Quentin Tarantino received the 2013 Prix Lumière in Lyon, an award that is widely considered the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for cinema.
Uma Thurman presented the award in the presence of Tarantino’s actor friends, Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth and legendary producers Laurence Bender and Harvey Weinstein.
Tarantino even invited French actress Mélanie Laurent, who acted in his 2009 film ‘Inglorious Basterds’, to rock and roll to some of the music from his films.
Each year, The Lumière Festival recognises the achievements of a big name in cinema. Throughout the week, Tarantino not only presented his films, but also guided the audience through his own personal journey in cinema, presenting some of his favourite films.
The festival’s theme was the history of cinema. Over six days, 135 short films were shown to revisit this.
Tarantino was clearly thrilled to be given such a prestigious award, exclaiming:
“To get this award here, to be given by you, by this festival in the town where cinema was invented, in the town where… I don’t know what I would be if the Lumiere brothers’ mother and father had never met… Vive le cinema!”
Lyon is the birthplace of cinema, and it was in this town in 1895 that the Lumière brothers made the first film in the history of the seventh art, ‘Sortie des Usines Lumière.’
Tarantino helped to direct a remake of the film, known in English as “Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory in Lyon” and even shot the new version in the film’s original location.
Famous friends, such as Harvey Keitel, came along to make up the numbers.
Director Pierre-William Glenn has worked with big names in cinema such as François Truffaut. He was behind the camera for the new version and took some time out to discuss this with us:
“In 2013 we’re doing a reenactment of Louis Lumière’s short film ‘Workers Leaving The Lumière Factory in Lyon’ with all of the festival guests – directors, producers … and we’re making the film in 35 mm.”
The 2013 version was directed in several styles, as German-Turkish director Fatih Akin explains:
“It was fun to be part of a Quentin Tarantino film, and on the same day to also be an actor in a Jerry Schatzberg film, and on the same day to be an actor in a Michael Cimino film… and on the same day to be able to be the director of all these directors, plus Harvey Keitel! That was cool, that was something.”
Three different versions of “Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory” were made in 1895.
Similarly, three modern versions were also made. Director Radu Mihăileanu spoke to us about the new versions of the film:
“I don’t know if you’ve noticed – I did three very different takes of the film. It was acted out like a romantic film, a thriller and a comedy… With the ongoing crisis, I wanted to give people options! We had to shoot everything … It was fantastic … Long live the cinema!”