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SB Film Fest honors Martin Scorsese with American Riviera Award

Ben Sutton | Editor in Chief | January 31, 2012

Martin Scorsese accepting the American Riviera Award in the Arlington Theater Monday night. (Photo/Harry Menear)

In a red carpet event complete with paparazzi and excited fans, stars of the film industry swarmed Santa Barbara’s Arlington Theater Monday night to honor the work of renowned film director Martin Scorsese.

The American Riviera Award was established to honor someone who has had a significant influence on American cinema. Scorsese is known for his illustrious and long directing career, featuring gritty depictions of city life, often New York, in classics such as “Goodfellas” and “Mean Streets,” but also branching out into concert films, documentaries, and kids movies.

Those present included the actor Sir Ben Kingsley, who worked with Scorsese in “Shutter Island” (as the head doctor on the island) and “Hugo” (as George Melies, the toy shop owner). Kingsley was the official presenter of the award to Scorsese.

Also in attendance was famous film critic and overall cinephile Leonard Maltin, who ran the event on stage. Maltin had much to say on the red carpet about how the film industry has changed in recent years, claiming “It seems to be more and more of a machine devoted to turning out blockbusters…formulaic movies that are easily described because you can sell those easily around the world. It’s a global business now.”

Once inside the theater, speeches were given by Executive Director of the SBIFF Roger Durling, and Maltin. Then, Scorsese took the stage and sat down to be interviewed for a couple hours by Maltin, with scenes from Scorsese films such as “Mean Streets” (1973), “Taxi Driver” (1976), “The Last Waltz” (1978), and “Raging Bull” (1980), among others.

After the interview, Kingsley was invited on stage to give a short presentation speech. Once presented with the American Riviera Award, Scorsese rounded out the night with an acceptance speech in which he discussed the motivation behind his latest release, the 3D feature “Hugo.”

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