WATERVILLE — Walking out to accept his Mid-Life Achievement Award, Keith Carradine was visibly humbled, but also a little worried.
“Usually, these types of awards are a sign that things are over,” the former Academy Award winner said, followed by a collective laugh from the 400-plus in attendance at the Waterville Opera House. “I guess this one’s called the Mid-Life Achievement, which will go perfect with my crisis.”
All jokes aside, Carradine said he was honored for being recognized, and the Maine International Film Festival was happy he was finally able to accept the award.
“We’ve been trying to get Keith here for years,” said Festival Director Shannon Haines. “We’ve always admired his work and it worked out with his schedule this year.”
Carradine accepted the award from Haines and festival programmer Ken Eisen.
“This award signifies accomplishments in film,” Haines said to the audience. “That is a huge understatement this year.”
Everything came together this year, Haines said, as the festival committee was planning on honoring director Robert Altman by showing a number of his classic films. Carradine said he loved working with Altman, who died in 2006.
“I’m being honored and recognized for being lucky,” Carradine said. “If it wasn’t for Robert Altman, I wouldn’t have been here.”
After Carradine’s brief acceptance of the annual award, Altman and Carradine’s 1975 film “Nashville” was shown. Carradine starred as womanizer and singer-guitarist Tom Frank, and won an Academy Award for his song “I’m Easy,” which he performed in the film.
Other Carradine movies being shown at the festival include his most recent film, “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints,” as well as “Thieves Like Us,” “Moderns,” “Choose Me” and “McCabe and Mrs. Miller.”
Carradine has starred not only in film, but also on stage and television.
Recent TV viewers may know him as Wild Bill Hickok in “Deadwood” and FBI Agent Frank Lundy in “Dexter.”
Past Mid-Life Achievement Award winners include Thelma Schoonmaker, Malcolm McDowell, Jay Cocks, John Turturro, Bud Cort, Lili Taylor, Ed Harris, Peter Fonda, Jonathan Demme, Sissy Spacek, Terrence Malick and Jos Stelling.
The Maine Internarnational Film Festival ends Sunday.
Jesse Scardina — 861-9239