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Ross Mcelwee

Ross Mcelwee

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Charlotte, North Carolina, USA Profession: director, TV cameraman, photographer's assistant

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

This thoughtful, quirky documentarian became famous through a film which took five years to make, and went through many personality changes before emerging in 1986 as "Sherman's March". McElwee was born and raised in the deep South, then spent several years in France (as a wedding photographer's assistant), Iran and India. Returning to North Carolina, he worked as a TV cameraman for local stations. McElwee first began making his own films while at MIT in the mid-1970s; early efforts included shorts such as "68 Albany Street" (1976), about the evolution of a local lab, "Charleen" (1978), the bittersweet tale of a local schoolteacher, the longer "Space Coast" (1979), the bizarre recounting of three Cape Canaveral families, "Resident Exile" (1981), about an Iranian prisoner, and the autobiographical "Backyard" 1982).McElwee began filming "Sherman's March" in 1981 as a straightforward travelogue of the General's route through the South, but the project became more personal when the director was dumped by his girlfriend and began interviewing old (and potential) girlfriends along the way, ruminating on the past and present complexes of Southern mentality. The film--not released until 1986--was a surprise...

This thoughtful, quirky documentarian became famous through a film which took five years to make, and went through many personality changes before emerging in 1986 as "Sherman's March". McElwee was born and raised in the deep South, then spent several years in France (as a wedding photographer's assistant), Iran and India. Returning to North Carolina, he worked as a TV cameraman for local stations. McElwee first began making his own films while at MIT in the mid-1970s; early efforts included shorts such as "68 Albany Street" (1976), about the evolution of a local lab, "Charleen" (1978), the bittersweet tale of a local schoolteacher, the longer "Space Coast" (1979), the bizarre recounting of three Cape Canaveral families, "Resident Exile" (1981), about an Iranian prisoner, and the autobiographical "Backyard" 1982).

McElwee began filming "Sherman's March" in 1981 as a straightforward travelogue of the General's route through the South, but the project became more personal when the director was dumped by his girlfriend and began interviewing old (and potential) girlfriends along the way, ruminating on the past and present complexes of Southern mentality. The film--not released until 1986--was a surprise hit, rocketing McElwee to fame as a cinema verite filmmaker. He followed up with "Something to Do with the Wall" (1991), a documentary about the Berlin Wall, and another autobiographical film, "Time Indefinite" (1993).

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

2.
  In Paraguay (2008)
3.
  Bright Leaves (2003) Director
4.
  Six O'Clock News (1996) Director
5.
  Time Indefinite (1993) Director
6.
7.
  Sherman's March (1986) Director
8.
  Backyard (1982) Director
9.
  Resident Exile (1981) Director
10.
  Space Coast (1979) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 In Paraguay (2008)
3.
 Bright Leaves (2003)
4.
 Six O'Clock News (1996) Narrator
5.
 Time Indefinite (1993) Himself
6.
 Sherman's March (1986) Narration
7.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1974:
Made first film, short "20,000,000 Missing Persons"
1979:
Made first feature, "Space Coast"
1981:
Began filming "Sherman's March" a documentary about the lingering effects of General Sherman's march of destruction through the South during the Civil War (released 1986)
1982:
Became teacher-in-residence at Harvard
1991:
Helmed the documentry "Something to Do with the Wall" about the Berlin Wall
1993:
Directed and starred in "Time Indefinite" a continuation of his film "Sherman's March"
1996:
Helmed "Six O'Clock News" a documentary about a man who carries a film camera around most of the time and films the events of his life
2004:
Wrote and directed the documentry "Bright Leaves"; received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Documentary
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Brown University: Providence , Rhode Island - 1971
Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Cambridge , Massachusetts - 1975

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Marilyn Levine. Documentary filmmaker.

Family close complete family listing

son:
Adrian McElwee. Born 1989.
daughter:
Mariah McElwee. Born c. 1995.

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