ADG nods to 'Casino,' 'Flower,' Labyrinth'

Tavoularis, Gilliam also honored

"Casino Royale," "Curse of the Golden Flower" and "Pan's Labyrinth" were the winners in the three feature film categories at the 11th annual Art Directors Guild's Excellence in Production Design Awards.

"Casino" production designer Peter Lamont won for best production design among the year's contemporary films, while "Flower's" Huo Tingxiao won in the period-film category and "Labyrinth's" Eugenio Caballero took the prize for the top design among fantasy films.

The ADG on Saturday decorated the Beverly Hilton's International Ballroom like a 1930s supper club, complete with floating candles, red columns, white flowers and tape measures as table favors. During the black-tie dinner, Johnny Crawford's swinging orchestra played standards like Irving Berlin's "Isn't This a Lovely Day."

The evening's host, "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" star Steven Weber, tried to get some chuckles out of pretending that he was at an Adult Film Awards show. Charles Durning did wring some guffaws out of a tired bestiality joke. And while presenter Annette Bening gamely worked her way through a tongue-twisting list of names, Jon Voight mangled those of the winning design team for "Flower."

Warren Beatty praised lifetime achievement award winner Dean Tavoularis as "one of the greatest production designers in the history of time." The veteran production designer in turn thanked Beatty for giving him his first job as a designer on "Bonnie and Clyde." Receiving a warm standing ovation from his peers, Tavoularis also thanked "the dreaded" Francis Ford Coppola, his early mentors at Disney Studios and his brother Alex.

Director Terry Gilliam, who has conjured up fantastical-looking films like "Brazil," accepted his first Hollywood award, for outstanding contribution to cinematic imagery. He was moved by the vintage clips from the films of noted production designers being inducted into the Art Directors Guild Hall of Fame. The clips included stunning work by Hilyard Brown ("Cleopatra"), Carroll Clark ("King Kong"), Stephen Goosson ("Lost Horizon"), Harry Horner ("The Heiress") and the late, great Henry Bumstead, who died in May at age 91 having just designed longtime collaborator Clint Eastwood's "Flags of Our Fathers" and "Letters From Iwo Jima." Eastwood sent a note explaining that only the opening of "Iwo Jima" in Berlin prevented him from attending.

The winners in other categories were:

Mark Worthington, "The Box and the Bunny" episode of "Ugly Betty," single camera television series; John Sabato, episode 1207 of "MadTV," multicamera television series; Philip Dagort, "Stephen King's Desperation," television movie or miniseries; John Shaffner and Joe Stewart, "58th Annual Emmy Awards," variety or awards show, music special, or documentary; and Jeffrey Beecroft, "Sexy," Victoria's Secret, commercial, promo or PSA.
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