The Hollywood Reporter announced that Penn has been selected to receive the prestigious Golden Bear at this year's Berlin Film Festival. The director will be in attendance at a gala on the 15th of February to receive the lifetime achievement award. The festival is showing 10 films in total during a retrospective program at the Deutsche Kinemathek -- Museum for Film and Television that will end with the gala. Director of The Berlin Festival, Dieter Kosslick said, "Arthur Penn's films of the 1960s and early 1970s reanimated the crises-ridden American cinema. He is a great director, who deeply influenced the American cinema d'auteur". The retrospective of the director's work includes the Penn's first film The Left-Handed Gun; the film re-tells the legend of Billy the Kid as a sexually confused and psychologically tortured youth. The part was originally intended for James Dean but went to Paul Newman after Dean had passed away.
You have to admire a director who dared to present one of America's greatest folk icons as a sexually ambiguous neurotic, and in 1958 no less. For that alone the man probably deserves an award.