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Bruce Rubin

Bruce Rubin

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Also Known As: Derek Saunders, Bruce Rubin Died:
Born: March 10, 1943 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Detroit, Michigan, USA Profession: director, screenwriter, producer, assistant film editor, head of the film department at the Whitney Museum, assistant director, associate curator

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A Hollywood screenwriter who is drawn to emotional material incorporating spiritual and fantastic elements, Bruce Joel Rubin began working in films as co-director with Brian De Palma of "Dionysus in 69" and as an assistant director on De Palma's "Hi, Mom!" (both 1970). Following a turn as an assistant film editor at NBC, Rubin embarked on a quest for spiritual enlightenment which included stints on the Greek isle of Paros and in a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Nepal. After three months of study at the latter, he was given 48 hours to leave by the Nepalese government, who suspected Rubin of being a CIA operative. Although the stay was cut short, its influence would be manifested in much of his subsequent screen work. Indeed, Rubin has made a good living from musing about death.Back in New York, Rubin worked first as an associate curator and later advanced to head of the film department at the Whitney Museum. He and his wife (an art professor) next moved to the Midwest where he earned his graduate degree and wrote a screenplay, "The George Dunlap Tape". He planned to direct it himself, but once the financing fell through, it was optioned by Douglas Trumbull and was eventually made into Natalie Wood's...

A Hollywood screenwriter who is drawn to emotional material incorporating spiritual and fantastic elements, Bruce Joel Rubin began working in films as co-director with Brian De Palma of "Dionysus in 69" and as an assistant director on De Palma's "Hi, Mom!" (both 1970). Following a turn as an assistant film editor at NBC, Rubin embarked on a quest for spiritual enlightenment which included stints on the Greek isle of Paros and in a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Nepal. After three months of study at the latter, he was given 48 hours to leave by the Nepalese government, who suspected Rubin of being a CIA operative. Although the stay was cut short, its influence would be manifested in much of his subsequent screen work. Indeed, Rubin has made a good living from musing about death.

Back in New York, Rubin worked first as an associate curator and later advanced to head of the film department at the Whitney Museum. He and his wife (an art professor) next moved to the Midwest where he earned his graduate degree and wrote a screenplay, "The George Dunlap Tape". He planned to direct it himself, but once the financing fell through, it was optioned by Douglas Trumbull and was eventually made into Natalie Wood's swan song, "Brainstorm" (1983). The film's most memorable sequence depicted the dreamy sights and sounds of a woman's after-death experience.

Frustrated by his inability to work with Hollywood from the Midwest, Rubin moved to L.A. His first produced screenplay, "Deadly Friend" (1986), directed by Wes Craven, was an oddball teen horror film about a bright young lad who reanimates his dead girlfriend. 1990 was Rubin's breakthrough year: he wrote and served as associate producer on both "Ghost" and "Jacob's Ladder". The former featured Patrick Swayze as a murder victim who has unfinished business with his girlfriend (Demi Moore). This diverting romantic fantasy grossed over $200 million and netted a Best Screenplay Oscar for Rubin. The less successful, but more ambitious, "Jacob's Ladder" depicted the surreal hallucinations of a Vietnam vet trying to cope with life and love as a civilian. The film was abetted by the glossy direction of Adrian Lyne and a powerful central performance by Tim Robbins.

Rubin also contributed to the psychodramas "Deceived" and "Sleeping with the Enemy" (both 1991). Unhappy with the results, he was credited as "Derek Saunders" for the former and uncredited for the latter. At the age of 50, Rubin finally made his solo directorial debut with "My Life" (1993), an emotional drama starring Michael Keaton as a terminally ill man preparing for death by videotaping his final months for his unborn child.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  My Life (1993) Director
2.
  Dionysus in '69 (1970) Director
3.
  Hi, Mom! (1970) Assistant Director

CAST: (feature film)

VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Detroit, Michigan
1970:
Made film debut as an assistant director on "Hi, Mom!"
1970:
Feature co-directorial debut (with Brian De Palma and Robert Fiore), "Dionysus in 69"
:
Worked as an assistant film editor at NBC
:
Stayed at a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Nepal; told to leave after three months when the government suspected he was an CIA operative
:
Worked as an associate curator and head of the film department at the Whitney Museum in New York City
:
Wrote industrial film scripts in the Midwest
1976:
Wrote the screenplay, "The George Dunlap Tape"
:
Sold "The George Dunlap Tape" to Douglas Trumbull who re-worked it into the film "Brainstorm"
1983:
First story credit, "Brainstorm"
1986:
First screenplay credit, "Deadly Friend"
1990:
Penned the screenplay for Adrian Lyne's "Jacob's Ladder"
1990:
Received acclaim for his screenplay, "Ghost"
1991:
Wrote the screenplay for "Deceived" (credited as Derek Saunders)
1993:
Made directorial debut with "My Life"; also wrote the screenplay and produced
1998:
Penned the sci-fi feature, "Deep Impact"
2002:
Received a writing credit for the film, "Stuart Little 2"
2007:
Credited as a writer on the film, "The Last Mimzy"
2009:
Contributed re-writes for the screenplay adaptation of "The Time Traveler's Wife"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

New York University: New York , New York -
Indiana University: Bloomington , Indiana -

Notes

"People are so sleepy in so many ways. They go through life in such a dreamlike state. One of the reasons I wanted to make ["My Life"] was to bring death into public view. Knowing death allows you to have some awareness of life." --Bruce Joel Rubin quoted in Premiere, December 1993.

"Many people's lives are based on the movies they see. And I, as a Hollywood filmmaker, have this incredible access to a mass audience. I have two hours to talk to the world. I want that two hours to be a personal expression, not corporate entertainment, which is empty entertainment. It's a meal without nourishment. I want to find new ways to get old messages across." --Rubin quoted in Movieline, December 1993.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Blanche Rubin. Art professor.

Family close complete family listing

father:
James Rubin. Appeared in film "My Life" (1993).
mother:
Sondra Rubin. Died 1993; appeared in the film "My Life" (1993).
brother:
Gary Rubin. Appeared in "My Life" (1993).
son:
Joshua Rubin. Born c. 1972; mother, Blanche Rubin.
son:
Ari Rubin. Born c. 1980; mother, Blanche Rubin.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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