Washington [US], August 21 (ANI): With its traditional rousing dance numbers and a lifetime achievement Crystal Globe for Hollywood star Michael Caine, the 55th edition of the Karlovy Vary Intl. Film Festival returned to life in a fully live format on Friday after a year-long COVID-forced break.
According to Variety, the versatile two-time Oscar winner prompted his third standing ovation from the audience packed into the fest's Grand Hall at the Hotel Thermal when he raised his walking cane from the stage in gratitude to his fans.
Saying he began his actor's journey as "a nobody from nowhere who knew nothing," Caine told the crowd, "You've given me an award for something I love doing."
Fest president Jiri Bartoska honoured him with what the actor called the heaviest prize he's ever tried to lift at an upbeat ceremony featuring elaborate choreography themed around the 1960s U.S. pop song 'Popcorn', with dancers whirling discs that riffed on the unique logo for KVIFF this year, a stylized numeral 55 containing cartoon eyes.
Guests wore COVID-safe wrist bands after having presented proof of vaccine status on arrival, but few masks were in sight in the fully packed hall of the Brutalist 70s architectural icon that dominates the promenade area of this historic spa town.
Opening night presenter Marek Eben, a celebrity comedian-philosopher, observed that popcorn makes film the one art "with its own unique smell," adding that the movie snack might be a superfood with qualities that combat depression.
But, he quickly added to uproarious laughs, popcorn isn't needed at Karlovy Vary because artistic director Karel Och selects art films for "intellectuals who are on anti-depressants."
The fest's return to West Bohemia was marked by a distinctive air of optimism, following two attempts at opening KVIFF as a live event in 2020, both of which had to be cancelled as the pandemic spread.
As per Variety, in addition, the fest has also announced added screenings of Paul Verhoeven's Cannes sensation and erotic nun story 'Benedetta' and Simon Safranek's 'RapStory', a dive into the Czech rap scene by the director of 'King Skate', the 2018 chronicle of pre-Velvet Revolution fringe culture centred on the highly improvised craze among practitioners who had to build their own boards. (ANI)
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