English director Alex Cox studied law at Oxford—at least until being deflected into theatre through his participation in the University’s drama department. Cox switched to a film studies program at University of Bristol, received a Fulbright scholarship, then traveled to the United States to attend the UCLA film school. His plans to become the next Welles or Scorsese were muddied by several years’ inactivity, during which time he took a job repossessing automobiles. Drawing from the experience, Cox made his feature-film directorial bow with the wildly inconsistent but very entertaining Repo Man (1984), which served as one of the first starring assignments of Emilio Estevez. Repo Man’s musical score was drenched in punk-rock, a symbolic form of violent rebellion explored further in Cox’s Sid and Nancy (1987), a fascinating if depressing chronicle of the life and death of “punk” musician Sid Vicious and groupie Nancy Spungen. Critically celebrated for both films, Cox’s reputation declined… read more
Saw him in Q&A, pretty bright and well spoken gentleman with humorous and illuminating ideas, even moreso than typical. And yet we continue on... --DB
Like David Lynch, Alex Cox is the worst type of filmmaker. I can't quite put my disdain into words because I'm not very literate, but let me quote something Glenn O'Brien wrote regarding Malcolm McLaren: "But if you want to see something really mean and stupid, watch Sid & Nancy and observe how Malcolm is depicted. It's as stupid as the way John Lydon is depicted. Maybe even stupider. But since John was the singer and Malcolm the manager it was easier to get away with slagging him. I know some people thought the director Alex Cox was a genius, and thanks to Harry Dean Stanton, he did make at least one good movie, but that's one out of ten. (I confess, though, that I haven't seen his 2009 sequel Repo Chick.) But his misreading of Malcolm is tragically typical. Cox probably couldn't spell impresario. But Malcolm was an artist whose medium was media, and he was a master."