Monsters of film: del Toro hands David Cronenberg lifetime award

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VENICE, Italy (Reuters) - David Cronenberg received a lifetime achievement award at the Venice Film Festival on Thursday for a 50-year career directing scary movies.

Guillermo del Toro, the “Shape of Water” director who began in the horror genre, handed Cronenberg the special Golden Lion at a ceremony in Venice where the Mexican heads this year’s jury.

“We are both monsters, he and I,” Cronenberg, whose films such as “Scanners” and “The Fly” are considered classics of the “body horror” genre, said to del Toro in his acceptance speech.

“You might have heard we both have a fondness for monsters, but we are ourselves, monsters of cinema and art.”

The Canadian filmmaker who has also made thrillers such as “Dead Ringers” and “A History of Violence”, appeared delighted by the award, modeled on the winged lion that is the symbol of Venice.

“This creature, this lion, golden and with beautiful wings, is also a monster ... It’s fierce, it’s strong and yet it can fly, it can soar on its wings to the farthest reaches of the earth. For me this is, it represents the monster of art and of truth, which is something we need now more than ever.”

“Long live the monster of art and may it conquer all its many enemies!”

The Venice Film Festival runs to Sept. 8.

Writing by Robin Pomeroy; Editing by Toby Davis