WATCH FESTIVAL CLIPS of master filmmakers Abbas Kiarostami, Clint Eastwood, Werner Herzog and other Festival guests.
Robert Altman: A Rugged Individualist
Altman, at a 1973 press conference and tribute, Altman speaks about his battles with marketing executives, improvisation in his films and coping with box office failure.
Michelangelo Antonioni: A Modernist Auteur Meets His Public
In the midst of shooting Zabriskie Point, Antonioni stopped by the 1968 Festival for a tribute to discourse on the use of color in films, the filmmakers he admires and “the future of Western civilization.”
Elisabeth Bergner: Before Dietrich, the Woman Who Played Catherine the Great
The celebrated German actress who fled the Nazis for London in the 1930s reemerged as a force on the British stage and screen. In this onstage interview, she talks about the difference between performing on celluloid and in the theater.
Bernardo Bertolucci: Between Epics and Experimentation
Bertolucci, honored with a tribute at the SFIFF in 1979, defends his controversial Luna and offers his thoughts on the American cinema.
Jean-Claude Brialy: From Playing the Homme Fatale to the Director’s Chair
Actor-turned-director Brialy, who had appeared in the films of Chabrol, Godard and Truffaut, debuted as a filmmaker with Eglantine in 1972. At this Festival tribute he discusses his association with the New Wave and his first directorial effort.
Truman Capote: "I May Be Small, but My Sting Is Deep"
At the Festival's first tribute to a screenwriter in 1974, the legendary writer regaled the crowd with tales of his Hollywood career.
Francis Ford Coppola: San Francisco’s Cinematic Crown Prince
Attired in an orange velvet suit, Coppola, one of the Bay Area’s own, discusses his pre-directorial work as a screenwriter, the success of The Godfather and the plans for its upcoming sequel at a 1972 Festival tribute.
Bette Davis: A Larger-Than-Life Star
It was all about Bette on November 1, 1969, when the First Lady of Film was honored with a tribute at the 13th SFIFF. She brought the house down with her spitfire wisecracks and wistful reminiscences of old Hollywood.
Dolores del Rio: A Serious Actress "Buried in Feathers"
At a 1981 tribute, the Mexican screen star of Maria Candelaria talks about working with Elvis, making big-budget musical productions and navigating the film worlds of both Mexico and Hollywood.
Robert Evans: New American Cinema's Producer
The producer of such classics as Rosemary's Baby, The Godfather and Chinatown, talks about his transformation from bit Hollywood player to the head of production at Paramount.
Jane Fonda: The Firebrand
Fonda, heralded by Festival Associate Director of Programming Mark Chase as “the best American film actress today,” answers audience questions about her career at an onstage tribute in 1975.
Ruth Gordon: A Girl from Massachusetts
Four years after the writer and actress had won an Academy Award for her supporting role in Rosemary's Baby, Gordon came to the Festival for a tribute in 1973. She chats at a press conference about her playwriting, the controversial romance depicted in Harold and Maude and working with Thornton Wilder.
Alec Guinness: A True Gentleman
The debonair and dapper Guinness entertained the black-tie crowd at his Opening Night tribute at the 1979 SFIFF.
Rita Hayworth: A Beauty Who Can Dance (and Act Too!)
At a 1972 tribute, Hayworth dishes on her career as a studio player and a sex symbol and divulges her true hair color to an inquiring audience.
John Houseman: An Old Hand Finally Arrives on the Screen
Pacifica Radio’s Alan Farley interviews actor Houseman, a longtime theater and radio actor who worked with Orson Welles at the Mercury Theatre in the 1930s and headed the Julliard School. Houseman made his film debut in the 1975 Festival entry The Paper Chase, for which he later won an Academy Award.
Akira Kurosawa: Still Masterful After All These Years
A few prominent Bay Area fans (Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas) helped Akira Kurosawa finance the 1980 Festival entry Kagemusha. Feted by Taiko drummers and the showering applause of the Festival audience, he discussed the film in an onstage interview.
Akira Kurosawa: The Festival's Reigning Cinematic King
Kurosawa proudly returns to the Festival in 1986 to accept an award named in his honor. Translator Audie Bock expresses Kurosawa's gratitude for receiving such a tribute.
Burt Lancaster: From Acrobat to Leading Man
At a 1976 tribute, Lancaster discusses how he went from a circus performer and army grunt to a Hollywood star in enduring parts like J.J. Hunsecker in The Sweet Smell of Success and the title role in Elmer Gantry.
David Lean: A Director of Epics Receives the Grand Treatment
Lean, accompanied by longtime collaborator Robert Bolt, offers his argument against improvised filmmaking and for story in film.
Jack Lemmon: The Cinematic Everyman in the Spotlight
Billy Wilder's favorite ham looks back on a career of playing loveable losers at a 1975 tribute.
Murray Lerner: Concert Chronicler
Lerner, director of the Newport Folk Festival documentary Festival, discusses his film with Pacifica Radio’s Claire Clouzot.
Joseph L. Mankiewicz: A Literary Filmmaker
Mankiewicz, writer/director of classics The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, All About Eve and The Women, responds to audience questions at a 1975 Festival tribute.
Jeanne Moreau: The Muse of the French New Wave
At a 1974 press conference, the leading lady of choice for François Truffaut, Louis Malle and Luis Buñuel, answers journalists' questions about her singing career, acting in different languages and her upcoming directorial debut.
Paul Morrissey: An Enfant Terrible
Recipient of a New Director tribute in 1973, Morrissey, the Factory's house director, shares his thoughts on actors, scripts and collaborator Andy Warhol.
Jack Nicholson: The Rebel Meets His Public
Fresh off his Oscar win for One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, the defining actor of his generation sat for a tribute at the 1976 San Francisco International. In an onstage interview, he chatted about difficult leading ladies, working under independent producer Roger Corman and falling into his role in Easy Rider.
Sam Peckinpah: Blood and Guts
The ribald director of The Wild Bunch, "Bloody Sam" as he's been called, received a tribute at the 1974 SFIFF. Drink in hand throughout his onstage interview, Peckinpah answers audience questions about violence in the movies, his depiction of female characters and whether he might ever direct a musical.
Jacques Tati: The Man Behind Monsieur Hulot
In an onstage interview at the 1972 Festival, French funnyman Tati discusses the trials and tribulations of shooting slapstick scenes and his famous alter ego.
François Truffaut and Jacqueline Bisset: The Auteur and the Starlet
A day after the 1973 Festival screening of Truffaut’s Day for Night, the director and the film’s star, Bisset, respond to press inquiries about the film.
Liv Ullman: The Norwegian Muse
Ullman accompanied her film The New Land to the 1973 San Francisco International. In this press conference, she discusses working in Hollywood, her partnership with director Ingmar Bergman and returning to the theater.
Max von Sydow: Sweden’s Leading Man
During the 1972 Festival, von Sydow sits for an interview to talk about the Festival film The Emigrants and his working relationship with longtime collaborator Ingmar Bergman.
Raoul Walsh: Cowboys, Gentlemen and Thieves
The prolific Walsh, who directed more than 130 films, discusses his career as an action director at a 1972 tribute.
Frank Westmore: False Eyelashes and Monster Masks
A son of the pioneering Westmore family of makeup artists receives a tribute at the 1976 Festival.
Shelley Winters: Holding Back Tears on the Festival Stage
After a failed attempt two years earlier, Winters finally arrived for her tribute at the San Francisco International in 1976. The never dull, always sensational star talked about her marriages, her unconventional looks and her love of the craft.
Audio podcasts courtesy of the Pacifica Radio Archives. Originally recorded and broadcast by KPFA 94.1 FM Listener Sponsored Radio. Copyright Pacifica Radio Archives/San Francisco Film Society. All rights reserved.