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Profile information for Živojin “Žika” Pavlović
- Profile picture
Živojin “Žika” Pavlović (15 April 1933 – 29 November 1998) was a Serbian film director and writer. In his films and novels, he depicted the cruel reality of small, poor and abandoned people living in the corners of society; he was one of leaders of Serbian the “Black wave” in film in 1960s, a movement which portrayed the darker side of life rather than the shiny facades of communist Yugoslavia. Pavlović received numerous awards, including two NIN Prizes for his novels, one Silver Bear of the Berlin International Film Festival and several Golden Arenas of the Yugoslavia’s most prestigious Pula Film Festival.
- Filmography as director:
Triptih o materiji i smrti (Triptich on the Matter and Death) (1960)
Lavirint (Labyrinth) (1961)
Žive vode (part of Kapi, vode, ratnici omnibus) (1962)
Obruč (Encirclement) (part of Grad (The City) omnibus) (1963, banned)
Neprijatelj (The Enemy) (1965)
Povratak (The Return) (1966)
Kad budem mrtav i beo (When I Am Dead and Gone) (1967) (Best Film at the 1967 Pula Film Festival)
Buđenje pacova (The Rats Woke Up) (1967) (Best Director in Pula, Silver Bear for Directing in Berlin)1
Zaseda (The Ambush) (1969) (Golden Lion in Venice)
Crveno klasje (Red Ears of Wheat) (1970) (Best Film and Best Director at the 1970 Pula Film Festival)
Let mrtve ptice (Flight of a Dead Bird) (1973)
Pesma (The Song), TV Series (1975)
Hajka (Manhunt) (1977) (Best Film and Director at the 1977 Pula Film Festival)
Nasvidenje v naslednji vojni (See You in the Next War) (1980)
Zadah tela (Body Scent) (1983) (Best Film, Director and Scenario at the 1983 Pula Film Festival)
Na putu za Katangu (On the Road to Catanga) (1987)
Dezerter (The Deserter) (1992)
Država mrtvih (The State of Dead) (2002)
- Selected books
Story collections: Krivudava reka (1963, 1994); Dve večeri u jesen (1967); Cigansko groblje (1972); Ubijao sam bikove (1985, 1988); Kriške vremena (1993); Blato (1999); Dnevnik nepoznatog (1965); Vetar u suvoj travi (1976); Krugovi (1993); Belina sutra (1984); Flogiston (1989); Azbuka (1990);
Novels: Lutke; Lutke na bunjištu (1965, 1991); Kain i Avelj (1969, 1986); Zadah tela (1982, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990); Oni više ne postoje (1985, 1987); Zid smrti (1985, 1986, 1987) (NIN Prize); Lov na tigrove (1988); Raslo mi je badem drvo (1988); Vašar na Svetog Aranđela (1990); Trag divljači (1991); Lapot (1992) (NIN Prize); Biljna krv (1995); Simetrija (1996); Dolap (1997).
Essays: Film u školskim klupama (1964); Đavolji film (1969, 1996); O odvratnom (1972, 1982); Balkanski džez (1989); Davne godine (1997).
Diaries: Ispljuvak pun krvi (1984 banned, 1990 reissued); Otkucaji (1998); Dnevnici I-VI (2000).
Profile information for Aleksandar “Saša” Petrović
- Profile picture
Aleksandar “Saša” Petrović was one of the most acclaimed and successful Yugoslav directors, born in 1929. in Paris. Studied film directing at the prestigious Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) in Prague (1947/48). His studies remained unfinished due to the political aggravation between Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia at the time and he was forced to return to homeland. He graduated Art History in Belgrade (1955). Filmmaker since 1948. in various projects. At first, assisting to other directors and shooting documentaries. Awarded several times for his early works in these movies including very successful documentaries ‘Let nad mocvarom’ (1956), ‘Petar Dobrovic’ (1958), ‘Putevi’ (1959) and ‘Sabori’ (1963). After two films with various success and acclamation (‘Dvoje’ in 1961 and ‘Dani’ in 1963) he directs very successful war drama ‘Tri’ (‘Three’, 1965) which won raves from critics in Yugoslavia and Europe and an Best Foreign Language Oscar nomination in 1966. However, film wasn’t so well received in theaters. Now it is considered one of the best movies in Yugoslavia. His next project ‘Skupljaci perja’ (‘I Even Met Happy Gypsies’, 1967), metaphorical social drama about gypsies was even more successful. It also won an Oscar nomination – the very next year after `Three’ – in 1967, Grand Jury Prize and FIPRESCI Prize at Cannes Film Festival and established Petrovic as one of the most talented and skillful European directors in 1960s. Unlike ‘Three’ it was very well received and translated in over 100 languages. In 1977. he made German movie ‘Group Portrait with a Lady’ starring Romy Schneider. Members of Yugoslavian Board of the Academy of Film Art and Science (AFUN) voted two of his movies among ten best Serbian films in 1947-1995 period – ‘I Even Met Happy Gypsies’ (#2) and ‘Three’ (#4). He was one of the founders of so-called New Yugoslavian Film wave. Was professor at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade. Wrote several books on movie and was film theoretic.
Member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1971
Member of the jury at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1967
After being accused of holding anti-communist views and a scandal around the movie Plasticni Isus (1971), directed by his friend Lazar Stojanovic, he was forced to leave the Belgrade Film Academy (1973).
Founding member of the first democratic party in the former Yugoslavia (1989).
- Filmography as director:
… aka La guerre la plus glorieuse (Migrations) (France)
… aka Migrations (France)
Gruppenbild mit Dame (1977)
… aka Group Portrait with a Lady (USA)
… aka Portrait de groupe avec dame (France)
Il maestro e Margherita (1972)
… aka Majstor i Margarita
… aka The Master and Margaret (USA)
… aka The Master and Margherite (International: English title)
Bice skoro propast sveta (1968)
… aka Bice skoro propast sveta, nek’ propadne nije steta (Yugoslavia: Serbian title)
… aka Il pleut dans mon village (France)
… aka It Rains in My Village (USA: cable TV title)
Skupljaci perja (1967)
… aka Happy Gypsies (UK)
… aka I Even Met Happy Gypsies (USA)
… aka Sreo sam cak i srecne cigane
… aka Three
… aka And Love Has Vanished (International: English title)
Rat – ratu (1960)
Jedini izlaz (1958)
Petar Dobrovic (1957)
Let nad mocvarom (1956)
Uz druga je drug (1955)
- Internet Movie Database
Charlie Kaufman – Bio AND director Status
He first came to mainstream notice as the writer of Being John Malkovich (directed by Spike Jonze), earning an Oscar nomination for his effort and winning a BAFTA. He also wrote Human Nature, which was directed by Michel Gondry, and then worked with Jonze again as the screenwriter for Adaptation., which earned him another Oscar nomination and his second BAFTA. Adaptation. featured a “Charlie Kaufman” character who is a heavily fictionalized version of the screenwriter and who has an “identical twin brother,” Donald, a sell-out screenwriter reflecting Kaufman’s anxieties about Hollywood. The DVD edition of Adaptation. contains a filmography which lists Donald Kaufman as having written the screenplay for the movie. The credits of the film close with the words “in loving memory of Donald Kaufman”.
Kaufman also penned the screenplay for Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, a biopic based on the “unauthorized autobiography” of Chuck Barris, the creator of such popular game shows as The Dating Game and host of The Gong Show. The film focuses on Barris’s claim to have been a CIA hit man. It was George Clooney’s directorial debut. Kaufman angrily criticized Clooney for making drastic alterations to the script without consulting him (instead, Clooney consulted Barris). Kaufman said in an interview with William Arnold: “The usual thing for a writer is to deliver a script and then disappear. That’s not for me. I want to be involved from beginning to end. And these directors [Gondry and Jonze] know that, and respect it.”6
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, released in 2004, was Kaufman’s second pairing with director Michel Gondry. Kaufman won his first Oscar for best original screenplay and third BAFTA for the film, which centered around a man enlisting the services of a doctor to erase the memories of a failed relationship from his brain. Kaufman also received the prestigious PEN American Center 2005 prize for screenplay for the film.7 David Edelstein described the film in Slate as “The Awful Truth turned inside-out by Philip K. Dick, with nods to Samuel Beckett, Chris Marker, John Guare—the greatest dramatists of our modern fractured consciousness. But the weave is pure Kaufman.”
Kaufman made his directorial debut with his next project, Synecdoche, New York. Academy Award winner Philip Seymour Hoffman, Samantha Morton, Catherine Keener, Hope Davis, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Emily Watson, Dianne Wiest and Michelle Williams star in the film, which tells “the story of an anguished playwright who is forced to deal with several women in his life.”8 It premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008.
~ Profile for Mina Shum
~ Profile Picture
“It’s the writing and directing that really gets me excited. I think it’s in my blood…. the most satisfying thing for me is to work with my friends on a movie.”
Mina Shum was born in Hong Kong in 1965. She immigrated to Canada with her family at the age of nine months and grew up in Vancouver. As a teenager there, she had a part-time job at a McDonald’s restaurant that she says “… taught me the importance of being able to multi-task…” She left home at the age of eighteen.
Shum attended the University of British Columbia and obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Theatre) in 1988 and a Diploma in Film and Television Studies in 1990. Later, she trained to become a director at the Canadian Film Centre in Toronto.
Shum has written and directed several feature films. She developed her first, Double Happiness (1994), while a resident at the Canadian Film Centre. This film is a semi-autobiographical story of a Chinese-Canadian girl who struggles with the conflicts that arise between her family’s traditional expectations and her desire for independence. Double Happiness premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 1994 and won a Special Jury Citation and the Metro Media Prize. Among the other awards garnered by the film were the Wolfgang Staudt Prize for Best First or Second Feature at the 1995 Berlin International Film Festival and a Genie award for Best Editing. The star of Double Happiness, Sandra Oh, won a Genie for Best Actress. The film received excellent reviews when it opened in Canada and the United States in 1995.
Mina Shum’s second feature, Drive, She Said, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 1997 and was in official competition at the Turin Delle Donne Film Festival. Her third feature film, Long Life, Happiness and Prosperity was screened as part of the Canadian Perspective Program at the 2002 Toronto International Film Festival and at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival. The film is about a young girl who uses Taoist magic to help her mother. The producer, Raymond Massey, speaking of working with Shum on the film, has said, “This is the calmest set that I have ever worked on, and a lot of that has to do with Mina’s personality. She never gets angry…. There is never any anger or confrontation, which has the magical effect of winning everyone on board with her program.”
Shum has also produced, written and directed a number of short films including Picture Perfect (1989), Shortchanged (1990), Love In (1991), Me, Mom and Mona (short documentary, Stephen Hegyes, co-producer, 1993) and Thirsty (short documentary, 1997). As well, she wrote and directed the film Hunger (part of Breaking Up In Three Minutes, a Cineworks Omnibus Film).
Mina Shum directed a television movie entitled Mob Princess for the W Network and an episode of the anthology series Bliss for broadcast on the Oxygen and Showcase channels. More recently, she has directed Various Miracles, one of the episodes in The Shields Stories, a television series based on the stories of Canadian author Carol Shields, produced in association with the W Network.
( http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/women/002026-716-e.html )
Profile Information/image for “Ram Gopal Varma”:
Everything you think you know about Bollywood—if you are unaware of Ram Gopal Varma—is wrong. In an industry best known for its song-and-dance extravaganzas Varma has become Bollywood’s biggest director with crime flicks and horror movies devoid of flashy production numbers. Bollywood movies exist to package their megastars and films can take years to complete, depending on the workload of the title celebrity. Varma either directs or produces three or more movies per year and if no big stars are available he takes second-tier talent, actors from the Telugu industry (a Southern Indian film-production nexus known for its grittiness and economy), or a fresh face plucked off the streets. More often than not he gets a career-making performance out of them; even today, character actor Manoj Bajpai is known as Bhiku Mhatre, the volcanic gangster from Varma’s Satya (98). Yet while Varma’s one of Bollywood’s most successful name-brand directors, he’s not even from Bollywood, which, don’t forget, is just the largest of the country’s seven centers of film production. For 10 years Bollywood has depended on its Southern sisters for fresh talent and Varma has been its most lucrative import.
Varma claims that everything a film director needs to know can be learned in 24 hours, and he proved his point at age 28 with his first movie, Shiva (90). A civil-engineering student turned video-store owner, Varma pitched his tale of a college kid who’s a street fighting prodigy to Telugu actor, Nagarjuna, who agreed to produce and star. At the time, action in Telugu movies mostly featured the hero shaking his fist in the vicinity of the bad guy’s chin with a hearty “thwock!” dubbed on the soundtrack. Unsuspecting audiences were stunned by the savage beat down in the movie’s opening scene and a main character whose weapon of choice was a brutal head butt. Shiva was a monster hit.
His second film was the Telugu horror movie, Raat (91), an Exorcist-flavored possession shocker was a flop—it was all buildup and no payoff. His third was the action comedy Kshana Kshanam, (91). Made with skill and served with a smile, the film is a pleasure from its opening bank-robbery setpiece to a finale featuring a fight on top of a speeding train smashing its way through a shantytown. But his Telugu fare wasn’t burning up the box office, and critics were beginning to carp, claiming he was a one-hit wonder. Then came his first true Bollywood film, Rangeela (95), a standard “three-stars-above-the-title” love triangle that hit big, broke him into the Hindi industry, introduced Mumbai to music director A.R. Rahman, and made a star out of its leading lady, Urmila Matondkar.
Rangeela’s story doesn’t stand out but its style sizzles—audiences gobbled up Varma’s sophisticated visual storytelling and Rahman’s propulsive beats. Urmila’s pneumatic curves didn’t hurt either, and her swivel-licious performance put her stalled career back in gear. The film was top quality but nonetheless a conventional Hindi movie—and Varma’s best films come out of friction with, not adherence to, Bollywood conventions. The family unit is sacrosanct in Bollywood, and almost all its films are about reuniting families and affirming family values. An orphan in Bollywood is either a mutilated freak or a lost child whose family is waiting in the next reel for a reunion. In Rangeela, Urmila’s mother remarks, “Most orphans go berserk without their parents.” Satya (98), Varma’s next big success, would provide exactly the kind of crazed orphan Bollywood mothers fear.
A long, dark Steadicam trawl through the heart of Mumbai’s darkness, Satya starred a minor league Telugu actor named Chakravarthi as Satya, a rootless orphaned adult with dead eyes and a scraggly beard who moves to Mumbai, gets framed, and is thrown into prison in the opening scenes. There he meets Bhiku Mhatre (Manoj Bajpai), a loving father and mercurial gang leader who’s destined to become an enduring Bollywood icon on the scale of Taxi Driver’s Travis Bickle. The two fight, bond, and when they get out of prison, Satya becomes Bhiku’s right-hand man.
In Satya, as in Company (02) and Sarkar (05), the two other movies that would form Varma’s career-defining crime trilogy, cops and criminals are nothing more than rival gangs, and beneath the thin veneer of everyday life lurks the seething corruption that makes the world go round. In an early scene, Satya’s torture of a rival gang member is interrupted when he spots the object of his affections, Vidya (Urmila Matondkar), out the window. He races outside, flirts with her, comes back inside, gets razzed by his pals, and then they kill their victim under the camera’s nonjudgmental gaze. Varma’s criminals are just ordinary people trying to make a living: in Satya they are the underclass, in Company they’re middle-class merchants, and in Sarkar they’re from the upper classes. Their gangs are simply extended families that kill people. And they even celebrate marriages together—the ultimate Bollywood bonding ritual.
Varma has a Lubitsch touch with violence that keeps Satya and Company from getting bogged down in sin. An imprisoned Bhiku Mhatre is told by his lawyer, Mule (Makrand Deshpande, giving a performance worthy of Dennis Hopper) that he’ll have to remain in jail for three weeks while his case is prepared. Cut to a terrified witness on the stand, face freshly bruised, recanting his testimony. In Company the comedy has curdled into irony but it informs the entire film, from a gangster manically debating under his breath the pros and cons of killing someone before blowing the poor sap away, to a portrait of movie industry professionals as simpering invertebrates who insist to hardened criminals that their latest picture, “is not a love story . . . but a love saga.”
All three movies portray the film industry as a personal playpen for Mafia dons, reaffirming the popular perception that Bollywood is run by gangsters. In Company, Chandu (Vivek Oberoi) is a hot-blooded ghetto thug who becomes the right-hand man of Mallik, an international crime lord played by Ajay Devgan, who could be a grown-up Satya, beard shaved, eyes dead, with no family except for his band of thugs. Mallik and Chandu fall out in a farcical misunderstanding that leads to a gang war, and Varma has repeatedly denied that the film bears any relation to the falling out between real-world gangster, Dawood Ibrahim, and his lieutenant, Chhota Rajan. His protests are somewhat undermined by the fact that the film’s 2005 prequel to Company was called D, as in D-Company, the name of Dawood’s actual gang.
Satya and Company both end with their surrogate families destroyed and the last survivor isolated in a cell—a fate worse than death for a Hindi film hero. But Varma’s movies don’t have room for heroism. The India he maps in his crime trilogy is a corrupt landscape in which politicians, thugs, movie producers, and police officers consolidate their power by any means necessary, and innocent bystanders are either pawns or collateral damage. Varma came out and said what Indians were really thinking and audiences were electrified—all three movies were hits.
Of the three, Sarkar was the disappointment; its plot is deliberately lifted from The Godfather, and its ending reaffirms the importance of family rather than challenging that idea. Varma’s sense of humor is completely absent and the visuals are portentous and doomed rather than light and nerve-jangling. Powerfully acted by the father-son team of Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan it nonetheless feels embalmed.
Varma’s narratives often follow the trajectory of his career: a loner with nothing to lose enters an unfamiliar subculture and carves out a niche through sheer force of will. By the time of Sarkar, Varma’s success had freed him from genre restrictions and Bollywood’s biggest stars were lining up to work with him, but the results were his least interesting movies to date. The by-the-numbers ghost flick, Bhoot (03), was a hit that induced heart attacks in Indian audience members, but boredom in Western viewers. And his musical version of Ayn Rand’s The FountainheadI, Naach (04), with dance standing in for architecture, is all snarling attitude and empty platitudes.
However, when Varma leaves the director’s chair and acts as a producer, his funny, light, and slightly evil touch returns. In 2004 he produced two taut, actor-centered movies: Urmila Matondkar was a woman scorned in Ek Hasina Thi, and Nana Patekar was a hitman for the police department in Ab Tak Chhappan. Trimmed of fat, both movies sport razor-sharp scripts, and rocket-propelled narratives. Varma’s fingerprints are all over every frame.
While he may have left the Bollywood blueprint behind in his quest for more “serious” subjects, Varma’s most radical movie is his most formulaic: Mast (99) is a subversion of Bollywood, disguised as a typical masala. Kittu, a student in Pune, is obsessed with film star Mallika (Urmila Matondkar), despite the best efforts of his long-suffering girlfriend (Antara Mali in her first major role), and his disapproving dad (who calls his son “mad” for his movie passion, an incident Varma claims is autobiographical). Kittu stalks Mallika in Mumbai and discovers that the inaccessible star is actually a prisoner of her whip-wielding uncle. He helps her escape and she winds up living in his closet back in Pune. Many musical moments later we get a climax in which Kittu confesses his love to her. Cut to Antara Mali watching the sumptuous wedding between stalker and Stepford star on television. “I could never compete with Mallika,” she moans, and the movie ends on a queasy note.
It’s an act of cinematic judo to turn the weight of received Bollywood wisdom—follow your dreams, marriage is important, love conquers all—against itself. The film flopped, but it’s an impressive reminder that Varma is a director whose strongest movies come out of his conflict with the Bollywood system, not his total rejection of it.
— by Grady Hendrix from FILM COMMENT
Profile Information for Nacho Cerdà
“I would never want to lose the spontaneity when making films, your instinct is the most valuable thing in this job and I’d like to keep it alive to the very last day.”
Nacho Cerdà (born 1969) is a Spanish film director best known for his controversial 1994 film, “Aftermath”, which depicts necrophilia (see Necrophilia in popular culture for more). One year after producing that movie, he was accused of being the person behind the infamous alien autopsy footage. However, this accusation has been withdrawn since after Ray Santilli was found to be the director.
Cerdà also directed The Abandoned which is about an American film producer who returns to her homeland, Russia, to discover the truth about her family history. The film was first released in the US as part of the After Dark Horrorfest in November 2006. The film received a stand alone release in theaters in February 2007. The DVD was released on June 19, 2007. (wikipedia)
Profile Pic for Arno Frisch
Profile Information for Satoshi Kon
Satoshi Kon is a film director from Kushiro, Hokkaidō, Japan. Kon attended Musashino College of the Arts and intended to become a painter. After college, he worked with Katsuhiro Otomo on the manga World Apartment Horror. Kon entered the anime industry by working as set designer for Roujin Z (1991), for which Otomo was the screenwriter and mechanical designer. Kon’s early work was strongly influenced by Otomo due to Kon’s experience with him. Afterwards, Kon made his screenwriting debut with “Magnetic Rose”, a section of the anthology film Memories.
In 1997, Satoshi Kon released his directorial debut film Perfect Blue, which was turned into a feature film from an original video animation in the middle of production. His next film, Millennium Actress, was released in 2001 to several film festivals and won numerous awards. Having created two films that blend dreams and reality, Kon decided to work on a more linear and traditional story and directed Tokyo Godfathers, his only film to date that doesn’t deal with subjective reality. After creating the television series Paranoia Agent, Kon finished work on Paprika, a feature-length film that received a wide release to cinemas worldwide in 2007.
Kon’s work often deals with a vast range of themes, mostly emphasizing the psychological well-being of his characters. For instance, Tokyo Godfathers, his most comedic storyline, also explored lighter themes of personal guilt, loss and suicidal idealization.
Both Paprika and Millennium Actress drew great attention into addressing some of the aforementioned themes by stepping between the boundaries of reality and fantasy, i.e. breaking the fourth wall, having characters perform certain actions which are impossible in the real world, etc. This style can be comparable to the works of writers such as Philip K. Dick, whose own novels challenge the nature of reality to that of the dream. (wikipedia)
Profile Information for Fernando Arrabal
I almost never come in contact with what we call nature. It scares me, since nature is like death.
Fernando Arrabal Terán (born August 11, 1932 in Melilla, Spain) is a Spanish playwright, screenwriter, film director, novelist and poet. He settled in France in 1955, he describes himself as “desterrado,” or “half-expatriate, half-exiled.”
Arrabal has directed seven full-length feature films; he has published over 100 plays, 14 novels, 800 poetry collections, chapbooks, and artist’s books; several essays, and his notorious “Letter to General Franco” during the dictator’s lifetime. His complete plays have been published in a number of languages, in a two-volume edition totaling over two thousand pages. The New York Times theatre critic Mel Gussow has called Arrabal the last survivor among the “three avatars of modernism.”
In 1962 Arrabal co-founded the Panic Movement with Alejandro Jodorowsky and Roland Topor, inspired by the god Pan, and was elected Transcendant Satrap of the Collège de Pataphysique in 1990. Forty other Transcendent Satraps have been elected over the past half-century, including Marcel Duchamp, Eugène Ionesco, Man Ray, Boris Vian, Dario Fo, Umberto Eco and Jean Baudrillard.
A friend of Andy Warhol and Tristan Tzara, Arrabal spent three years as a member of André Breton’s surrealist group. – wikipedia
Profile Information for José Mojica Marins
I was thinking a name: Josefel: “fel” (“gall”) for being bitter and also Zanatas as a last name, because backward reads Satanas
José Mojica Marins (born March 13, 1936) is a Brazilian filmmaker, director/actor, screenwriter, television and media personality. Marins is also known by his alter ego Coffin Joe (the loose translation of Zé do Caixão). Although Marins is known primarily as a horror film director, his earlier works were westerns, drama, and adventure films. In the 1980’s he became a prominent exploitation film director, including films in the pornochanchada genre, which were soft-core sex-comedies popular in Brazil at that time.
Coffin Joe is the English equivalent of Zé do Caixão. Marins created the character in 1963 for the film At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul. The character went on to appear in many more films and as the character gained popularity he has portrayed and used the Coffin Joe persona in television programs, songs, music videos, and comic books.
Although rarely mentioned in the films, Coffin Joe’s true name is Josefel Zanatas. Marins gives an explanation for the name in an interview for Portal Brasileiro de Cinema.
The theme of the films in the Coffin Joe trilogy focuses on Coffin Joe’s bloody and determined quest to find his perfect bride. At the end of each film, his plans are undone when, while he is haunted and pursued by authorities and those he wronged, in the end is seemingly killed by some means.
The first film, At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul (À Meia-Noite Levarei Sua Alma) (1963), is Brazil’s first horror film. This is the first appearance of Coffin Joe.
The film was followed by the second installment, This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse (Esta Noite Encarnarei no Teu Cadáver) (1967), where it is revealed that Joe survived his ordeal at the end of the first film and returns to São Paulo to continue his quest.
Marins released Embodiment of Evil (Encarnação do Demônio) in 2008, in which Coffin Joe returns after 40 years in a prison mental ward and immediately proceeds to exploit, terrorize, and kill in order to find the perfect woman to bear his child. – wikipedia
Profile information Jill Banner
Jill Banner (November 8, 1946 – August 7, 1982) was an American film actress, possibly best recalled for her role as Virginia, the “spider baby” in the 1964 cult horror-comedy film Spider Baby. She also had roles as James Coburn’s flower child friend in The President’s Analyst (1967), and a couple of hippie girls in Jack Webb’s television series, Dragnet.
She made her film debut in Spider Baby with Sid Haig and Lon Chaney, Jr. Directed by Jack Hill (Coffy, Switchblade Sisters), the film was tied up in litigation from 1964 until 1968. Released under various titles, including Attack Of The Liver Eaters and Cannibal Orgy, Or The Maddest Story Ever Told, the four-year-old black and white feature quickly faded from view in the tie-dyed electric-Koolaid-acid Sixties. We know of Spider Baby today, largely through the efforts of Los Angeles cult film resurrectionist Johnny Legend. The film tells the story of the Merrye family, a clan of bizarre cannibals who suffer from a deteriorating mental condition. They eat bugs, cats, and visitors under the watchful eyes of their caretaker, Lon Chaney, Jr. It was an extremely warped version of the 1960s television family horrors, The Addams Family and The Munsters. Jill was only 17 when Spider Baby was filmed.
While Spider Baby remained in legal limbo in the mid-1960s, Banner was featured in Deadlier Than The Male (1966), a British mystery about two female assassins, starring Nigel Green and European bombshells Elke Sommer and Sylva Koscina. She played Wendy, one of the wholesome teenagers in C’mon, Let’s Live A Little (1967) with singers Jackie DeShannon (What the World Needs Now is Love and Put a Little Love in Your Heart) and Bobby Vee (Take Good Care of My Baby), one of the last films of the fading “beach party” genre. In the psychedelically paranoid spy spoof, The President’s Analyst (1967) Banner was a flower child named “Snow White,” who temporarily rescues James Coburn (Our Man Flint, In Like Flint) from a combined conspiracy of the American CIA, the Russian KGB, and The Phone Company (referred to cryptically as “TPC”).
She was featured in several episodes of Jack Webb’s police-procedural shows, Dragnet 1967 and Adam-12, usually playing clueless teenagers and spaced-out daytrippers. In the Dragnet story “Forgery,” she played a pot-smoking woman who is duped into a life of check fraud by two hippie dope dealers. In another memorable episode, “The Hammer”, Banner played a hardened but stupid juvenile whose sociopath boyfriend has murdered an elderly man for money and a ring. When she is captured Banner’s character shows no remorse, prompting Detective Sgt. Joe Friday to say, “I’ll bet your mother had a loud bark.”
She performed in several movies and TV shows in the late 1960s and early 1970s, including, Shadow Over Elveron (1968) with Don Ameche and Adam-12 co-star Kent McCord. In The Stranger Returns (1968), a comic spaghetti western (aka Shoot First Laugh Last and Un Uomo, Un Cavallo, Una Pistola), Banner played the pretty daughter of a corrupt postal official who falls into the hands of banditos, only to be rescued by The Stranger. She was also featured in Hunters Are For Killing (1970), an early Burt Reynolds movie, also known as Hard Frame. In an interview, Reynolds once joked that such films were shown in prisons and airplanes, because no one in the audience could leave. She also appeared in episodes of the television shows The Bold Ones and Cade’s County (1972).
Banner had an uncredited bit part in Christian Marquand’s frenetic 1968 movie, Candy, although it is difficult to tell where. The psychedelic film also featured Ringo Starr, Richard Burton, John Huston, and Jill’s co-star from The President’s Analyst, James Coburn.
It was while filming Candy in Rome that she reportedly met Marquand’s friend, actor Marlon Brando, who was playing the role of a charlatan guru in the film. According to Charles Higham’s 1987 book, Brando, the Unauthorized Biography, the fiftyish Brando and 20-something actress became a couple. She abandoned Hollywood for a real estate job in New Mexico in 1976. Brando’s 1994 autobiography, Songs My Mother Taught Me, discusses their relationship, but disguises certain details of her life and refers to her by the name “Weonna”. She returned to Southern California and Brando in the early 1980s, reportedly to develop scripts.
In 1982, her Toyota was hit by a truck on Ventura Freeway. Thrown from the vehicle, she died at 3 AM, August 7, 1982 in North Hollywood’s Riverside Hospital. She was 35 years old. Her grave is located at Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery. – wikipedia
Profile Information for Marilyn Chambers
It’s hard to look back at yourself at 28. On one hand it’s great to be an older woman but on the other hand youth is a great commodity.
Marilyn Chambers (April 22, 1952 – April 12, 2009) was an American pornographic actress, exotic dancer, model, actress and vice-presidential candidate. She was best known for her 1972 hardcore film debut Behind the Green Door.
Born Marilyn Ann Briggs in Providence, Rhode Island, and raised in Westport, Connecticut in a middle-class household. It is often reported that she was born in Westport, however in a 2007 interview Chambers confirmed she was born in Providence but grew up in Westport. Her father was in advertising and her mother was a nurse. She was the youngest of three children, including a brother, Martin Briggs, and a sister, Jann Smith. Chambers attended Burr Farms Elementary School, Hillspoint Elementary School, Long Lots Junior High School, and Staples High School.4 Her father tried to discourage her from pursuing a modeling career, citing brutal competition. Chambers said in 2005, “When I was about 16 I learned how to write my mother’s name on notes to get out of school. And then I’d take the train into the city to go to auditions”. This initiative while in high school landed her some modeling assignments and a small role in the film The Owl and the Pussycat (1970), which starred Barbra Streisand. and in which Chambers was credited as Evelyn Lang.
In 1979 she appeared in the “non-adult” horror movie Rabid. In this film she was badly hurt after an motorcycle accident, but after an unusual operation the doctor saved her life. After waking up she first seemed all right, but soon became a kind of vampire as a result of the operation.
On April 12, 2009, Chambers was found dead in her home in Santa Clarita, California. Documents found with her body identified her as Marilyn Ann Taylor, presumably the name she assumed after a marriage.
She was discovered by her 17-year-old daughter, McKenna Marie Taylor. The Coroner’s autopsy revealed that Chambers died of a cerebral hemorrhage and aneurysm related to heart disease. Pain killer hydrocodone (Vicodin) and anti-depressant Citalopram were found in her blood stream but not enough to cause death. Upon her death the Associated Press reported that she was survived by a daughter, McKenna Marie Taylor; a sister, Jann Smith, and her brother, Bill Briggs. – wikipedia
quote: “Animating a stop-motion puppet can give instant feedback. It’s intuitive. You’re working in real space(…) It’s a little bit of a dying art, to see all these hand-drawn and hand-sculpted materials.”
Not many filmmakers kick off their careers with an Academy Award. Few animation Directors go on to breathe life into so many characters that become living icons of animation. And few have created so many milestones in 3D animation having launched the careers of the California Raisins, the Noid, Dinosaurs “Herb & Rex,” M&M’s “Red & Yellow” and The PJs’ Thurgood Stubbs. Will Vinton has done just that – all while founding and growing one of the most respected, creative, dimensional character animation studios in history, Will Vinton Studios.
Will grew up in the town of McMinnville, Oregon. In the early ‘70s, he enrolled at the University of California in Berkeley to pursue studies in physics, architecture and filmmaking. Fascinated by the fluid designs created in clay similar to the work of Spanish sculptural architect Antoni Gaudi, Will began experimenting with clay animation. After graduating with a degree in architecture, he entered the world of film production, working primarily as a director but also as a writer, cinematographer and editor on a variety of personal and commercial entertainment projects. His experimental feature, GONE FOR A BETTER DEAL, captured the essence of the “counter-culture” and became a key source of footage for other productions including BERKELEY IN THE 60’s.
In 1975, Will won the Academy Award for Best Animated Film for CLOSED MONDAYS, a clay animated short he co-created with Bob Gardiner. After this auspicious beginning in animation he coined the term Claymation® to describe his unique process of animating with plasticene clay, and registered the word as a trademark. He founded Will Vinton Productions (which later became known as Will Vinton Studios) to explore the potential of Claymation and dimensional animation. He has also been a successful Creative Director nurturing other Directors in animation.
Will directed and produced the world’s first all Claymation feature film, the critically acclaimed ADVENTURES OF MARK TWAIN. Soon after, he directed the first three California Raisin commercials that launched a legendary series of hip commercials, entertainment, merchandising, and a CBS Saturday morning TV series, THE CALIFORNIA RAINSIN SHOW. And his theatrical feature, FESTIVAL OF CLAYMATION, a compilation of his early short films has been an enduring hit at college campuses everywhere.
As a Director and Producer of 3D animation, Will Vinton has won virtually every film and television award given a filmmaker – several hundred in total. In addition to his Oscar, he has received four additional Academy Award Nominations (THE GREAT COGNITO, THE CREATION, RIP VAN WINKLE, and RETURN TO OZ) – and numerous Emmys and Emmy nominations for Outstanding Primetime Animated programs (THE PJs, GARY AND MIKE, THE CALIFORNIA RAINSIN SHOW, WILL VINTON’S CLAYMATION EASTER, THE CLAYMATION COMEDY OF HORRORS, MEET THE RAISINS, WILL VINTON’S CLAYMATION CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION, THE ONLINE ADVENTURES OF OZZIE THE ELF). Will has also received numerous Clios and international advertising awards for Directing animated commercials.
Will recently Executive Produced THE PJS (in partnership with Eddie Murphy and Imagine Television), a primetime half-hour comedy for the WB, and GARY & MIKE, a primetime half-hour comedy series (a partnership with Big Ticket Television) for UPN. Under Will’s creative leadership, his Character Development Lab has taken on the design, re-building and remaking of a variety of commercial and entertainment characters including the M&Ms, Tony the Tiger, Popeye, and the Maytag Man.
Will Vinton’s character animation milestones and pioneering productions have contributed immensely to animation history and he has helped launch the careers of countless other filmmakers in 3D animation productions.
With boundless energy, today Will continues to achieve acclaim, breaking new ground in computer character animation, Claymation, Stop-motion, and flash animation. Under his new banner, “Freewill Entertainment”, his energies are currently focused on developing, directing, and producing unique character animated productions for film and television. He currently has TV pilots at Fox Broadcasting and MTV, a movie script at ABC, a graphic novel with Dark Horse Comics, and several development projects with various Hollywood based producing partners. Will is also a part-time “Artist in Residence” at the Art Institute of Portland where he conducts workshops, panels and seminars on character animation and filmmaking.
In his spare time, Will actively supports educational and economic opportunities for the film and television industry. As Founder and Chairman, Will launched the PORTLAND CREATIVE CONFERENCE, a high-profile, annual symposium celebrating creativity and innovation in the entertainment and advertising business. He also actively supports and sits on the Board of several non-profit arts/education organizations including the innovative Northwest Academy. Will has received a BA in Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, an Honorary PHD in Fine Arts from Linfield College, and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Environmental Design, UC Berkeley.
When he’s not in LA, London or New York, Will resides in a house he built on the banks of the Willamette River, near Portland. He enjoys snow skiing, water sports and a Northwest lifestyle with his wife Gillian, two sons, Billy and Jesse, and daughter Alexandra.
Body of work:
1) Feature films:
- Profile picture
“A lot many amongst us are living in an illusory world. They claim to be living in a fast world. But where is speed in our life? It is there only on TV or in MTV where images flicker fast and faster. In a place where the electrical power supply is frequently interrupted, how can life be fast? This speed we are talking about is totally artificial, like our popular heroes and villains, their costumes and vocations.”
One of the most lauded directors in India, Adoor Gopalakrishnan has often been hailed as the filmmaker who has done the most to carry on the cinematic legacy of Satyajit Ray. The influence of Ray can be seen in his subtle, humanist, and carefully composed films — all of them set in Kerala, the province of Southern India where he was raised — but over the course of his career he has developed a style all his own, rooted in the rhythms of traditional Kerala village life but addressing issues of politics, religion, and personal responsibility that are universal in scope. He was born in 1941 in the village of Adoor, into a family that practiced the traditional Indian dance drama known as Kathakali. He began acting on stage as a child, and eventually attended the prestigious Film and Television Institute of India. His first feature, One’s Own Choice, about the travails of a young rural couple who run away to the city, was heavily influenced by Ray’s style, but he began to find his own voice with Ascent, which takes its structure and themes from a Kathakali ritual. His third film, The Rat Trap, which tells the story of a stubborn patriarch clinging to an outdated feudal system, was the first to win him international acclaim, and all his subsequent films have played widely at festivals around the world. His three most recent films, The Servile, The Man of the Story, and Shadow Kill, each represent further refinements of his visual style and thematic preoccupations. A household name among cinemagoers in India, Gopalakrishnan has won the Indian National award for Best Director four times, and has been honored with awards and retrospectives at festivals in Europe and Asia. Despite his international renown, he remains virtually unknown in the United States. —allmovie guide
“I know that I seem to be drawn to sad characters, the forlorn reject. Something about being on the outside. The outcast. But I also am intrigued by the super confident fool. He too is a reject. I’m not really interested in what’s accepted by people. I like the things, places and characters that have been forsaken. On both sides of the field. The happy genius fool and the pathetic misfit. I guess I like drama. "
Allison Schulnik is a painter, sculptor, and filmmaker who lives and works in Los Angeles. Her paintings have been exhibited in galleries internationally and at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, the Santa Monica Museum of Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. She was recently selected as one of the “Ones to Watch” by Art Review. She’s the author of two clay-mation videos Hobo Clown and Forest, Forest is also a music video for the world renowned and critically acclaimed band Grizzly Bear.
2009: Forest/Ready, Able, stop-motion/claymation music video for Grizzly Bear
2008: Hobo Clown, stop-motion/claymation film
2000: Pistachio, 16mm stop-motion animated film
1999: Vedma, 16mm stop-motion animated film
1997: The Slaying, 16mm live-action/stop-motion animated film
Hobo Clown (2008)
Profile Information for Curtis Harrington
I wrote the script based on a short story I had written that was never published. And then I had met Dennis Hopper because he came to see some of my short experimental films at a coffeehouse in Los Angeles. When I went to him with the script of Night Tide, he immediately agreed to do it.
Curtis Harrington (September 17, 1926 – May 6, 2007) was an American film and television director whose work included experimental films, horror films, and episodic television.
Harrington was born in Los Angeles and attended Occidental College and the University of Southern California and graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a film studies degree.
He began his career as a film critic, writing a book on Josef von Sternberg in 1948. He directed several avant-garde short films in the 1940s and ‘50s, including Fragment of Seeking, Picnic, and The Wormwood Star (a film study of the artwork of Marjorie Cameron). Harrington worked with Kenneth Anger, serving as a cinematographer on Anger’s Puce Moment and acting in Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome.
Harrington had cameo roles in films such as Orson Welles’s The Other Side of the Wind and Bill Condon’s Gods and Monsters. (Harrington knew James Whale at the end of Whale’s life, and was a major contributor to Condon’s film.) He also directed Who Slew Auntie Roo? (1971) with Shelley Winters, What’s the Matter With Helen? with Winters and Debbie Reynolds (1972), and The Killer Bees (1974) with Gloria Swanson in one of her last film roles.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Harrington directed episodes of Dynasty, Wonder Woman, The Twilight Zone, and Charlie’s Angels for television.
Harrington was the driving force in locating the original James Whale production of The Old Dark House (made by Universal Pictures in 1932) and even though the rights had been sold to Columbia Pictures for a remake, he got Eastman House to restore the negative. On the Kino DVD, there is a filmed interview of Harrington explaining why and how this came about.
He died in 2007 He is considered one of the forerunners of New Queer Cinema. —wikipedia
“I don’t have any realistic goals—at least right now I don’t.”
Bruce Bickford (born Seattle, 1947) is a maker of animated films who works primarily in clay animation. From 1974 to 1980 he collaborated with Frank Zappa. Bickford’s animation was featured extensively in the Frank Zappa videos Baby Snakes and Dub Room Special. Zappa also released a video titled The Amazing Mr. Bickford, which was entirely composed of Bickford animations set to a soundtrack of Zappa’s orchestral music.
Bickford’s animations depict surreal scenes based on his unique worldview. Often outwardly seeming to be somewhat disconnected from the world around him, Bruce Bickford’s work is extremely subjective in its content and concepts, making for some disturbing and shocking imagery. Much of his video work depicted fast-moving, fluid-like transformations of human figures and disfigured faces into odd beasts on surreal structural settings with impressive camera effects (moving around within his stop-motion animation).
His life and work were featured in the 2004 biographical documentary film Monster Road, directed by Brett Ingram, which has won numerous film festival awards and garnered acclaim in many countries.
He is currently working on Boar’s Head/Whore’s Bed (line animation, 4500+ frames and counting), Tales of the Green River and Castle 2001, a feature-length film which is animated using 3D shapes made out of bits of paper.
A new DVD was released by Bright Eye Pictures in early 2008, titled Prometheus’ Garden. It includes the first film that Bickford had complete control over, the 28-minute Prometheus’ Garden, originally completed on 16mm film in 1988. The DVD also includes Luck of a Foghorn, a new 30-minute documentary about Bickford by the director of Monster Road.
1964/65 – Animated model cars and crude clay figures on 8mm film. 10 minutes.
1969 – Tree clay animation. 2.5 minutes.
1970 – Clay battle scene with more detailed figures. 2.5 minutes.
1971 – Last Battle on Flat Earth clay animation. 4 minutes.
1972 – Castle stuff and bar room scene. clay animation. 15 minutes.
1973 – Start of the Quest clay animation short. 3 minutes.
1974 – Little Boy in School ( featuring Gus Reeves as a child) clay animation short. 4 minutes.
1974 – A Token of His Extreme (Frank Zappa)
1979 – Baby Snakes (Frank Zappa)
1980 – Dub Room Special and Video From Hell (Frank Zappa)
1987 – The Amazing Mr. Bickford (Frank Zappa)
1988 – Prometheus’ Garden. 27 minutes.
2004 – Monster Road
2008 – Prometheus’ Garden DVD
Profile Information for Joe D’Amato
I change my name many, many times, mainly for the European market because it makes the movies seem like they’re American or British. It’s better for European distribution that they seem that way.
Joe D’Amato, (birth name: Aristide Massaccesi) (December 15, 1936 in Rome – January 23, 1999 in Rome) was a prolific Italian filmmaker who directed little less than 200 movies, usually at the same time acting as producer and cinematographer, and sometimes providing the script as well. While D’Amato contributed to many different genres (such as the spaghetti western, the war movie, the swashbuckler, the peplum, and the fantasy film), he mainly devoted himself to the exploration (and exploitation) of cinematic eroticism and voyeurism, both soft- and hardcore. Still, he probably gained greatest fame through a few notorious horror movies which he made early on in his career.
D’Amato was familiar to the environment of cinema through his father who worked as an electrician at Cinecittà. He began his career in 1961 as camera operator (often working under cinematographer Franco Villa). Then, starting with Pelle di Bandito in 1969, he regularly worked as director of photography for directors such as Demofilo Fidani (Dead Men Don’t Make Shadows, One Damned Day at Dawn…Django Meets Sartana!, A Barrel Full of Dollars), Alberto De Martino, Massimo Dallamano (What Have You Done to Solange?), Silvio Amadio, Mino Guerrini, and Michele Lupo (Ben and Charlie).
In 1972, D’Amato started directing his own movies whilst continuing to work as cinematographer for other directors. His first directorial efforts include the spaghetti westerns Scansati… a Trinità arriva Eldorado and A Bounty Killer in Trinity, the decamerotic movies Novelle licenziose di vergini vogliose and More Sexy Canterbury Tales (The Last Decameron), the erotic comedy Vow of Chastity (with Laura Gemser), the swashbuckler burlesque Pugni, Pirati e Karatè (starring Richard Harrison, the war movie Heroes in Hell (with Klaus Kinski), and the gothic giallo Death Smiles at a Murderer (starring Klaus Kinski and Ewa Aulin).
In the second half of the 1970s, D’Amato tried to capitalize on the worldwide commercial success of the French softcore movie series Emmanuelle. His first attempt, Emanuelle’s Revenge, a collaboration with Bruno Mattei, only referred to the French heroine in name. Next, Black Cobra Woman (Eva nera), starring Jack Palance and Laura Gemser, already incorporated several plot elements from the French series. Laura Gemser had previously impersonated the character of Black Emanuelle in a film by Bitto Albertini. Under the direction of D’Amato, Gemser continued the series with a total of five sequels which grew increasingly violent and included scenes of gang rape, zoophilia, cannibalism, and fake snuff film footage. (Some versions for the foreign market – especially in France – also contained hardcore sex scenes, which D’Amato claimed not to have directed himself.) Besides the Emanuelle movies, D’Amato also directed Ladies’ Doctor (1977), a sexy satire on the Italian health care system starring Renzo Montagnani, the mercenary movie Tough to Kill (1978), made two erotic mondo movies (Emanuelle and the Erotic Nights and Sexy Night Report) again in collaboration with Bruno Mattei, and the sequel Sexy Night Report N.2 on his own. At the end of the decade, D’Amato directed The Pleasure Shop on 7th Avenue (which follows the Last House on the Left-formula and contains in its uncut version, though essentially a softcore movie, a brief scene of fellatio) and Images in a Convent (a nunsploitation movie containing a hardcore gang rape scene).
In the early 1980s D’Amato made some of his best known gore films such as Antropophagus, Absurd (Horrible), and Buio Omega (Beyond the Darkness), for which he later gained cult status among horror film fans.
He then went into an early hardcore phase, starting out with a series of hard and soft porn movies shot around Santo Domingo in the [[Dominican Republic]. Some mix eroticism with horror movie themes like cannibalism (Papaya, Love Goddess of the Cannibals, softcore, with Sirpa Lane), zombies (Erotic Nights of the Living Dead, hard, with Laura Gemser), voodoo (Sex and Black Magic, a softcore movie starring Richard Harrison), and homicidal radioactive mutants (Porno Holocaust, hardcore). Less horrific are Black Sex (the first genuine Italian hardcore movie and at the same time a weird melange of ghost story and cancer drama), Hard Sensation (another variation on the Last House on the Left-model, also hardcore) and Paradiso Blu (a softcore Robinsonade starring Anna Bergman). Recurring stars of these movies were Mark Shannon, Lucia Ramirez, Dirce Funari, and Annj Goren.
Back in Italy, D’Amato mostly worked together with Claudio Bernabei on a number of obscure low-budget hardcore productions with titles like Super Hard Core, La voglia, Blue Erotic Climax, Le porno investigatrici, Stretta e Bagnata, Bocca Golosa, and Love in Hong Kong, for most of which they used the directorial pseudonym Alexandre Borsky. On his own, D’Amato directed the so-called Imperial Trilogy, starting with Caligula: The Untold Story (the sequel to Tinto Brass’ Caligula) and concluding with the obscure low-budget follow-ups Messalina orgasmo imperiale and Una vergine per l’impero romano. Recurring stars of this period were Pauline Teutscher, Laura Levi, Mark Shannon (again), and Paolo Gramignano.
Around this time, D’Amato also started working as a producer, which eventually led to the founding of his own film company. From 1982 to 1994, Filmirage – as it was called – financed a total of 42 escapist non-hardcore genre entries: slashers, horror, and post-apocalyptic movies directed by Umberto Lenzi (La Casa 3 – Ghosthouse, Nightmare Beach, Hitcher in the Dark), Claudio Fragasso (La Casa 5, Troll 2), Lucio Fulci (his last movie: Door into Silence), Michele Soavi (directorial debut: Stage Fright), and Luigi Montefiori (2020 Texas Gladiators), as well as a number of horror, fantasy, and softcore erotic movies directed by D’Amato himself, most notably three of the four Ator movies, the postapocalyptic film Endgame, the Dirty Dancing rip-off Dancing Is My Life (starring Valentine Demy), and the trilogy revolving around the fictional author Sarah Asproon (Eleven Days, Eleven Nights, Top Model, and Web of Desire, starring Jessica Moore and Kristine Rose).
In 1994, when Italian cinema was at a low point commercially, D’Amato returned to hardcore filmmaking. For his first handful of low-budget productions (mostly starring Luana Borgia), he again used the pseudonym Alexandre Borsky – before teaming up with Luca Damiano to co-direct, mostly uncredited, a number of higher-budgeted costume porn movies such as Aladdin X, Marco Polo, and Hamlet X.
Then, from 1995 until his death in early 1999, he mostly directed and produced movies on his own again, founding the production companies Butterfly Motion Pictures and Capital Film (with seat in Los Angeles). He transformed into hardcore pornography such divers subject matter as the tragedies of William Shakespeare (Juliet & Romeo, Othello 2000, Anthony and Cleopatra), Greco-Roman mythology (Ulysses, Samson and Hercules in the Land of the Amazons, Olympus – Refuge of the Gods), Roman emperors (Caligula – The Devious Emperor, Nero, Messalina), the 1920s and 1930s in the U.S. (Gangland Bangers, Some Like It Hard, Rudy – The Valentino Story), the W.I.P. genre (Operation Sex, The Joy Club, Midnight Obsession), the western (Outlaws, Calamity Jane), and Swashbucklers (Selen the Girl from Treasure Island, Raiders, Lady in the Iron Mask). He also devised porn versions of successful movies, such as Anal Instinct (Basic Instinct), Dangerous (Damage), Eternal Desire (Highlander), Anal Paprika (Paprika), Robin Hood: Thief of Wives (Robin Hood: Men in Tights), and Anal Perversions of Lolita (Lolita).
D’Amato was one of the few porn directors who in the late 1990s continued to shoot on 35mm film (and not on video). In the last five years of his life, he directed almost 100 hardcore movies for the European video market. During this time, he also sought ways to finance non-hardcore movies with money earned from directing hardcore pornography, of which he grew tired at times. They were to be four: the erotic movies Provocation (1995) and Top Girl (1996), the erotic thriller The Hyena (1997), and the pirate adventure movie Predators of the Antilles (1998) starring Anita Rinaldi.
Shortly after completing the hardcore feature Showgirl, Joe D’Amato died of heart failure at his villa in Rome in early 1999.
He had one son, Daniele Massaccesi, who started out by helping his father in the camera department and later moved to the United States where he entered into a lucrative career as a cameraman, working on such films as Cold Mountain, Hannibal, and Kingdom of Heaven. – wikipedia
Profile Information for Mel Brooks
(already has a picture)
I cut my finger. That’s tragedy. A man walks into an open sewer and dies. That’s comedy.
Melvin “Mel” Kaminsky (born June 28, 1926), better known by his stage name Mel Brooks, is an American film director, screenwriter, composer, lyricist, comedian, actor, and producer. He is best known as a creator of broad film farces and comic parodies. Brooks is a member of the short list of entertainers with the distinction of having won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony award. Three of his films ranked in the Top 20 on the American Film Institute’s list of the Top 100 comedy films of all-time:(Blazing Saddles, The Producers, and Young Frankenstein).
Brooks was born Melvin Kaminsky in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Kate (née Brookman), a garment worker, and Maximilian Kaminsky, a process server. Brooks and his family are Jewish; his maternal grandparents immigrated from outside Kiev in the Russian Empire and his paternal family was from Danzig in the German Empire. now in Poland. His father died of kidney disease at age 34.
As a child, Brooks was a small and sickly boy. He was bullied and picked on by his peers. By taking on the comically aggressive job of Tummler (master entertainer) in various Catskills resorts, he overcame his childhood of bullying and name calling.
Brooks was a corporal in the U.S. Army. The graduate of the Virginia Military Institute served in World War II, fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and on occasion, defused landmines.
Brooks started out in show business as a stand-up comic, telling jokes and doing movie-star impressions. He found more rewarding work behind the scenes, becoming a comedy writer for television. He joined the hit comedy series Your Show of Shows with Sid Caesar and Carl Reiner. Reiner, as creator of The Dick Van Dyke Show, based Morey Amsterdam’s character Buddy Sorell on Brooks.
Starting in 1960, Brooks teamed with Reiner as a comedy duo on the Steve Allen Show. Their performances led to release a series of comedy albums that included a routine that eventually expanded into the 2000 Year Old Man series that became 5 albums and a 1975 animated TV special.
Brooks later moved into film, working as an actor, director, writer, and producer. Brooks’s first film was The Critic (1963), an animated satire of arty, esoteric cinema, conceived by Brooks and directed by Ernest Pintoff. Brooks supplied running commentary as the baffled moviegoer trying to make sense of the obscure visuals. The short film won an Academy Award. With Buck Henry, Brooks created the successful TV series Get Smart, starring Don Adams as a bumbling secret agent. This series added to Brooks’s reputation as a clever satirist.
Brooks’s first feature film, The Producers, was a dark comedy about two theatrical partners who deliberately contrive the worst possible Broadway show. The film was so brazen in its satire (its big production number was “Springtime for Hitler”) that the major studios wouldn’t touch it, nor would many exhibitors. Brooks finally found an independent distributor, which released it like an art film, as a specialized attraction. The film received an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. The film became a smash underground hit, first on the nationwide college circuit, then in revivals and on home video. Brooks later turned it into a musical, which became hugely successful on Broadway, receiving an unprecedented twelve Tony awards.
His two most financially successful films were released in 1974: Blazing Saddles (co-written with Richard Pryor, Andrew Bergman, Norman Steinberg and Alan Uger), and Young Frankenstein (co-written with Gene Wilder). He followed these up with an audacious idea: the first feature-length silent comedy in four decades. Silent Movie (co-written with Ron Clark, 1976) featured Brooks in his first leading role, with Dom DeLuise and Marty Feldman as his sidekicks. The following year he released his Hitchcock parody High Anxiety (also written with Clark), which was the first movie produced by Brooks himself.
Brooks developed a repertory company of sorts for his film work: performers with three or more of Brooks’s films (The Producers, The Twelve Chairs, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Silent Movie, High Anxiety, History of the World: Part I, Spaceballs, Life Stinks, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, and Dracula: Dead and Loving It) to their credit include Gene Wilder, Dom DeLuise, Madeline Kahn, Harvey Korman, Cloris Leachman, Ron Carey and Andréas Voutsinas. Dom DeLuise appeared in six of Brooks’s 12 films, the only person with more appearances being Brooks himself.
In 1975, at the height of his movie career, Brooks tried TV again with When Things Were Rotten, a Robin Hood parody that lasted only 13 episodes. Nearly twenty years later, in response to the 1991 hit film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Brooks mounted another Robin Hood parody with Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Brooks’s film resurrected several pieces of dialog from his TV series, as well as from earlier Brooks films.
In 1980, Brooks became interested in producing the dramatic film The Elephant Man (directed by David Lynch). Knowing that anyone seeing a poster reading “Mel Brooks presents The Elephant Man” would expect a comedy, he set up the company Brooksfilms. Brooksfilms has since produced a number of non-comedy films, including David Cronenberg’s The Fly, Frances, and 84 Charing Cross Road, starring Anthony Hopkins and Anne Bancroft, as well as comedies, including Richard Benjamin’s My Favorite Year. Brooks sought to purchase the rights to 84 Charing Cross Road for his wife, Anne Bancroft, for many years. He successfully obtained the rights to the movie and presented them to her as an anniversary gift.
The 1980s saw Brooks produce and direct only two films, the first being History of the World Part I in 1981, a tongue-in-cheek look at human culture from the Dawn of Man to the French Revolution. As part of the film’s soundtrack, Brooks, then aged 55, recorded a rap entitled “It’s Good to Be the King”, a parody of Louis XVI and the French Revolution; it was released as a single, and became a surprise US dance hit. His second movie release of the decade came in 1987 in the form of Spaceballs, a parody of science fiction, mainly Star Wars. Both films featured him in multiple roles. He also starred in the 1983 remake of To Be or Not to Be, which spawned a highly controversial single that featured as part of the film’s soundtrack album (although not in the film itself) – “To Be Or Not To Be (The Hitler Rap)”. The song – satirising German society in the 1940s with Brooks playing Hitler – was banned from both radio airplay and television in Germany due to its deliberately ironic portrayal of the Nazi involvement in World War Two, but was an unlikely hit elsewhere, peaking at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 in February 1984 and #3 on the Australian Singles Chart (Kent Music Report) that same year.
Brooks with Anne Bancroft in 1997
One of his most recent successes has been a transfer of his film The Producers to the Broadway stage. Brooks also had a vocal role in the 2005 animated film Robots. He then worked on an animated series sequel to Spaceballs called Spaceballs: The TV Series, which premiered on September 21, 2008 on G4 TV.
Brooks is one of the few artists who have received an Oscar, Emmy, Tony, and Grammy. He was awarded his first Grammy award for Best Spoken Comedy Album in 1999 for his recording of The 2000 Year Old Man in the Year 2000 with Carl Reiner. His two other Grammys came in 2002 for Best Musical Show Album, for the soundtrack to The Producers, and for Best Long Form Music Video for the DVD “Recording the Producers – A Musical Romp with Mel Brooks”. He won his first of four Emmy awards in 1967 for Outstanding Writing Achievement in Variety for a Sid Caesar special. He went on to win three consecutive Emmys in 1997, 1998, and 1999 for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his role of Uncle Phil on Mad About You. He won his three Tony awards in 2001 for his work on the musical, The Producers. He won Tonys for Best Musical, Best Original Musical Score, and Best Book of a Musical. Additionally, he won a Hugo Award and a Nebula Award for Young Frankenstein. In a 2005 poll to find The Comedian’s Comedian, he was voted #50 of the top 50 comedy acts ever by fellow comedians and comedy insiders. Three of Brooks’s films are on the American Film Institute’s list of funniest American films: Blazing Saddles (#6), The Producers (#11), and Young Frankenstein (#13).
Brooks and his wife Anne Bancroft acted together in Silent Movie and To Be or Not to Be, and Bancroft also had a bit part in the 1995 film Dracula: Dead and Loving It. Years later, the Brookses appeared as themselves in the fourth season finale of Curb Your Enthusiasm, spoofing the finale of The Producers. It is reported that Bancroft encouraged Brooks (after an idea suggested by David Geffen) to take The Producers to Broadway where it became an enormous success, as the show broke the Tony record with 12 wins, a record that had previously been held for 37 years by Hello, Dolly! at 10 wins. Such success has translated to a big-screen version of the Broadway adaptation/remake with actors Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane reprising their stage roles, in addition to new cast members Uma Thurman and Will Ferrell. As of early April 2006, Brooks had begun composing the score to a Broadway musical adaptation of Young Frankenstein, which he says is “perhaps the best movie [he] ever made.” The world premiere was performed at Seattle’s most historic theatre (originally built as a movie palace), The Paramount Theatre, between August 7, 2007, and September 1, 2007 after which it opened on Broadway at the Hilton Theatre, New York, on October 11, 2007. It has since earned moderate to poor reviews from the critics.
In interviews broadcast on WABC radio, Brooks has discussed with NYC radio personality Mark Simone the possibilities of turning other works from his creative oeuvre (such as the movie Blazing Saddles) into future musical productions. Specifically, in a conversation airing March 1, 2008, he and Simone speculated on what show tunes might be incorporated into a theatrical adaptation of the Get Smart property.
On December 5, 2009 Brooks was one of five recipients of 2009 Kennedy Center Honors at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. – wikipedia
Profile Information for Bruce LaBruce
I wanted to contribute to the genre because I hate a lot of the new horror movies. I find them so misogynistic and homophobic. The idea was to lure in these horror geeks on the promise of a zombie movie and torture them with a tender love story.
Bruce LaBruce (born January 3, 1964) is a Canadian writer, filmmaker, photographer and underground gay porn star based in Toronto.
LaBruce was born Justin Stewart1 in Southampton, Ontario and wrote for the Robin Wood (his teacher) curated Cineaction magazine. He first gained public attention with the publication of the queer punk zine J.D.s, which he co-edited with G.B. Jones. He currently writes and photographs for a variety of publications including Vice, Nerve.com and BlackBook magazine, and has made a number of controversial films which merged the artistic techniques of independent film with gay pornography.
He has also previously been a columnist for the Canadian music magazine Exclaim! and Toronto’s eye weekly, and he was a contributing editor and photographer for many years at New York’s index magazine. He has also been published in Toronto Life and the National Post as well as the UK Guardian. His latest movie, Otto, or, Up With Dead People debuted at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival soon after he was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Bruce LaBruce studied film at York University in Toronto, Canada. – wikipedia
Profile Information for Isabella Rossellini
But I don’t really see myself as a role model. I’m not a dictator, or someone who wants to be adored!
Isabella Fiorella Elettra Giovanna Rossellini (born 18 June 1952) is an Italian actress, filmmaker, author, philanthropist, and model. Rossellini is noted for her 14-year tenure as a Lancôme model, and for her roles in films such as Blue Velvet and Death Becomes Her.
Rossellini is the daughter of Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman and the Italian director Roberto Rossellini. She has three siblings from her mother: her twin sister Isotta Ingrid Rossellini, who is an adjunct professor of Italian literature; a brother, Roberto Ingmar Rossellini, who works in finance; and a half-sister, Pia Lindström, who formerly worked on television and is from her mother’s first marriage. She has four other siblings from her father’s two other marriages: Romano (died at age 9), Renzo, Gil, and Raffaella.
Rossellini was born in Rome, and raised there, as well as in Santa Marinella and Paris. At 13, she was diagnosed with scoliosis. In order to correct it, Isabella had to undergo an 18 month ordeal of painful stretchings, body casts, surgery on her spine using pieces of one of her shin bones (used to add supports for the individual vertebrae without risking foreign body rejection tissues), and a recovery from that surgery. Consequently, she has permanent incision scars on her back and shin.
At 19, she went to New York, where she attended Finch College while working as a translator, a ringmaster at circuses and a RAI television reporter. She also appeared intermittently on L’altra Domenica (“The Other Sunday”), a TV show featuring Roberto Benigni. However, she did not decide to stay full time in New York until her marriage to Martin Scorsese (1979–1982). After her marriage to Scorsese ended, she married Jon Wiedemann (1983–1986), a Harvard-educated model from Texas (now a Microsoft executive), and gave birth to a daughter, Elettra. Later, she dated David Lynch, Gary Oldman, and Gregory Mosher.
Rossellini made her film debut with a brief appearance as a nun opposite her mother in the 1976 film A Matter of Time. However, she did not truly begin acting until the 1979 film Il Prato. She did not become successful with acting until after her mother’s death in 1982, when she was cast in her first American film, White Nights (1985). Nonetheless, she is probably best known for her pivotal role as the tortured nightclub singer Dorothy Vallens in David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, a film which proved to be hugely controversial, yet today is recognized as a classic. Some other notable film roles include her work in Cousins, Death Becomes Her, Immortal Beloved, and Fearless.
In 2003, Rossellini had a recurring role on the television series, Alias. In that same year, she also appeared in the Canadian film The Saddest Music in the World directed by Guy Maddin. In 2004 she played as the High Priestess Thar in the Sci Fi Channel miniseries Legend of Earthsea. In addition, she acted in an Off-Broadway production of The Stendhal Syndrome. Furthermore, she became an ambassador for the Silversea Cruise Line, which has her appearing in print ads and on their website.
In 2006, Rossellini was on television for several documentaries. First, she narrated a two-hour television special on Italy for the Discovery Channel’s Discovery Atlas series, in order to show a glimpse of present-day Italy. In addition, on an episode of the Sundance Channel series Iconoclasts, which also featured the Segway PT inventor Dean Kamen, she told about her past and what activities she is currently involved in. In 2007, Rossellini guest starred on two episodes of the television show 30 Rock, playing Alec Baldwin’s ex-wife.
In 2008, Rossellini toured the festival circuit, including the Sundance Film Festival, with a series of short films entitled Green Porno, which she wrote and co-directed with Jody Shapiro. Each Green Porno film is two minutes long, and has Rossellini reenacting the mating rituals of various animals.
Based on her success with Green Porno, in 2009 Rossellini headed the judging panel of the first Metropolis Art Prize, an art video contest run by web and mobile video service Babelgum, culminating in a large scale art display across the giant advertising monitors in Times Square. – wikipedia
ouch! not a very captivating portrait, i mean you no harm but i think she deserves a better one :)
Profile Information for Frank Zappa
Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe.
Frank Vincent Zappa (pronounced /ˈzæpə/; December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993) was an American composer, electric guitarist, record producer, and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa wrote rock, jazz, electronic, orchestral, and musique concrète works. He also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed album covers. Zappa produced almost all of the more than 60 albums he released with the band Mothers of Invention and as a solo artist.
In his teens, he acquired a taste for percussion-based avant-garde composers such as Edgard Varèse and 1950s rhythm and blues music. He began writing classical music in high school, while at the same time playing drums in rhythm and blues bands—he later switched to electric guitar. He was a self-taught composer and performer, and his diverse musical influences led him to create music that was often impossible to categorize. His 1966 debut album with the Mothers of Invention, Freak Out!, combined songs in conventional rock and roll format with collective improvisations and studio-generated sound collages. His later albums shared this eclectic and experimental approach, irrespective of whether the fundamental format was one of rock, jazz or classical. He wrote the lyrics to all his songs, which—often humorously—reflected his iconoclastic view of established social and political processes, structures and movements. He was a strident critic of mainstream education and organized religion, and a forthright and passionate advocate for freedom of speech and the abolition of censorship.
Zappa was a highly productive and prolific artist and he gained widespread critical acclaim. Many of his albums are considered essential in rock and jazz history, and he is regarded as one of the most original guitarists and composers of his time; he remains a major influence on musicians and composers. He had some commercial success, particularly in Europe, and for most of his career was able to work as an independent artist. Zappa was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997.
Zappa was married to Kathryn J. “Kay” Sherman from 1960 to 1964. In 1967 he married Adelaide Gail Sloatman, with whom he remained until his death from prostate cancer in 1993. They had four children: Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen. Gail Zappa manages the businesses of her late husband under the name the Zappa Family Trust.– wikipedia
Profile Information for Andrew Birkin
Andrew Birkin (b. 9 December 1945 in Harrow, London) is an English screenwriter, director, and occasional actor. He was born the only son of Lieutenant-Commander David Birkin and his wife, the actress Judy Campbell. One of his sisters is the actress Jane Birkin.
Birkin left Harrow School at the age of 17 to work as a mail boy at 20th Century Fox’s London office, graduating to Elstree Studios as a production runner in 1963. He began work as a runner on Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1965, but soon became Kubrick’s location scout. By the summer of 1966, Kubrick had promoted Birkin to Assistant Director on Special Effects; Birkin later proposed the shooting and color transposition of aerial footage for the ‘Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite’ sequence, some of which he filmed from a helicopter over Scotland . In 1967 Birkin supervised the shooting of ‘The Dawn of Man’ front projection plates in the Namib Desert. In 1968, Kubrick again engaged Birkin as his assistant director and location scout on his unmade epic of Napoleon.
Having worked on an adaptation of Peter Pan for NBC in 1975, Birkin conceived and wrote The Lost Boys (1978), a 3-part mini-series for the BBC about Peter Pan’s creator J. M. Barrie, which won him writing awards from the Writers Guild of Great Britain and The Royal Television Society. The critic Sean Day-Lewis wrote in The Daily Telegraph, ‘I doubt if biography has ever been better televised than in this sensitive and beautifully crafted masterpiece, and I am quite sure such excellence is beyond any other television service in the world.’ The BBC’s Director-General Sir Ian Trethowan called it ‘a landmark in television drama’. Birkin has also written a biographical account of Barrie’s relationship with the Llewelyn Davies family, J. M. Barrie and the Lost Boys (1979; 2nd edition 2003), described by The Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature as ‘the most candid and perceptive biography to have been written of Barrie’. Birkin also hosts Barrie’s official website on behalf of the Great Ormond Street Hospital, to whom he donated his Barrie/Llewelyn Davies/Peter Pan archive in 2004.
In 1980, Birkin won a BAFTA award and an Academy Award nomination for his short film Sredni Vashtar, based on the short story by Saki, which he wrote, produced and directed for 20th Century Fox. In 1984 he wrote the shooting script for The Name of the Rose (in which he also had a small acting role), and in 1988 he wrote and directed Burning Secret, based on the novel by Stefan Zweig, which won two awards at the 1989 Venice Film Festival, as well as the Young Jury prize for Best Film at the Brussels Film Festival. In 1993, Birkin wrote and directed The Cement Garden, based on the novel by Ian McEwan, for which he won the Silver Bear as best director at the Berlin Film Festival, as well as Best Film at several film festivals, including Dinard, Fort Lauderdale, and Birmingham. In 1998 he collaborated with Luc Besson on the script of The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, and in 2004 co-wrote the screenplay for Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. —wikipedia
Profile Information for Slava Tsukerman
Vladislav “Slava” Tsukerman (born 1940) is an Russian film director. He was born in the Soviet Union and emigrated in 1973 with his wife Nina Kerova to Israel. In 1976 he moved to New York City. He is best known for producing, directing, and writing the screenplay for the 1982 cult film Liquid Sky. He also directed the 2004 documentary Stalin’s Wife (about Nadezhda Alliluyeva) and the 2008 film Perestroika.
Liquid Sky was produced and directed by Slava Tsukerman who, prior to making Liquid Sky, had a successful career as a documentary and TV film maker in the USSR and Israel. The screenplay was written by Slava Tsukerman, his wife and ubiquitous co-producer Nina V. Kerova, and Anne Carlisle, who also enacted the film’s two leading roles. The director of photography, Yuri Neyman, a Russian émigré, was the DP and special effects expert. Anne Carlisle also wrote a novel based on the movie (same title, ISBN 0-385-23930-0) in 1987.
The music for the film was composed by Slava Tsukerman, Clive Smith and Brenda Hutchinson using the Fairlight CMI, the first digital sampler/synthesizer. Much of it was original, while some songs were interpretations of music by Carl Orff, Baroque composer Marin Marais and some other composers—wikipedia