It’s a good year to be Quentin Tarantino. The middle-aged enfant terrible of American cinema won his second Oscar back in February for “Django Unchained,” and this autumn he will receive a career achievement award at the Lumiere Film Festival in Lyon, France — a festival devoted to classics, restorations and reissues, headed up by veteran French auteur Bertrand Tavernier and Tarantino’s good friend (and current Cannes festival director) Thierry Fremaux.
If it makes you feel slightly old that Tarantino — now 50, believe it or not — is entering the realm of lifetime achievement awards, well, that makes two of us. It hardly seems two decades ago that the mouthy video-store geek was scandalizing the system with his chatty, blood-spattered crime stories.
Still, the festival is at pains not to label this as a gold-watch award. “This is not a lifetime award, it”s about where Quentin Tarantino is now, how he is such a great ambassador for a love of cinema,” said Fremaux, who has twice selected Tarantino for the Cannes competition (with “Death Proof” and “Inglourious Basterds”), and appointed him president of the jury in 2004. Before Fremaux’s reign, of course, Tarantino won the Palme d’Or for “Pulp Fiction.” Unsurprisingly, he remains a beloved figure in France, where critics and filmgoers alike hold American genre filmmaking in high regard: so far, “Django Unchained” is the second-highest grosser of 2013 in the country.
The press release, meanwhile, states that Tarantino is receiving the Lumiere Award “for his entire film career, for his radiant passion for the cinema, for the tributes paid even within his films to the whole mythology of cinema… and for the way he often exclaims, ‘Vive Le Cinema!”” Previous recipients of the award, now in its fifth year, are Clint Eastwood, Milos Forman, Ken Loach and Gerard Depardieu.
Tarantino will accept the award on October 18; the festival, meanwhile, runs from October 14 to 20, and will also include posthumous tributes to Ingmar Bergman, Hal Ashby and Henri Verneuil.