2001

Lean On: First David Lean Lecture takes place
Sydney Pollack’s David Lean Lecture marked the first in what would become a renowned series of lectures supported by the David Lean Foundation – a charity set up in 1997 to promote film as an art form and encourage skills and technical excellence in filmmaking.

Having supported the 1999 refurbishment of the newly named David Lean Room at 195 Piccadilly, the Foundation then devised the lecture as a way for directors to share their expertise with other filmmakers.

Hosted by Pollack’s friend and colleague Anthony Minghella, the acclaimed director of Tootsie and Out of Africa shared a range of insights, including his own “personal methodology” which was a belief in the ‘armature’ of a film: “that thing which is invisible when the sculpture’s finished but in fact is holding up the sculpture. I always try to find some kind of evocative armature [for a story], which leads to behaviour and dramatisation.”

Since then, the David Lean Lecture has attracted a broad mix of directors from Oliver Stone and David Lynch to Lone Scherfig and Pedro Almodovar – with many available to read, watch or listen to on BAFTA Guru; a fitting legacy of one of BAFTA’s founders.

Main pic: Pollack and Minghella pictured at the first David Lean Lecture on 20 January 2001 (BAFTA/Johnnie Pakington)



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Pollack and Minghella pictured at the first David Lean Lecture on 20 January 2001 (BAFTA/Johnnie Pakington)

Video: Sydney Pollack tells Anthony Minghella about the appeal of love stories (extract from the first David Lean Lecture on 20 January 2001).