ZURICH – The 8th edition of the Zurich Film Festival opened Thursday with Oliver Stone’s wild action-romp Savages, but not before a highly-spirited John Travolta accepted the Golden Eye, the festival’s lifetime achievement award, in front of a cheering crowd.
Dancing onstage and charming the audience with a few words in German, the actor then proceeded to turn Shakespeare’s most famous quote into a self-help mantra: “It’s like the old question: to be or not to be? I chose to be and I guess you are glad that are did.”
Stone, who has now come to the young festival for the third time and has received his own Zurich honors in 2007, was -- in his own way -- equally exuberant: “All the babes are hot here – including the mayor,” he quipped, getting into the good graces of assorted starlets as well as the city’s political establishment.
The festival, which will continue for 10 days, is not over showering gifts on its guests just yet: Before the main awards are announced on Sept. 29, Helen Hunt, Richard Gere and producer Jerry Weintraub are slated to be recognized for their body of work.
Scheduled are also several master classes, including one by jury president Frank Darabont, as well as German director Tom Tykwer, who is also feted with a tribute. A special award will go to the winner of a film-score competition that had 145 participants worldwide putting music to the same short film.