John Howard Carpenter (born January 16, 1948) is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, editor, composer, and occasional actor. Although Carpenter has worked in numerous film genres, his name is most commonly associated with horror and science fiction.
Carpenter was born in Carthage, New York, the son of Milton Jean (née Carter) and Howard Ralph Carpenter, a music professor. He and his family moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky in 1953. He was captivated by movies from an early age, particularly the westerns of Howard Hawks and John Ford, as well as 1950s low budget horror and science fiction films, such as Forbidden Planet and The Thing from Another World and began filming horror shorts on 8 mm film even before entering high school. He briefly attended Western Kentucky University where his father chaired the music department, but transferred to the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts in 1968 and graduated in 1971.
At USC Cinema, one of… read more
On the Apocalypse Trilogy: http://thefilmstage.com/features/a-slow-descent-into-madness-revisiting-john-carpenters-apocalypse-trilogy/
The guy is a master of film form in the traditional style, but his films are pretty simplistic in terms of their ideas. The whole anti-establishment/anti-authority mentality gets old after a while. He seems to be the kind of director that people get obsessed over when they are younger. Having said that, i still love a handful of his films and respect another 4-5.
Truly one of America's great filmmakers--his filmography is akin to Hitchcock's in the specificity of its visual and musical signatures. His work is a balancing act between classical Hollywood and subversive innovation. Among his many recurring themes is an unsettling analysis of the distinction between "us" and "them"; he blurs the separation with narrative cynicism and unusual placement of the gaze. Carpenter is a multi-talented craftsman, a master of anamorphic framing and the ultimate genre auteur.