I’ve been so busy and distracted lately that I neglected to mention my contribution to The 9th Annual Woodtsock Film Festival that is currently taking place in Woodstock, New York October 1-5.
Most people are familiar with Woodstock thanks to the infamous music festival that was held there in 1969. The 3 day concert featured live performances by artists such as The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Joan Baez, Joe Cocker, Arlo Guthrie, Santana, Crosby Stills & Nash and Sly and the Family Stone. This historic event was made into an award winning film by Michael Wadleigh in 1970.
Currently Woodstock is home to the annual Woodstock Film Festival that brings together “film and music lovers from around the world.” So they can enjoy a “variety of films, first-class concerts, workshops, celebrity-led panels, an awards ceremony, and fantastic parties.” This year renowned cinematographer Haskell Wexler (The Thomas Crown Affair, The Loved One, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, In the Heat of the Night, Medium Cool, Faces, Coming Home, Bound for Glory, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, etc.) and director Kevin Smith (Clerks, Chasing Amy, Dogma, etc.) will be receiving awards and musical artists Donovan and Bela Fleck will be performing live.
Recently The Woodstock Film Festival renamed their Maverick Award for Best Narrative Feature to the Lee Marvin Award for Best Feature Narrative. According to the festival’s executive director Meira Blaustein, the name change was brought about by Lee Marvin’s iconic status in the Woodstock community. From the film festival’s website:
“Lee Marvin, a decorated U.S. combat marine in World War II, moved to Woodstock at war’s end in 1945. By 1947 he had discovered what he wanted to do; become an actor. Mr. Marvin’s first professional appearance was at the summer stock theater on the outskirts of Woodstock, at the Maverick Playhouse. His celebrated Hollywood career began in 1951, with films such as Eight Iron Men, The Big Heat and The Wild One. In 1965 Mr. Marvin received an Academy Award for Best Actor for his dual role as a drunken gunfighter and his evil, nose less brother in the western comedy Cat Ballou, which placed him in the upper tiers of Hollywood leading men. Many more leading roles followed in films such as Point Blank, The Dirty Dozen, and Samuel Fuller’s The Big Red One. Throughout, Mr. Marvin’s ties to Woodstock remained constant for the rest of his life. ”
This year the festival will be showing a special screening of John Boorman’s 1967 film Point Blank in honor of the newly named Lee Marvin Best Feature Narrative Award and the actor’s wife Pamela Marvin will be announcing the prize in person during the October 4th Awards Ceremony. Pamela Marvin has said that “I know Lee would be happy and very honored to have this award for Best Feature Narrative in the Woodstock Film Festival be given in his name”
I’m personally honored that The Woodtsock Film Festival contacted me about using a piece that I wrote last year about Point Blank called Lee Marvin: A Sensitive 17-Year-Old Boy as part of the festival program. The festival coordinators were very kind and I was truly humbled by their compliments about my article on the film and its star. It meant a lot to me because this year the festival was organizing the event with the approval of Marvin’s family.
Unfortunately I couldn’t attend the festival myself, but if you’re on the East Coast, please consider attending The Woodstock Film Festival this weekend. For the first time in the festival’s 9 year history, the Awards Ceremony will be open to the public.