Welcome Honors

Welcome Honors

Posted by Mike Finnegan on Nov 9th 2017

The recipients of Saturday evening’s 2017 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Governors Awards have accrued decades of outstanding cinematic work equaling or in many cases excelling that of peers who have claimed one or more golden statuettes through the years. But it’s particularly edifying to be singled out, absent any “categorical competition,” for an honorary Academy Award®, and this year’s quartet of artists is stellar. Writer/director Agnès Varda (Cleo from 5 to 7, One Sings, the Other Doesn’t, Vagabond, the current Faces Places) has been called called “the mother of the French New Wave” since making her first movie 60 years ago. Charles Burnett has been acclaimed as a documentarian and powerful cinematic chronicler of the African American experience with such classics as Killer of Sheep, To Sleep with Anger and Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property. Five-time Best Cinematography Oscar® nominee Owen Roizman has captured on celluloid some of movie history’s most indelible imagery; think The French Connection, The Exorcist, Three Days of the Condor, Network, Straight Time, True Confessions, Tootsie and Wyatt Earp as just a sampler. That Donald Sutherland has never been a competitive acting nominee once when reckoning 140 film credits spanning six decades is a head-scratcher. But the co-star of The Dirty Dozen, M*A*S*H, Kelly’s Heroes, Klute, Don’t Look Now, The Day of the Locust, The Great Train Robbery, Invasion of the Body Snatchers and many more films will get his own spotlight moment that might hopefully make up for his exclusion from year-end finalist lists for Best Actor for say, Ordinary People or Six Degrees of Separation, or Best Supporting Actor for 2005’s Pride & Prejudice. He has The Leisure Seeker with Helen Mirren on tap for U.S. theatrical release at year’s end, and next year he’ll portray J. Paul Getty in the 2018 FX miniseries Trust. By way of tribute, Twilight Time offers another undervalued, signature Sutherland performance on hi-def Blu-ray: Henry Faber, aka the Needle, the chillingly efficient German operative who cuts a murderous swath in his quest to convey top-secret D-Day-related information to homeland and Hitler in the breathless action thriller Eye of the Needle (1981), based on the Ken Follett bestseller and directed to spellbinding effect by Richard Marquand. As a charming and crafty killing machine who startles himself by becoming romantically involved with a lonely islander (Kate Nelligan) trapped in a tragedy-shadowed, loveless marriage, Sutherland is an unexpected but ultimately right fit for the role. Another ideal fit will be that of the Oscar® in the hands of Sutherland and his three fellow honorees this weekend. Eye of the Needle is currently available through December 1 only at 50% off original list during the label’s Pre-Holiday Promotion.