highest honor for a career in film.

Sir Sean Connery is an international film icon. Though best remembered for creating one of the great film heroes of all time, his talents transcend typecasting, and his body of work not only stands the test of time, but illuminates a career more extraordinary than James Bond himself. Sir Sean is an artist of the highest order, and AFI is honored to present him with its 34th Life Achievement Award.” ~ Sir Howard Stringer, chair, AFI Board of Trustees

The award will be presented to Connery at a gala tribute in Los Angeles on June 8, 2006. USA Network will broadcast the 34th AFI Life Achievement Award tribute later in June.

This is an excellent honor for Sir Sean Connery and rightfully deserved. He is my favorite James Bond (followed closely by Pierece Brosnan). Other great Connery films include: Robin and Marian, The Man Who Would Be King, A Bridge Too Far, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Hunt for Red October, and the film for which he won an Academy Award, The Untouchables.

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An AFI Fest Tribute to Johnny Depp

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).

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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.

The AFI’s 25 Greatest Film Scores


There is nothing I love more in this world than movie lists. At this point in my movie watching obsession I have only completed one. And let me tell you, that was no easy chore. It took me a little more than a year because most video stores (i.e. blockbuster) do not carry anything pre-1960’s -1970’s. Apparently kids today don’t appreciate Hitchcock, Cary Grant, Citizen Kane, or Chaplin as much. But enough ranting (and I could rant for a while) because the American Film Institute, on September 23, announced its most recent list….

The 25 Greatest Film Scores!!!!

Not that I would go out of my way to watch a movie just because the music is great, cool, or just weird, but having lists to highlight obsessively and endlessly makes me feel like I’m actually accomplishing something as I watch more and more movies.

And the complete list is:

1. Star Wars (1977); John Williams
2. Gone with the Wind (1939); Max Steiner
3. Lawrence of Arabia (1962); Maurice Jarre
4. Psycho (1960); Bernard Herrmann
5. The Godfather (1972); Nino Rota
6. Jaws (1975); John Williams
7. Laura (1944); David Raskin
8. The Magnificent Seven (1960); Elmer Bernstein
9. Chinatown (1975); Jerry Goldsmith
10. High Noon (1952); Dimitri Tiomkin
11. The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938); Erich Wolfgang Korngold
12. Vertigo (1958); Bernard Herrmann
13. King Kong (1933); Max Steiner
14. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982); John Williams
15. Out of Africa (1985); John Barry
16. Sunset Boulevard (1950); Franz Waxman
17. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962); Elmer Bernstein
18. Planet of the Apes (1968); Jerry Goldsmith
19. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951); Alex North
20. The Pink Panther (1964); Henry Mancini
21. Ben-Hur (1959); Miklos Rozsa
22. On the Waterfront (1954); Leonard Bernstein
23. The Mission (1986); Ennio Morricone
24. On Golden Pond (1981); David Grusin
25. How the West Was Won (1962); Alfred Newman

This list reads like a whose who of Hollywood elite composers. John Williams, Elmer Berstein, Henry Mancini, Bernard Hermann, Leonard Bernstein, Max Steiner etc. making it perfectly clear how essential good music is to any classic film.

What is your favorite? Sound off below.

AFI Top 100 #50-1

Here is the second half of the AFI list…. you’ll notice that more films are ighly recommended as it gets closer to number 1


50.BUTCH CASSIDY & THE SUNDANCE KID (1969)
49.SNOW WHITE & THE SEVEN DWARFS (1937)
48.JAWS (1975)
47.TAXI DRIVER (1976)
46.CLOCKWORK ORANGE, A (1971)
45.STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, A (1951)

44.BIRTH OF A NATION, THE (1915)
43.KING KONG (1933)
42.REAR WINDOW (1954)
41.WEST SIDE STORY (1961)
40.NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959)
39.DOCTOR ZHIVAGO (1965)
38.DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944)
37.BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES, THE (1946)

36.MIDNIGHT COWBOY (1969)
35.IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934)
34.TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962)
33.HIGH NOON (1952)

32.GODFATHER PART II, THE (1974)
31.ANNIE HALL (1977)
30.TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE (1948)
29.MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (1939)
28.APOCALYPSE NOW (1979)
27.BONNIE & CLYDE (1967)
26.DR. STRANGELOVE (1964)

25.E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (1982)
24.RAGING BULL (1980)
23.MALTESE FALCON, THE (1941)
22.2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)
21.GRAPES OF WRATH, THE (1940)
20.ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST (1975)
19.CHINATOWN (1974)
18.PSYCHO (1960)
17.AFRICAN QUEEN, THE (1951)
16.ALL ABOUT EVE (1950)
15.STAR WARS (1977)
14.SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959)

13.BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI, THE (1957)
12.SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950)
11.IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946)
10.SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN (1952)
9.SCHINDLER’S LIST (1993)
8.ON THE WATERFRONT (1954)
7.GRADUATE, THE (1967)
6.WIZARD OF OZ, THE (1939)
5.LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962)
4.GONE WITH THE WIND (1939)
3.GODFATHER, THE (1972)
2.CASABLANCA (1942)
1.CITIZEN KANE (1941)

AFI Top 100 #100-51

Here are the movies on the AFI Top 100 List and my recommendations:
bold and italicized = highly recommended
bold = recommended
anything else means don’t bother, it won’t impact life

100. YANKEE DOODLE DANDY (1942)
99.GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER (1967)
98.UNFORGIVEN (1992)
97.BRINGING UP BABY (1938)
96.SEARCHERS, THE (1956)
95.PULP FICTION (1994)
94.GOODFELLAS (1990)
93.APARTMENT, THE (1960)
92.PLACE IN THE SUN, A(1951)
91.MY FAIR LADY (1964)
90.JAZZ SINGER, THE (1927)
89.PATTON (1970)
88.EASY RIDER (1969)
87.FRANKENSTEIN (1931)
86.MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (1935)
85.DUCK SOUP (1933)
84.FARGO (1996)
83.PLATOON (1986)
82.GIANT (1956)
81.MODERN TIMES (1936)

80.WILD BUNCH, THE (1969)
79.DEER HUNTER, THE (1978)
78.ROCKY (1976)
77.AMERICAN GRAFFITI (1973)
76.CITY LIGHTS (1931)
75.DANCES WITH WOLVES (1990)
74.GOLD RUSH, THE (1925)
73.WUTHERING HEIGHTS (1939)
72.BEN-HUR (1959)
71.FORREST GUMP (1994)
70.FRENCH CONNECTION, THE (1971)
69.SHANE (1953)
68.AMERICAN IN PARIS, AN (1951)
67.MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, THE (1962)
66.NETWORK (1976)
65.SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, THE (1991)
64.CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (1977)
63.STAGECOACH (1939)
62.TOOTSIE (1982)
61.VERTIGO (1958)
60.RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981)
59.REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE (1955)
58.FANTASIA (1940)
57.THIRD MAN, THE (1949)
56.M*A*S*H(1970)
55.SOUND OF MUSIC, THE (1965)
54.ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT (1930)
53.AMADEUS (1984)
52.FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953)
51.PHILADELPHIA STORY, THE(1940)

Remember….These are my personal opinions. If you don’t like them, feel free to comment but I’m not changing my opinion to please anyone.