LONDON FILM CRITICS’ CIRCLE HONOUR VISIONARY BRITISH FILM DIRECTOR NICOLAS ROEG
London, 2 December 2011
Britain’s leading film critics have bestowed their highest honour, the Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Film to veteran film maker Nicolas Roeg, joining the illustrious company of Dirk Bogarde, Richard Attenborough, Julie Walters, Judi Dench, Quentin Tarantino and Kristin Scott Thomas.
Director of films including Performance, Don't Look Now and The Witches, Roeg has attained legendary status in British film circles, as well as lasting international recognition. Working with Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Julie Christie, Anjelica Houston, Oliver Reed amongst others, his mix of sexual and psychedelic imagery established him as a supreme visual artist, creating films that have been experimental and provocative yet always accessible and unforgettable. In addition Roeg has excelled in all areas of film making, from cinematography to screenwriting, directing, editing and composing. He remains a lasting testament to innovation and individuality in cinema, a director whose films define an era of British cinema yet never seem to go out of style.
Roeg said of the honour: "This award has truly amazed me and certainly caught me a bit leftfooted. I'm sure the critics will understand when I say: on looking through and reading some of my old reviews, I'm torn between thanking you and forgiving you. But having slept on it, I'll go with the positive and thank you all and hope that in the countdown for the decision of the 'Critics' Circle' to give me a tribute, some old mathematical rule applied where two negatives can sometimes make a positive."
Chairman of The Critics’ Circle Film Section, Jason Solomons, added: "Nic Roeg's films stand out as one of the most distinctive and influential bodies of work of any British film maker. I am thrilled that he can now join the list of illustrious honorees of the Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Cinema - he adds mischief, daring and brilliance to it, as well as the sort of maverick artistic spirit that only cinema can liberate."
The award will be presented to Nicolas Roeg at the London Critics' Circle Film Awards in partnership with Virgin Atlantic on Thursday 19 January at BFI Southbank, where the Critics’ Circle will also reveal its full list of annual award winners at the glittering ceremony. Nominations for all other award categories will be announced on Tuesday 20 December.
The 32nd annual edition of the London Critics' Circle Film Awards will again be in aid of their charity partner, the BFI National Archive, to help with the preservation and restoration of British film, in particular Hitchcock's nine silent features, as part of the BFI's landmark 'Rescue the Hitchcock 9’ campaign.
Notes to Editors
About The Critics’ Circle
Established in 1913, The Critics' Circle is the oldest organisation of its kind in the world, with more than 400 members who work in the UK media as critics of drama, art and architecture, music, film and dance. The Film Section has more than 120 voting members working as film critics, journalists and broadcasters, and has presented its awards annually since 1980.
About the London Critics' Circle Film Awards
Since its first edition in 1980, the London Critics' Circle Film Awards have become one of the most anticipated and glamorous ceremonies in the annual film calendar. In recent years guests and award winners have included Quentin Tarantino, Carey Mulligan, Sienna Miller, Martin Scorsese, Daniel Craig, James McAvoy, Vanessa Redgrave, Sir Michael Caine, Kevin Spacey, Emma Thompson, Marion Cotillard, Lord Attenborough, Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Ralph Fiennes, Kate Winslet, Cate Blanchett and Albert Finney. Last year’s ceremony was no exception and drew a starstudded red carpet with guests including Colin Firth, Aaron Sorkin, Sam Taylor-Wood, Rosamund Pike, Mike Leigh and Dilys Powell Award recipient, Kristin Scott Thomas.
Previous recipients of the Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Film:
1991 – Dirk Bogarde
1992 – Freddie Young
1993 – Christopher Lee
1994 – Richard Attenborough
1995 – Wendy Hiller
1996 – John Mills
1997 – Michael Caine
1998 – John Hurt and Albert Finney
1999 – Mike Leigh
2000 – Richard Harris
2001 – Charlotte Rampling
2002 – Lewis Gilbert
2003 – Tom Courtenay
2004 – Ken Loach
2005 – Bryan Forbes
2006 – Leslie Phillips
2007 – Julie Walters
2008 – Judi Dench
2009 – Quentin Tarantino
2010 – Kristin Scott Thomas
The Critics’ Circle Film Section will be voting the following categories:
Film of the Year
The Attenborough Award: British Film of the Year
Foreign Language Film of the Year
Documentary of the Year
Director of the Year
The Virgin Atlantic Award for Breakthrough British Film-Maker
The Sky 3D Award for Technical Achievement
Actor of the Year
Actress of the Year
British Actor of the Year
The Moët & Chandon Award for British Actress of the Year
Supporting Actor of the Year
Supporting Actress of the Year
Screenwriter of the Year
Young British Performer of the Year
Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Film
About the BFI
The BFI is the lead body for film in the UK with the ambition to create a flourishing film environment in which innovation, opportunity and creativity can thrive by:
Connecting audiences to the widest choice of British and World cinema
Preserving and restoring the most significant film collection in the world for today and future generations
Championing emerging and world class film makers in the UK
Investing in creative, distinctive and entertaining work
Promoting British film and talent to the world
Growing the next generation of film makers and audiences
The BFI Southbank is open to all. BFI members are entitled to a discount on all tickets. BFI Southbank Box Office tel: 020 7928 3232. Unless otherwise stated tickets are £9.50, concs £6.75 Members pay £1.50 less on any ticket. Website www.bfi.org.uk/southbank
Tickets for FREE screenings and events must be booked in advance by calling the Box Office to avoid disappointment
The BFI Filmstore is stocked and staffed by BFI experts with over 1,200 book titles and 1,000 DVDs to choose from, including hundreds of acclaimed books and DVDs produced by the BFI.
The benugo bar & kitchen
Eat, drink and be merry in panoramic daylight. benugo’s décor is contemporary, brightly lit and playful with a lounge space, bar and dining area. The place to network, hang out, unpack a film, savour the best of Modern British or sip on a cocktail.
There’s more to discover about film and television through the BFI. Our world-renowned archival collections, cinemas, festivals, films, publications and learning resources are here to inspire you.
About The Hitchcock 9
Rescue the Hitchcock 9 is the BFI’s £2 million fundraising campaign to enable the BFI’s ambitious project to restore and preserve Alfred Hitchcock’s nine surviving silent films and stage screenings for new audiences to enjoy with newly commissioned live music scores launched as part of the London 2012 Festival.
Hitchcock's early films are among the finest achievements of British silent cinema. His subsequent films refined his techniques of stunning visual composition, richly cinematic storytelling linked to dramatic invention, which are uniquely Hitchcock.
The surviving nitrate materials for these films bear the marks of natural wear and tear over the decades. New digital techniques mean that the BFI’s team of technical experts are now in a position to restore scratched and damaged negatives and produce much improved viewing copies.
The BFI are actively seeking more funds to complete the restorations and to enable once in a lifetime events in 2012, from Hitchcock devotees, film lovers or anyone who cares about our cultural history. Even small amounts to help the BFI reach its target and members of the public who would like to save an important and historic film can contribute by visiting www.bfi.org.uk/saveafilm
About the Sponsors
The Critics’ Circle would like to thank all sponsors: Virgin Atlantic are new headline sponsor and sponsor of the Breakthrough British Film-Maker category, Sky 3D are sponsor of new Sky 3D Award for Technical Achievement, Moët & Chandon are the Official Champagne sponsor and sponsor of the Moët & Chandon Award for British Actress of the Year, Audi are the Official Car of the Awards and Chilli UK are the new Official Design Agency. Also with special thanks to Cameo Productions LTD, Home Group and benugo.