Actor Donald Sutherland, writer-director Charles Burnett, cinematographer Owen Roizman and Belgian director Agnes Varda will receive Honorary Awards Saturday from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Director Alejandro G. Inarritu’s virtual reality art installation portraying the journey of border-crossing Mexican migrants will be honored with a rare Academy Special Award.
The awards — in the form of an Oscar statuette — will be presented during the Academy’s ninth annual Governors Awards ceremony at the Ray Dolby Ballroom in Hollywood.
Honorary Awards are given “to honor extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences or for outstanding service to the Academy.”
Sutherland, known to younger movie goers as President Snow in “The Hunger Games” film series, has appeared in more than 140 films in a six-decade career. His credits include “The Dirty Dozen,” “MASH,” “The Day of the Locust,” “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” “Ordinary People,” “The Italian Job” and “Pride & Prejudice.”
The Academy hailed Burnett, who was raised in Watts, for his films’ portrayal of “the African-American experience,” beginning with his inaugural feature “Killer of Sheep” in 1977. His other films include “To Sleep with Anger,” “The Glass Shield,” “Namibia: The Struggle for Liberation” and the documentaries “America Becoming” and “Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property.”
Roizman has been nominated for five Oscars — for “The French Connection,” “The Exorcist,” “Network,” “Tootsie” and “Wyatt Earp.” His other cinematography credits include “Three Days of the Condor,” “Absence of Malice,” “The Addams Family” and “Grand Canyon.”
Varda wrote and directed her first film, “La Pointe Courte,” in 1956 without any formal film training, and she is credited with inspiring the “French New Wave” genre. Over 60 years, she has directed films including “Cleo from 5 to 7,” “One Sings, the Other Doesn’t,” “Vagabond” and “The Gleaners and I.”
The Academy Special Award, meanwhile, will honor Inarritu’s Los Angeles County Museum of Art installation “CARNE y ARENA (Virtually Present, Physically Invisible),” in recognition of its “visionary and powerful experience in storytelling.”
The installation, created by Inarritu and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, “opened for us new doors of cinematic perception,” Academy President John Bailey said.
Bailey called the exhibit “a deeply emotional and physically immersive venture into the world of migrants crossing the desert of the American Southwest in early dawn light.”
The honor marks only the 19th time the Academy has bestowed such an honor in its history. The last Special Award was in 1995, honoring director John Lasseter in recognition of the first fully computer-animated feature- length film — “Toy Story.”
Inarritu won the Oscar for best director for “The Revenant.” He won three Oscars for directing, writing and producing best-picture winner “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).”
Lubezki is a three-time Oscar winner, for “The Revenant,” “Birdman” and “Gravity.”
—City News Service