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Overview for Joe Dante
Joe Dante

Joe Dante


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Also Known As: Died:
Born: November 28, 1946 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Livingston, New Jersey, USA Profession: Director ...


Dante's production company is named Renfield after the crazed henchman of Bram Stoker's "Dracula".

From "The Ultimate Joe Dante Interview" by Maitland McDonagh, SCI-FI ENTERTAINMENT, June 1994:

McDONAGH: So it all began when you were in college with the "All-Night-Once-in-a-Lifetime-Atomic-Movie-Orgy", right?

DANTE: The seven-hour-movie-designed-to-be-walked-in-and-out-of-at- any-time-and-you-wouldn't-really-miss-anything. It was made up of about seven different movies all cut together, plus intros to TV shows, commercials, outtakes...a real melange. And because we presented it year after year, the components changed. TV shows from the early days of the medium were a particular revelation to an audience that have never seen them. I spent my childhood parked in front of the television, absorbing the most amazing things, and with the "Movie Orgy" I felt, in a way, as though I was exporting my culture.

From McDonagh, SCI-FI ENTERTAINMENT, June 1994:

McDONAGH: You've worked on a number of projects with Steven Spielberg, who's known for his sense of childlike wonder. You come out of an exploitation background. Do you see a contradiction?

DANTE: That's what everybody says. The line on "Gremlins" was that it was mean-spirited, and I do have a darker view than Steven does. But I think he likes that, likes the fact that there's a contrast. I don't think the pictures I make for Steven are just like all the other pictures other people make for him. And the great thing about working for Steven is that when you work for Steven you don't have to work for anybody else.

"Gremlins", I think, would not have been made quite the same way if he had made it. It was his idea, and what amazed me was the amount of Spielberg-type stuff you could and turn on its ear....

From McDonagh, SCI-FI ENTERTAINMENT, June 1994:

McDONAGH: "Matinee" is actually rather sad. It's a love letter to a type of filmmaking that doesn't exist anymore.

DANTE: There's no doubt about it. It's a nice little movie, very personal to me. The kid is sort of the way I was at that age, going to the kind of movies I went to see, reading the kind of magazines I used to read. It doesn't seem like that long ago to me, 1962, but I guess to kids today it's like ancient history. That kind of moviegoing is utterly gone. You could send a child to the movies and know that what he'd be seeing would be okay, not have any bad stuff in it. The whole experience was different. I don't think there's a theater left in the country that has a real kids' matinees on a regular basis. It does make me sad, because it was having that kind of childhood that set me on the path to wanting to make movies.

"My model has always been James Whale. . . . His pictures sometimes jump between being very violent and being very funny, very black. I've always enjoyed that juxtoposition." --Joe Dante quoted in "Dante's Peaks" by Michael Freidson, TIME OUT NEW YORK, July 16-23, 1998

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