Tag Archives: Bill Murray

BILL MURRAY ACCEPTS MALTIN MODERN MASTER AWARD AT THE 36TH ANNUAL SANTA BARBARA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, PRESENTED BY SOFIA AND ROMAN COPPOLA

Posted by Larry Gleeson

The 36th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival presented by UGG featured a tribute to Academy Award-nominated actor and American film legend Bill Murray, who received the prestigious Maltin Modern Master Award, presented by Sofia and Roman Coppola. Murray was recognized for his long-standing contributions to the film industry, most recently in the role of Felix Keane in Coppola’s On the Rocks opposite Rashida Jones and Marlon Wayans, for which he received Golden Globe and Critic’s Choice nominations.

Murray, above right, virtually sat down with Leonard Maltin, who returned for his 31st year to moderate the evening for an insightful conversation and look back at his career.

Highlights from the conversation included:

On who he enjoyed watching when he was younger: “To me it was more interesting was the people that I really didn’t quite understand when I was younger that later I got to really like. The person that jumps into my mind is Jack Benny who I thought was a little bit dry for a 10 or 12 year old, but later when I watched him I saw that he was daft. His timing was so precise, his face was such a beautiful photograph that I would turn on the TV and record him just to go back and watch him. I didn’t really care for John Wayne much when I was a kid. I thought he was kind of stiff but later I got to like him and watched him more. I thought he had extraordinary self control; he didn’t push it, he let the story come to him. Cary Grant is another one where people thought ‘well he’s just a really good looking guy,’ but I can watch, like most of the world, North by Northwest at any hour of the day. If it’s on the TV, I can’t not watch it. Part of it is Hitchcock, but Cary Grant is just stunning in that role and he does so many things. He is funny, he’s romantic, he’s heavy, he’s frightened. It’s a really nice performance and he did it all the time. Unfortunately, he had this beautiful body and handsome face and people didn’t take it seriously.”

On transitioning from improv comedy to film: “The most difficult thing is that when you tell a joke or say something funny and no one laughs for nine months, you forget and you have this incomplete feeling in your gut that something’s wrong. And when you go to the movie and you realize that I said something funny a long time ago and no one laughed. And then when you see it with an audience you think ‘oh thank God that’s over, what a relief that was.”

On filming Ghostbusters: “A script is two-dimensions, a script can be as good as can be, but when you enter the physical world and you have to stand, move, walk and talk, something arise that’s unexpected and unaccounted for and that’s where you make your bones; it’s what happens there. A movie that is sort of lifeless is one where sometimes the script is all you get and the actors don’t take into it all that’s happening in the moment of the real shooting…the more alive the scene becomes and the more alive the film becomes. That movie had great cinematography. Of course, László Kovács…you know a lot of special effects movies look pretty weak nowadays but that movie [Ghostbusters] still has a real look to it. It is pretty legit, it was ahead of its time, we had great special effects people. They were really good and László was really good. The four of us, Ernie Hudson, Danny and Harold, we knew we were gonna sink or swim together so we were always looking out for each other. We were constantly making sure that everybody was pumping and all getting it. As far as improvising goes, Harold was the mind of the Ghostbusters, Danny was the heart of the Ghostbusters, Ernie was the soul of the Ghostbusters and I was the mouth of the Ghostbusters.”

On his introduction to Wes Anderson: “My agent kept sending me cassettes of his [Wes Anderson] first film, Bottle Rocket. Finally, they sent me the script to Rushmore and asked me if I would like to meet him and I said that’s not necessary. He knows exactly what he wants to do. When I read the script, I thought this guy knew exactly what he was going to do. My agent asked well do you want to meet him? I said it’s not necessary, when do we shoot? Sort of like that.”

On writing and directing: “I really think of myself as I should be writing. I really do wish to be a writer. I can write dialogues and scenes, but to write a full-length anything is different…I just haven’t buckled down. I really do enjoy directing, and I thought I was going to do it all the time because I liked it. I liked working with actors and I thought I understood actors, I could do that. My life changed and to direct a movie it takes a long time out of your life to make. When it was time for me to continue directing movies, I didn’t have that time to give.”

During Murray’s conversation with Maltin, guests enjoyed nostalgic clips of his film career, including Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, Lost in Translation, St. Vincente, On the Rocks, and more.

Roman Coppola, lower left, with sister Sofia Coppola, lower right, presented Bill Murray, upper right with the 2021 Santa Barbara International Film Festival Maltin Modern Master Award. Leonard Maltin, upper left, for whom the award is named after, moderated the tribute virtually on April 2, 2021. (Photo courtesy of SBIFF)

Following Murray’s conversation with Maltin, Sofia and Roman Coppola presented him with the Maltin Modern Master Award. Sofia opened her remarks by saying: “I’m so happy to join and present Bill with the Maltin Modern Master Award. It’s been fun to look at the clips from all the great films. Thank you for all the fun and love you bring to our lives through your work and as a person. It’s always fun making movies with you and thank you for helping me make the movies that I wanted to make. I’m happy to know you and have you in my family.”

Upon accepting his award, Murray said: “I’d like to say a few words before sentencing… it’s really an honor to receive the Maltin Milk award. When I heard I was involved in the award, I was taken by surprise, thinking that you had passed away. I had worked up so many nice things to say about you. But I was very happy to hear you were still alive. That’s my happy-sad moment.”

The Modern Master Award was established in 1995 and is the highest accolade presented by SBIFF. Created to honor an individual who has enriched our culture through accomplishments in the motion picture industry, it was re-named the Maltin Modern Master Award in 2015 in honor of long-time SBIFF moderator and renowned film critic Leonard Maltin. Past recipients include Judy Garland, Brad Pitt, Glenn Close, Denzel Washington, Michael Keaton, Bruce Dern, Ben Affleck, Christopher Plummer, Christopher Nolan, James Cameron, Clint Eastwood, Cate Blanchett, Will Smith, George Clooney and Peter Jackson.

The 36th Santa Barbara International Film Festival, presented by UGG, will continue through April 10th, 2021, online and with the two ocean-front drive-ins sponsored by TOYOTA. Tickets and passes are available at SBIFF.org.

About the Santa Barbara International Film Festival

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts and educational organization dedicated to discovering and showcasing the best in independent and international cinema. Over the past 35 years, SBIFF has become one of the leading film festivals in the United States – attracting 100,000+ attendees and offering 11 days of 200+ films, tributes and symposiums, fulfilling their mission to engage, enrich, and inspire the Santa Barbara community through film. In 2016, SBIFF entered a new era with the acquisition of the historic and beloved Riviera Theatre. After a capital campaign and renovation, the theatre is now SBIFF’s new state-of-the-art, year-round home, showing new international and independent films every day. In 2019, SBIFF opened its own Education Center in downtown Santa Barbara on State Street to serve as a home for its many educational programs and a place for creativity and learning.

SBIFF Modern Master Award Goes to Bill Murray

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Academy Award-nominated actor and American film legend Bill Murray received the prestigious Maltin Modern Master Award at the 36th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) Friday, April 2, 2021, in a live virtual tribute for his long-standing contributions to the film industry, most recently in the role of Felix Keane in Sofia Coppola’s ON THE ROCKS opposite Rashida Jones and Marlon Wayans, for which he received Golden Globe and Critic’s Choice nominations.

After an exceptionally riveting musical score accompanying the introductory frames, SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling introduced the tribute that “honors an individual who has enriched our culture through accomplishments in the motion picture industry,” remarking Murray has been a Maltin Modern Master for years and this year was the year SBIFF bestowed the honor before giving way to the event’s moderator, Leonard Maltin.

In turn, Maltin introduced Murray including a montage of clips providing a warm fuzzy retrospective with some of Murray’s more memorable characters. Laments of not having an audience registered.

 

Nevertheless, hearing and listening to these two motion picture industry giants discussing a career that spans five decades with background details and anecdotes of Murray’s career was not diminished in the virtual format. Quite the opposite as Sofia Coppola popped in with an effervescence followed closely by her brother, Roman Coppola. As the Coppolas joined the conversation so did a wave of nostalgia as though the passing of the torch was occurring between generations.

The Maltin Modern Master Award is the highest award SBIFF bestows and Bill Murray was given his due this evening for decades of entertaining audiences across the globe.

Leonard Maltin celebrated his 31st year moderating at SBIFF. And, the Coppola siblings, Sofia and Roman, added a depth of presence to the special moment in time.

The event was presented by the Manitou Fund.

The 36th Santa Barbara International Film Festival, presented by UGG, will continue through April 10th, 2021, online and with the two ocean-front drive-ins sponsored by TOYOTA. Tickets and passes are available at SBIFF.org.

SBIFF’s Maltin Modern Master Award announced!

Posted by Larry Gleeson

BILL MURRAY
MALTIN MODERN MASTER AWARD
FRIDAY, APRIL 2, 2021
TICKETS WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON

Academy Award-nominated actor and American film legend Bill Murray is set to receive the prestigious Maltin Modern Master Award at the 36th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Murray will be honored on Friday, April 2nd for his long-standing contributions to the film industry, most recently in the role of Felix Keane in Sofia Coppola’s ON THE ROCKS opposite Rashida Jones and Marlon Wayans, for which he received Golden Globe and Critic’s Choice nominations. Leonard Maltin will return for his 30th year to moderate the evening.

SANTA BARBARA, CA – FEBRUARY 02: Leonard Maltin and Glenn Close speak onstage at the Maltin Modern Master Award Honoring Glenn Close during the 34th Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 2, 2019 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

“Bill Murray is one of a kind,” says Leonard Maltin. “He developed a comic persona early on that’s still as potent as ever, while expanding his reach and range as an actor. The boyish goofball in CADDYSHACK has become a playboy dad in ON THE ROCKS, with many dazzling and daring stops along the way. I have been an unabashed fan, from GHOSTBUSTERS to LOST IN TRANSLATION, so it is a privilege and honor to present Bill Murray with this year’s Maltin Modern Master Award.”

Murray, who received his first Academy Award nomination for Coppola’s LOST IN TRANSLATION in 2004, is also a six-time Golden Globe Award nominee, and a three-time Screen Actors Guild Award nominee. His iconic filmography includes roles in MEATBALLS, CADDYSHACK, STRIPES, TOOTSIE, GHOSTBUSTERS, THE RAZOR’S EDGE, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, SCROOGED, WHAT ABOUT BOB?, GROUNDHOG DAY, MAD DOG AND GLORY, ED WOOD, KINGPIN, WILD THINGS, RUSHMORE, THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS, LOST IN TRANSLATION, COFFEE AND CIGARETTES, THE LIFE AQUATIC WITH STEVE ZISSOU, BROKEN FLOWERS, THE DARJEELING LIMITED, FANTASTIC MR. FOX, GET LOW, MOONRISE KINGDOM, HYDE PARK ON HUDSON, THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL, ST. VINCENT, ISLE OF DOGS, and THE DEAD DON’T DIE.

Murray, who is a comedy and acting icon, began his career in 1975 on the ABC Variety Show Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell. One year later, Murray joined the cast of NBC’s long-running and award-winning Saturday Night Live, which then was only in its second season. In 1979, Murray landed his first lead role in a feature film as Tripper Harrison in Harold Ramis’ MEATBALLS. He has gone on to star in nearly 70 feature films, for directors ranging from Jim Jarmusch and Wes Anderson, to Tim Burton and Frank Oz, Ivan Reitman and Peter and Bobby Farrelly, to Richard Donner and Sofia Coppola. His role in Coppola’s LOST IN TRANSLATION, opposite Scarlett Johansson, earned Murray a Screen Actors Guild nomination, a Golden Globe and BAFTA award, and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role.

In his latest role as Felix Keane in Coppola’s ON THE ROCKS, which made its world premiere at the 2020 New York Film Festival, Murray received some of the best reviews of his career. Mick LaSalle at the San Francisco Chronicle said, “Coppola brings out all of Murray’s many colors, sometimes all at once – his flippancy, his authority, his warmth, his isolation, his expressiveness, his inability to say everything he wants to say.” Johnny Oleksinski of the New York Post said, “in the pantheon of perfect Bill Murray roles – ‘Caddyshack,’ ‘Groundhog Day,’ ‘Lost In Translation’ – his smooth-talking character in the new comedy ‘On The Rocks’ ranks as one of the best.” Justin Chang at the Los Angeles Times wrote, “You see in Felix the deadpan anarchic streak that has made Murray a force in American comedy for decades.” Alonso Duralde at The Wrap wrote, “One suspects we will think of Murray’s work here alongside the likes of Bette Davis in All About Eve.”

ON THE ROCKS was released in Fall 2020 by Apple TV+ and A24, produced by Coppola and Youree Henley, and features an original screenplay by Coppola.

The Modern Master Award was established in 1995 and is the highest accolade presented by SBIFF. Created to honor an individual who has enriched our culture through accomplishments in the motion picture industry, it was re-named the Maltin Modern Master Award in 2015 in honor of long-time SBIFF moderator and renowned film critic Leonard Maltin. Past recipients include Brad Pitt, Glenn Close, Denzel Washington, Michael Keaton, Bruce Dern, Ben Affleck, Christopher Plummer, Christopher Nolan, James Cameron, Clint Eastwood, Cate Blanchett, Will Smith, George Clooney and Peter Jackson.

The 36th Santa Barbara International Film Festival will take place March 31st through April 10th, 2021. More information as well as Festival passes and tickets, will be available in the coming weeks at www.sbiff.org.