Actor Al Pacino was honored by the Venice film festival on Sunday with a special prize and presentation of his “Wilde Salome” film project as director.
Pacino drew large crowds of screaming fans and autograph hunters to the awards ceremony. Al received the Jaeger Lecoultre Glory to the Filmmaker Award.
Wilde Salome is part documentary about the staging of Irish writer and poet Oscar Wilde’s play “Salome” starring rising star Jessica Chastain, part an exploration of the author and part film version. Al said that Chastain was the inspiration for the project.
Pacino, one of the giants of cinema with eight Oscar nominations including one win to his name, admitted to being a little confused about what type of picture he had made.
“I guess what I tried to do is … create a story,” Al told reporters in Venice after the film was shown to the press.
“But I don’t know what it is. I like to say it’s a documentary because it’s not a film, but then it’s not a documentary either, so I’m confused too,” Pacino said.
Pacino, 71, said that making movies for himself, some of which remain hidden away never to be shown, made him fall in love with cinema years ago and become a better actor.
“As soon as I started making my own films, I actually became easier on directors,” he explained.
“Because I was very difficult at first. I really didn’t know the medium, I didn’t know what the needs of a director were. Once I started, the magic of movies came into my life,” Pacino said.