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KARLOVY VARY, Czech Republic – John Travolta became the latest in a long list of top Hollywood and international stars to pick up a Crystal Globe lifetime achievement award at Friday’s opening of the Karlovy Vary film festival.
One of Europe’s leading film events, Travolta told an audience of 2,000 guests and industry figures at the fest’s 48th edition opening night that it was a privilege to be an actor.
“Being an actor is such an interesting journey,” he said after being presented with the distinctive award – a figure of a naked woman holding aloft a crystal glass globe — by festival president, Czech actor Jiri Bartoska.
“We are asked to reflect humanity, mankind. It is our own personal interpretation of that. It does not mean you are going to agree with that or even like it, but I’m so thrilled that you with agree with interpretation.”
He added: “I’ve said it before – to be or not to be. I am glad that you allow me to be.”
Travolta’s appearance onstage at the grand hall at the festival center, the Hotel Thermal, situated in the middle of the quaint bohemian spa town two hours drive southwest of Prague, came after clips from many of his best-known films – including Pulp Fiction, Grease, Saturday Night Fever and The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 were shown, eliciting cheers from the audience.
Previous Crystal Globe holders include Helen Mirren, Jude Law, Harvey Keitel, John Malkovich and many others who, in a festival tradition, make an amusing or ironic trailer for future editions of the festival with stories revolving around the award and the use to which they put it.
French director Michel Gondry, who introduced Mood Indigo, the fest’s opening film, said that actress Audrey Tautou — who had been due to share the stage with him — had been injured falling off her bicycle.
Hamming it up, Gondry gave a dramatic and darkly exaggerated account of the accident, saying that the actress had badly scratched her chin, exposing the bone and losing a lot of blood.
“Lucky that we shot the film before Audrey had her accident – she is very pretty there,” Gondry said smiling broadly, suggesting Tautou’s injuries were not so serious.
The festival runs through July 7.
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