This article over at the L.A. Times is trumpeting the news that Francis Ford Coppola will be the recipient of the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award come this November—and that French film directing legend Jean-Luc Godard and TDOY acting fave Eli Wallach will be getting honorary statuettes as well. But here’s the big news that really made me stand up and applaud (bold italics most assuredly mine):
The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said Wednesday that it would present The Godfather director-producer Francis Ford Coppola with the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award and give honorary Oscars to British film historian and preservationist Kevin Brownlow, French "New Wave" director Jean-Luc Godard, who made his feature directorial debut 50 years ago with the seminal Breathless, and veteran actor Eli Wallach, who has appeared in such films as The Magnificent Seven and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
The four awards will be handed out at the academy's second annual Governors Awards dinner Nov. 13 at the Grand Ballroom at the Hollywood & Highland Center.
Until last year, these awards were presented during the Oscar ceremony. But in 2009 the board decided to give the honorees their own nontelevised celebratory dinner.
Brownlow, 72, has restored numerous silent classic films, including Abel Gance's 1927 masterwork, Napoleon, Rex Ingram's 1921 epic The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse, which made Rudolph Valentino a star, and Douglas Fairbanks' 1924 fantasy The Thief of Bagdad. He also is the author of such acclaimed books as The Parade's Gone By, Hollywood: The Pioneers and Mary Pickford Rediscovered. His numerous documentaries include Unknown Chaplin,
The aforementioned docs—along with Harold Lloyd: The Third Genius—stoked my interest and passion for silent film like nothing else…and I still treasure my copy of Parade. As far as I’m concerned, this honor couldn’t be bestowed upon a more worthy individual.