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Locarno Film Festival Harvey Keitel wins Lifetime Achievement Award

Harvey Keitel posing with his Locarno leopard


The Locarno International Film Festival has honoured Hollywood actor Harvey Keitel for his life’s work. On Sunday, the 77-year-old actor spent time taking questions from the public.

Keitel received the award on Saturday evening. Held in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, the annual Locarno International Film Festivalexternal link runs through August 13.

“Heart of a New York City throbbing with multi-ethnic humanity, Harvey Keitel has recounted an America that is both violent and vulnerable, self-ironizing and committed. Among his many, many collaborations I cannot but recall those with Scorsese and Tarantino, as a bridge between two modes of approaching film,” said Carlo Chatrian, the festival’s artistic director.

After his starring debut in Who's That Knocking at My Door, Keitel returned to work with Martin Scorsese on Mean Streets (1973) and Taxi Driver (1976), starred in Ridley Scott’s debut film (The Duellists, 1977) and was a leading presence throughout the 1990s with Thelma & Louise (1991), The Bad Lieutenant (1992), Reservoir Dogs (1992), The Piano (1993) and Pulp Fiction (1994). More recent credits include Moonrise Kingdom (2012), Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) and Youth (2015).

On Sunday, Keitel gave festival-goers the chance to ask questions. The 200 seats of the Spazio Cinema were all taken a full hour before the actor’s arrival.

Asked to describe his first encounter with Martin Scorsese, Keitel joked, “Do we have time for all this? Maybe people want to get lunch or out into the sun!” Then he went on to describe how he nearly got into a fight with a fellow actor during what was meant to be an improvisation scene.

You can watch the whole question-and-answer session here:

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