Saturday, January 02, 2016
A lifetime achievement award for... me?!?!
I have just learned -- seriously, I got the email only a few minutes ago -- that I am going to receive a tribute next weekend from a group of my peers, fellow members of the Houston Film Critics Society, for my "long and important contribution to film criticism and education." This award will be given during the annual HFCS awards show, during which far more prestigious people also will be honored.
As anyone who knows me can tell you, I don't believe in fake modesty -- or any other kind, for that matter. Still, I feel very humble, immensely grateful and altogether unworthy. I can only assume I am getting this award primarily because, at 63, I have somehow attained the status of gray eminence while I wasn't looking.
Right now, I am reminded of something Roger Ebert wrote about our friendship back in 2009: “I first met my old friend Joe Leydon when he was the film critic of the Houston Post. When we see each other at the Toronto Film Festival, we are usually the oldest active critics in the room.” I also am reminded of John Huston's classic line in Chinatown: "Of course I'm respectable. I'm old. Politicians, ugly buildings, and whores all get respectable if they last long enough."
The annual Houston Film Critics Society awards show will be at 4 p.m. January 9 at the Sundance Cinemas in downtown H-Town. Admission is free and open to the public. And don't worry: My tribute is only a small part of the program, and I promise to keep my acceptance speech reasonably brief. Remember: I'm old, so I can't stay on my feet too long anymore.