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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 January 2006, 10:00 GMT
Altman to receive honorary Oscar
Robert Altman
Robert Altman has been praised for his innovation
Film director Robert Altman is to receive an honorary Oscar for his life's work.

Altman, 80, has been nominated for best director five times but failed to win.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences praised a "career that has repeatedly reinvented the art form and inspired film-makers and audiences".

The films which earned him Oscar nominations were Short Cuts, Gosford Park, The Player, Mash and Nashville.

Altman is one of five film-makers who have been nominated on five occasions but never picked up an award.

The others are Martin Scorsese, Alfred Hitchcock, Clarence Brown and King Vidor.

Unconventional

Academy president Sid Ganis described Altman as a "master film-maker", adding: "He deserves this honour."

Board members were "taken with Altman's innovation, his redefinition of genres, his invention of new ways of using the film medium and his reinvigoration of old ones," he added.

Altman began his career directing documentaries and industrial and educational films, moving into feature films in 1957.

Mrs Henderson Presents
Mrs Henderson Presents is on the Oscar shortlist for best make-up

He became known for unconventional film-making methods, including large ensemble casts, overlapping dialogue, lengthy tracking shots and constantly-moving camera work.

Altman's other films include McCabe & Mrs Miller, The Long Goodbye and Thieves Like Us. His next film, A Prairie Home Companion, is due to be released in June.

He will direct Arthur Miller's Resurrection Blues at The Old Vic in London next month.

Meanwhile, seven films are on the Academy Award shortlist for the best make-up category, which also includes hairstyling.

Cinderella Man, A History Of Violence, The Chronicles of Narnia, The New World, The Libertine, Mrs Henderson Presents and Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of The Sith are in the initial running, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Three of the films will be chosen for the final shortlist, ahead of the announcement of all the Oscar nominees on 31 January.


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