Clint Eastwood gets honorary Palme d'Or
Director and actor Clint Eastwood has been awarded an honorary Palme d'Or by organizers of the Cannes film festival.
Eastwood, 78, in Paris to promote Gran Torino, was presented the prize Wednesday by festival president Gilles Jacob.
Jacob said he was presenting the Palme d'Or, the highest honour from the French film festival, "as a token of our admiration and a quarter century of shared complicity."
Eastwood first came to the Cannes festival in 1985 with Pale Rider, a Western in which he both directed and starred.
He has also presented his films Bird, White Hunter, Black Heart, Mystic River and Changeling at Cannes.
Jacob explained what he saw as the two sides of Clint Eastwood.
"There's the one who is famous for his charisma, his temper and his ability to pull out his .38 Magnum faster than lightning: I am of course talking about Inspector Harry and the other highly popular characters that you kill once and for all in Gran Torino," he said.
"They did, however, enable you to gain your independence, as well as a certain reputation. And they enabled the other, more confidential, Clint to make personal films that surprised people who do not know you, by their charm, their originality, their little night music, my dear Mozart … and their tempered lyricism."
Eastwood said he was "very flattered" by the honour and thanked French filmmakers for their encouragement in the early years, especially after his directorial debut in 1970.
"In my own country people were much more reticent," Eastwood said. "People were saying, 'We're not even sure we like this guy as an actor much less as a director.'"
The Cannes festival runs this year from May 13 to 24.
With files from the Associated Press