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Curtis Hanson Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Trade Mark (1)  | Trivia (12)  | Personal Quotes (6)

Overview (5)

Born in Reno, Nevada, USA
Died in Los Angeles, California, USA  (natural causes)
Birth NameCurtis Lee Hanson
Nickname Curtisamma
Height 6' 1" (1.85 m)

Mini Bio (1)

After small films like The Bedroom Window (1987) and Sweet Kill (1972), Curtis Hanson went on to direct major features including The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992), The River Wild (1994) and the Academy Award-winning L.A. Confidential (1997). Setting his sights on another city, Hanson was critically acclaimed for directing Eminem in Universal Pictures' 8 Mile (2002), which co-starred Kim Basinger, Mekhi Phifer and many Detroit-based actors.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Fairchild

Trade Mark (1)

Characters in his films often reference or are seen watching movies from the Golden Age of cinema.

Trivia (12)

In 1999 he was the first chairman of the UCLA Film and Television Archive.
Ranked #90 in Premiere's 2003 annual Power 100 List.
His father was a Los Angeles public school teacher. Hanson said he is approached all the time by former students of his father, Mr. Hanson. They always have kind things to say about his dad.
Member of the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Directors Branch) from 2001-.
Has a son (b. 28 November 2004) with companion Rebecca Yeldham.
Was briefly the editor for "Cinema" magazine.
A former photographer and freelance writer.
Retired due to Alzheimers.
Directed one Oscar-winning performance: Kim Basinger in L.A. Confidential (1997).
His father was a conscientious objector during WWII and worked on a construction crew doing road repairs.
After dropping out of high school in his senior year, he became the entertainment editor for the Cal State L.A. campus newspaper, despite the fact that he was not a student there. His uncle owned a magazine called "Cinema", where Hanson worked as a gofer and eventually became editor and art director. He interviewed many Hollywood legends, including John Ford, Vincente Minnelli, William Wyler and Dalton Trumbo.
He dropped out of high school to work as a photographer, writer and editor for the film magazine "Cinema", which was owned by his uncle "It was, in a sense, my film school," Hanson reported in a 2002 interview with the Guardian. He began screenwriting and directing in the early 1970s, but didn't see serious success until he directed The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992). That film, which starred Rebecca De Mornay as a revenge-seeking nanny, became a major hit. Hanson went on to direct The River Wild (1994) with Meryl Streep and Kevin Bacon. Bacon wrote Tuesday night, September 20, 1916, on Twitter, "Riding that river with him was one of the greatest gigs of my life." Hanson also was in the director's chair for Wonder Boys (2000), starring Tobey Maguire and Michael Douglas that is considered his best work by many fans and critics. His breakthrough as an acclaimed filmmaker came with L.A. Confidential (1997), which he co-wrote and directed. Hanson won a screenwriting Oscar for the film. He was lauded for taking James Ellroy's massive novel about cops, criminals and tabloid rags in 1950s Los Angeles and streamlining it into a thriller without losing its nuance. Hanson also directed Eminem's tale of Detroit hip-hop, 8 Mile (2002). On Sept. 20, 2016, paramedics were called to Hanson's home in the Hollywood Hills, and after an examination he was pronounced dead. He was declared to have died of natural causes, but there were no details given (he was known to have been suffering from Alzheimer's Disease). Eminem was among many who worked with Hanson who paid tribute to him after his death. "Curtis Hanson believed in me and our crazy idea to make a rap battle movie set in Detroit," he said in a statement. "He basically made me into an actor for '8 Mile.' I'm lucky I got to know him".

Personal Quotes (6)

[after receiving the Best Screenplay Oscar from Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon] Being given this Award by two actors I will always associate with Billy Wilder makes it all the sweeter.
All directors are egomaniacs.
For me, all good stories are about awareness. Self-awareness and lack of it, of how you get there and how you might fail to get there. Even Don Siegel's Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) is about that to a degree. People discover who they are and what they're all about by meeting their doppelgängers. I have deliberately tried to mix it up in my movies, because I enjoy visiting different worlds. However, thematically, I find that things keep coming up. Self-examination to begin with. You know, who am I, how did I get here and how do I become a better version of myself. Self-destructiveness, because that is the beginning or negation of self-examination.
Sure I believe people can change, and change for the better. I mean if you don't believe that then what are you left with? It's literally the same old, the same old. People can and do change, often for the better. Things change. If I didn't believe in that I wouldn't see the point. In any of it.
I like the movie to be about the movie and to allow people to think about the movie the way I always thought about movies I watched and admired. I'm old enough that I grew up before there was so much talk by directors and about directors. It was left more to the viewer. The thought of my voice running along while people are watching the movie silently, that doesn't appeal to me. When they're watching the movie I want them to watch the movie, not be distracted listening to me or other people.
Unlike the studio days, where [directors were] under contract, there's no vested interest in filmmakers today, so it's one picture at a time. Nobody cares about the longevity of a director's career today. What they care about is making a successful movie. Consequently, if somebody does something that's successful, they then throw a lot of money and opportunity at them to try and duplicate it. You get into a situation where people are in a sense trying to duplicate what they did well, but usually to diminishing returns.

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