Levinson honour in Karlovy Vary

Crystal Globe for Rain Man director

by Richard Mowe

Part of the Barry Levinson tribute in Karlovy Vary: Kathy Baker and Al Pacino portray Sue and Joe Paterno in a scene from Paterno, about the late disgraced football coach
Part of the Barry Levinson tribute in Karlovy Vary: Kathy Baker and Al Pacino portray Sue and Joe Paterno in a scene from Paterno, about the late disgraced football coach Photo: Film Servis Festival Karlovy Vary

Barry Levinson: Crystal Globe for Outstanding Contribution to World Cinema
Barry Levinson: Crystal Globe for Outstanding Contribution to World Cinema Photo: Film Servis KVIFF
In the grand tradition of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (29 June to 7 July) of honouring key figures, Oscar winning writer, producer and director Barry Levinson will receive a Crystal Globe for Outstanding Contribution to World Cinema.

The honour marks the 30th anniversary of the Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise tour de force Rain Man for which Levinson won an Academy Award as well as being the recipient of five Oscar nominations. He follows in the wake of the likes of William Friedkin, Jerry Schatzberg and the combo of Ken Loach and Paul Laverty last year.

Levinson started as a TV show writer before beginning his cinema career in 1982 with Diner. Such titles as The Natural (1984) with Robert Redford, Tin Men (1987) with Richard Dreyfuss and Danny DeVito and in the same year the barnstorming Good Morning, Vietnam with Robert Williams.

The Nineties proved equally fertile for Levinson with Avalon in 1991 with Aidan Quinn and loosely based on the director’s own family, Bugsy in the same year with Warren Beatty and the political satire Wag The Dog with Dustin Hoffman in an Oscar-nominated role. Levinson earned a Silver Bear - special jury prize for the film at the Berlin Film Festival in 1998.

Levinson has produced most of his films himself and also has backed projects from other directors such as Mike Newell’s crime drama Donnie Brasco (1997) and Neil LaBute’s romantic drama Possession in 2002.

Danish actress Trine Dyrholm who plays Nico (an Andy Warhol muse).
Danish actress Trine Dyrholm who plays Nico (an Andy Warhol muse). Photo: Film Service KVIFF
At Karlovy Vary, Levinson will present his latest directorial effort Paterno, a drama produced for HBO, which stars Al Pacino as a football coach Joe Paterno who was fired in a child sex abuse scandal in 2011. “He was the king of Happy Valley," Levinson said. "If you talk about the king and the fall from grace, that's an amazing Greek tragedy, right?"

He will also introduce the screenings of Rain Man and Wag The Dog.

In other news, the Festival’s Horizons section will present the music biopic Nico, 1988, with a personal introduction from Danish actress Trine Dyrholm, who plays the title character whose birth name was Christa Päffgen. She is most often talked about as Andy Warhol’s muse or in connection with the band the Velvet Underground.

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