Year: 2009 (82nd) Academy Awards
Category: Honorary Award
Winner: To Roger Corman for his rich engendering of films and filmmakers.
Presenter: Ron Howard, Quentin Tarantino, Jonathan Demme
Date & Venue: November 14, 2009; The Governors Awards (Grand Ballroom, Hollywood & Highland Center)
Needless to say I'm delighted to accept this Oscar personally, but I'd also like to accept it on behalf of my wife Julie, who's been my producing partner for many years, and also on behalf of those who've worked in the field in which I've spent most of my career, the independent filmmakers.
We all work in what I think is the only true modern art form. All other arts had their origins in antiquity and are therefore, to a certain extent, static. Motion pictures encompass movement, which is one of the key characteristics of our day, and for that reason they are modern. There's another reason as well. And the reason is that traditional art has been done, let us say, by composers, writers, poets, painters, who could create their art individually. Motion pictures require, the filmmaker requires a cast and a crew, and they must be paid. As a result our art is somewhat compromised. We're compromised between art and business and I think that represents something of the compromised world in which we live.
I think that to succeed in this world you have to take chances. Many of my friends and compatriots and people who've started with me are here tonight, and they've all succeeded. Some of them succeeded to an extraordinary degree. And I believe they've succeeded because they had the courage to take chances, to gamble. But they gambled because they knew the odds were with them; they knew they had the ability to create what they wanted to make. It's very easy for a major studio or somebody else to repeat their successes, to spend vast amounts of money on remakes, on special effects-driven tentpole franchise films. But I believe the finest films being done today are done by the original, innovative filmmakers who have the courage to take a chance and to gamble. So I say to you: Keep gambling, keep taking chances. Thank you.
© Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
[Note: All winners are present except where noted; NOT all winners may have spoken.]