HollywoodChicago.com RSS   Facebook   HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter   Free Giveaway E-mail   

2009 Chicago International Film Festival Awards: Martin Landau Speech, Young Filmmaker Interviews

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
No votes yet

CHICAGO – Film and TV icon Martin Landau accepted his Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2009 Chicago International Film Festival in the same hotel he stayed at while filming Alfred Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest” in 1959.

The famous film also has scenes shot at the Ambassador East Hotel, and HollywoodChicago was at the awards ceremony in the Pump Room there.

Martin Landau at the Chicago International Film Festival Awards Ceremony in the Pump Room at the Ambassador East Hotel, October 17, 2009.
Martin Landau at the Chicago International Film Festival Awards Ceremony in the Pump Room at the Ambassador East Hotel, October 17, 2009.
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

Landau began his acceptance speech by reminiscing about filming North by Northwest in Chicago, relating how he shared a meal in the Pump Room with fellow cast members Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason and the “Master of Suspense,” director Alfred Hitchcock.

The remarks continued with Landau’s concern for Hollywood today, and the dearth of character driven themes in films. He emphasized that a knowledge of the past glories of Hollywood history was necessary for maintaining substantial roles for actors in the industry today.

Martin Landau finished his acceptance by saying that, “this may be a Lifetime Achievement Award, but I am not finished.”

Star Writer/Director Nicholas Fackler of Martin Landau’s festival film, ‘Lovely, Still’

Energetic and spiritual, Nicholas Fackler is the writer and director of “Lovely, Still,” starring Martin Landau and Ellen Burstyn. He spoke briefly about that unique production experience.

Nicholas Fackler at the Chicago International Film Festival Awards Ceremony.
Nicholas Fackler at the Chicago International Film Festival Awards Ceremony.
Photo credit: Patrick McDonald for HollywoodChicago.com

HollywooodChicago: What was it like working with film legends Martin Landau and Ellen Burstyn?

Nicholas Fackler: Working with them was a gift. I never went to college but going to the set everyday, I learned what it was like to work with artists. Before I never thought of acting as artistry, I didn’t understand it, but working with Martin and Ellen, they are two artists. They completely transformed themselves and it was one of the most amazing experiences I had in my entire life.

StarJodie Markell, Director of ‘The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond’

Fans of HBO’s “Big Love” may recognize Jodie Markell, who portrayed Wendy Hunt in that popular series from 2006-07. She made her directorial debut after discovering a Tennessee Williams screenplay that was never produced, and brought the film, starring Bryce Dallas Howard, to the Chicago International Film Festival.

Jodie Markell at the Chicago International Film Festival Awards Ceremony, October 17, 2009.
Jodie Markell at the Chicago International Film Festival Awards Ceremony, October 17, 2009.
Photo credit: Patrick McDonald for HollywoodChicago.com

HC: How did you find the Tennesee Williams screenplay and get it to a producer for you to direct?

Jodie Markell I grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, and by the age of sixteen I had read everything that Williams had written. In acting school one of my teachers showed me a collection of his screenplays. I never could believe The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond had never been made, so years later I met up with a producer who bought the rights and I directed it.

HC: What attracted you to the story?

JM: The lead character, she’s a person who feels that conventional society is keeping her down. Williams is really interested in anyone who is different, more defensive, more creative and more vulnerable. The characters had that.

HC: Tell me about working with that tremendous cast [Bryce Dallas Howard, Ann-Margret, Ellen Burstyn] you gathered.

JM: We had such a great time. Many of them told me it was the best experience on-set that they ever had. I love actors and I love to help them make discoveries.

HC: What do you think is your best characteristic for keeping a set relaxed and comfortable for everyone?

JM: I guess you have to ask other people that question (laughs). What I try to remember is that being kind to people is as important as getting the right shot. Surprisingly, a lot of people aren’t used to that.

”Best of the Fest” is tonight, October 21, 2009. The Chicago International Film Festival runs until October 22th. Click here for details.

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Senior Staff Writer

© 2009 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent spam submissions.
- three = 23
Solve this math question and enter the solution with digits. E.g. for "two plus four = ?" enter "6".

User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing


  • Everybody, Brown Paper Box Co

    CHICAGO – When is the last time a stage play, based in an intimate setting, made you think about your life, death, and the destiny inherent in both? “Everybody,” staged by Brown Paper Box Co. (BPBCo), is such a play, and the energetic aura and sense of surprise that the show contains is soul soothing wonder. The show has various evening/matinee performances at the Pride Arts Center in Chicago run through August 12, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Not One Batu

    CHICAGO – The State of Hawaii may be one of the most misunderstood in America. Because of its reputation as a tourist mecca, the fact that native peoples live and work there like any other place is hard to imagine. Also unimaginable is the drug use of island residents, but playwright and Hawaiian native Hannah li-Epstein wrote about it in her stage play “Not One Batu,” now in its Premiere Chicago run at the Berger Park Coach House through July 28th, 2018. For more information, including tickets, click here.


HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter

HollywoodChicago.com Top Ten Discussions