CATEGORIES Classics, Awards, Berlin, Festival Reports, Interviews, Cinematical Indie, Celebrity Interviews, Awards, CinematicalFlimmaker Arthur Penn, who will receive an honorary Golden Bear at this year's Berlin Film Festival, talked about his career in a new interview with the Hollywood Reporter. Sounding crusty but cheerful, he calls his noir Night Moves (1975), starring Gene Hackman and a young Melanie Griffith, his best work. He acknowledges the influence of Bonnie and Clyde (1967) and says that Little Big Man (1970) was his most difficult film to make. He says he hated Hollywood in the 1950s and left for Broadway; his successful production of The Miracle Worker led him back to direct the movie version in 1962.
In his fifty-year career, Penn has completed about a dozen feature-length, theatrical films, including The Left-Handed Gun (1958), Mickey One (1965), The Chase (1966), Alice's Restaurant (1969) and The Missouri Breaks (1976), the latter a much-publicized teaming of top stars Jack Nicholson and Marlon Brando. But his most recent feature film was the underwhelming Penn and Teller Get Killed (1989), although his television movie Inside (1996) showed at the San Francisco International Film Festival concurrently with Penn winning that festival's lifetime achievement award.
But Penn still goes to the movies, praising "British films," like Venus and The Queen and directors like Jim Jarmusch, Wes Anderson and Stephen Frears. And he says he's still available for work. Just imagine: instead of hiring Brett Ratner or Edward Zwick or McG or Ron Howard, or some music video director or those guys who did Deck the Halls or The Hitcher, we could hire Arthur Penn, the guy who did Bonnie and Clyde. Wouldn't that make sense? I mean, c'mon!