A tribute to the life and career of John Schlesinger (1926-2003) was held at the Guild on October 19. DGA President Michael Apted welcomed the many legendary guests and speakers, including Michael York, Dr. David Kaminsky, Kaye Ballard, Stefanie Powers, Pedro Honess, Steven Zaillian, Peter Bart, Lily Tomlin, Shirley MacLaine, David Hockney and Michael Childers.
During his long career, Schlesinger won numerous awards and honors, including the DGA Feature Directing Award and Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director for his 1969 ground-breaking drama, Midnight Cowboy. By his mid-20s, Schlesinger had worked in radio and television, directing BBC documentaries and acting. He became a leading member of the British "New Wave" in the '60s, tackling social themes in films like A Kind of Loving and Billy Liar. His critically acclaimed Darling earned him his first Oscar nomination.
Sunday, Bloody Sunday, The Day of the Locust, Marathon Man and The Falcon and the Snowman are among the best-known works of Schlesinger's extensive filmography. Between film assignments, he also directed theater, opera and several television productions, including An Englishman Abroad, A Question of Attribution and the satirical Cold Comfort Farm. Schlesinger was admired by many who worked with him for tackling difficult themes and capturing essential truths about human behavior.