From Coppola to the Coens: 40 years of Telluride tributes

Posted by · 6:23 am · August 28th, 2013

The lineup for the 40th annual Telluride Film Festival has been unveiled, and with it, the announcement of this year’s tributees: T Bone Burnett and the Coen brothers, Mohammad Rasoulof, Robert Redford and Alejandro Ramirez. Here’s a look back at the history of the honor.

The Silver Medallions have been awarded since the first annual Telluride Film Festival in 1974. They are made of pure silver and the design has never changed, featuring the emblematic “SHOW” logo. The presentation of the medallion is preceded by a clip reel, full feature and/or on-stage interview.

Traditionally, three Silver Medallions are given out each year, with a few exceptions where numerous people from a specific category were paid the honor. Often a special medallion has been awarded to a hero of cinema, usually a non-filmmaker who has had a major impact on American or international film culture — a historian, a critic, an organization dedicated to the celebration and preservation of film as an art, etc.

This year’s quintet of honorees joins a long and illustrious legacy. Here is the full list of medallion tributes Telluride has presented over the last four decades:

1974 – Francis Ford Coppola, Leni Riefensthal, Gloria Swanson
1975 – Werner Herzog, Henry King, Jack Nicholson
1976 – Chuck Jones, King Kong, King Vidor
1977 – Benjamin Carré, Michael Powell, Agnes Varda
1978 – The Czech New Wave (Jaromil Jireš, Pavel Jurácek, Jan Nemec, Ivan Passer), Sterling Hayden, Hal Roach
1979 – Abel Gance, Klaus Kinski, Robert Wise
1980 – Robert Altman, Maurice Pialat, Karl Strauss
1981 – The Character Actor (John Carrdine, Elisha Cook, Carlos Diegues, Margaret Hamilton, Dusan Makavejev, Woody Strode); Stan Brakhage (Special Medallion), Kevin Brownlow (Special Medallion)
1982 – Pierre Braunberger, Athol Fugard, Joel McCrea
1983 – Andrei Tarkovsky, Luis Trenker, Richard Widmark; Irwin Young (Special Medallion)
1984 – Henry Hathaway, Janet Leigh, Andrzej Wajda; Joseph Losey (Special Medallion)
1985 – Emilio Fernandez, Hanna Schygulla, Alexander Trauner; Paul Kohner (Special Medallion)
1986 – Isabelle Huppert, Alexander Mackendrick, Jirí Menzel
1987 – Tenghiz Abuladze, Stephen Frears, Don Siegel
1988 – Pedro Almodóvar, Cab Calloway, The Xi”an Studio
1989 – Peter Greenaway, Shohei Imamura, Dennis Potter; William K. Everson (Special Medallion)
1990 – John Berry, Gerard Depardieu, Clint Eastwood; Manny Farber (Special Medallion)
1991 – Jodie Foster, Nature”s Filmmakers (Paul Atkins, Peter Jones, Marion Zunz), Sven Nykvist
1992 – Elmer Bernstein, Cy Endfield, Harvey Keitel; Pierre Rissient (Special Medallion)
1993 – John Alton, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Ken Loach; Stefan Jarl (Special Medallion), Arne Sucksdorff (Special Medallion)
1994 – Harriet Andersson, Ken Burns, Judy Davis; Ninon Sevilla (Special Medallion)
1995 – John Schlesinger, The Surrealists (Guy Maddin, The Brothers Quay, Jan Svankmajer), Zhang Yimou; Andrew Sarris (Special Medallion)
1996 – Alain Cavalier, Mike Leigh, Shirley MacLaine; Roger Mayer (Special Medallion)
1997 – Horton Foote, Neil Jordan, Alexander Sokurov; Milos Stehlik (Special Medallion)
1998 – Susumu Hani, Vittorio Storaro, Meryl Streep; Stanley Kauffman (Special Medallion), Chris Reyna (Special Medallion)
1999 – Catherine Deneuve, Philip Glass, David Lynch; BBC’s “Arena” (Special Medallion)
2000 – Im Kwon-taek, Ang Lee, Stellan Skarsgard; Elmore Leonard (Special Medallion), Serge Silberman (Special Medallion)
2001 – Catherine Breillat, Om Puri, Ken Russell; HBO (Special Medallion)
2002 – Peter O”Toole, D.A. Pennebaker, Paul Schrader; Positif (Special Medallion)
2003 – Peter Brook, Toni Collette, Krzysztof Zanussi; Ted Turner (Special Medallion)
2004 – Theo Angelopplous, Jean-Claude Carriere, Laura Linney; Fred Roos (Special Medallion)
2005 – The Dardenne Brothers, Charlotte Rampling, Mickey Rooney; Criterion Collection (Special Medallion), Janus Films (Special Medallion)
2006 – Penélope Cruz, Rolf De Heer, Walter Murch; David Thomson (Special Medallion)
2007 – Shyam Benegal, Daniel Day-Lewis, Michel Legrand; Leonard Maltin (Special Medallion)
2008 – David Fincher, Jean Simmons, Jan Troell; Richard Schickel (Special Medallion)
2009 – Anouk Aimee, Viggo Mortensen, Margarethe Von Trotta; Serge Bromberg (Special Medallion)
2010 – Claudia Cardinale, Colin Firth, Peter Weir; Television Archive (Special Medallion), UCLA Film (Special Medallion)
2011 – George Clooney, Pierre Etaix, Tilda Swinton; Sight & Sound (Special Medallion)
2012 – Roger Corman, Marion Cotillard, Mads Mikkelsen; Boston Light & Sound (Special Medallion), Chapin Cutler Jr. (Special Medallion)
2013 – T Bone Burnett and the Coen Brothers, Mohammad Rasoulof, Robert Redford; Alejandro Ramirez (Special Medallion)

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