The Berlin film festival on Thursday honored U.S. director Arthur Penn with its top Golden Bear award for helping shake up Hollywood in the 1960s and 70s with films such as "Bonnie and Clyde" and "The Missouri Breaks."
Organizers say Penn, 84 was chosen for bringing spontaneity and freedom to the Hollywood screen. Festival director Dieter Kosslick has said his movies "reanimated the crisis-ridden American cinema."
"When I went to Hollywood, I ran into a kind of rigidity," Penn, one of a generation of directors who emerged from the television industry, recalled ahead of the award ceremony.
"Some lively disputes took place on my first film because of that," he said at a news conference. "We brought new attitudes, not always to the pleasure of the people who were doing old Hollywood work."
Penn's first feature film was "The Left-Handed Gun," in 1958, starring Paul Newman. His other work includes "Little Big Man," with Dustin Hoffman, in 1970; and the 1976 western "The Missouri Breaks," with Jack Nicholson and Marlon Brando, reports AP.
His 1967 film, "Bonnie and Clyde," starring Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty in a mythical version of a gangster romance, earned him an Oscar nomination and is considered among his best works.
Penn recalled being accused of "using violence in order to make the film popular, which was not the case at all."
"We are violent people," he said. "I'm sorry, but it's true."