Greta Gerwig paid tribute to fellow director Quentin Tarantino on Thursday, and things got emotional.
The “Little Women” director was on hand at the 31st annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Film Awards Gala in Palm Springs, where she presented Tarantino with the Director of the Year award.
As IndieWire reports, Gerwig praised Tarantino in a six-minute speech, describing how his work continues to inspire her own directorial journey, dating back to when she first saw a copy of “Pulp Fiction” on the shelf of a video store when she was a youngster.
“Quentin Tarantino makes movies as if movies could save the world,” she said. “Movies can kill Hitler, free slaves and give Sharon Tate one more summer… he makes movies like movies themselves matter, like they are both high art — which they are — and that they are populist art — which they are. They’re speaking the most profound truths to the biggest crowds with the bravado that comes with the confidence that collectively everybody will be changed for the better by the experience.”
Accepting his award, Tarantino told the audience he was on the verge of tears after listening to Gerwig’s glowing praise.
“She literally said about me how I can only imagine somebody could ever talk about me in my wildest self-possessed dreams,” he said. “Thank you. I mean my God, thank you so much. I joke that when people are going to talk about me, I say, ‘Speak about me as if I were dead.’ And they never do. And you did!”
Also honoured was Adam Driver, with Laura Dern presenting him with the Desert Palm achievement award for his performance in the Netflix drama “Marriage Story”, which was directed by Gerwig’s husband, Noah Baumbach.
“It’s beyond exciting to have your breath taken away when you get to know an actor’s work,” said Dern of her co-star (she plays a marital therapist in the film). “To feel truly in awe of them. Such happens when one is watching and working with the amazing Adam Driver.” Meanwhile, Dern herself was later honoured, with Baumbach presenting her with this year’s Career Achievement award.
Martin Scorsese received the Sonny Bono Visionary award, and in his speech thanked Netflix executives Ted Sarandos and Scott Stuber for stepping in for helping him to realize his vision for “The Irishman” when traditional movie studios would not.
In his acceptance speech, Scorsese shared his view of the state of movies in 2020. “Moviegoers are better defined today as movie watchers,” he said. “A lot of that movie watching now happens at home, that’s just the way it is, okay. Hence I feel it’s becoming more and more tailored toward a consumer experience because movies are slotted into consumer categories before they’re even given a chance to breathe — you’ve got the blockbuster understandably, you’ve got the independent, okay, you’ve got the old, you’ve got new, you’ve got the auteur — which has become an elitist form, unfortunately, an elitist term.”
Here is a complete list of honourees at this year’s Palm Springs International Film Festival Film Awards Gala:
Cynthia Erivo, “Harriet,” Breakthrough Performance Award
Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker,” Chairman’s Award
Antonio Banderas, “Pain and Glory,” International Star Award, Actor
Laura Dern, “Marriage Story” and “Little Women,” Career Achievement Award
Zack Gottsagen, “The Peanut Butter Falcon,” Rising Star Award
Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Director of the Year
Jennifer Lopez, “Hustlers,” Spotlight Award, Actress
Jamie Foxx, “Just Mercy,” Spotlight Award, Actor
Charlize Theron, “Bombshell,” International Star Award, Actress
Adam Driver, “Marriage Story,” Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor
Renée Zellweger, “Judy,” Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress
Martin Scorsese, “The Irishman,” Sonny Bono Visionary Award