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Christine Vachon

Christine Vachon

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: November 21, 1961 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: producer, director, production assistant, production coordinator, screenwriter, assistant editor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A prime mover in the increasingly established "new wave" of gay independent filmmaking, Vachon gained notice by producing two highly stylized and ambitious features: Todd Haynes' "Poison" (1990) and Tom Kalin's "Swoon" (1992). She has built a reputation for nurturing film projects that deal with American gay life as well as for working with first-time filmmakers from other media. One of the founders (with fellow Brown University alums Haynes and Barry Ellsworth) of Apparatus Productions in 1987, Vachon produced seven short films in five years. The most notorious of these was the first, Haynes' experimental biopic "Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story" (1987), which details the meteoric rise and tragic fall of the anorexic pop star using Barbie dolls.

A prime mover in the increasingly established "new wave" of gay independent filmmaking, Vachon gained notice by producing two highly stylized and ambitious features: Todd Haynes' "Poison" (1990) and Tom Kalin's "Swoon" (1992). She has built a reputation for nurturing film projects that deal with American gay life as well as for working with first-time filmmakers from other media. One of the founders (with fellow Brown University alums Haynes and Barry Ellsworth) of Apparatus Productions in 1987, Vachon produced seven short films in five years. The most notorious of these was the first, Haynes' experimental biopic "Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story" (1987), which details the meteoric rise and tragic fall of the anorexic pop star using Barbie dolls.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

2.
  Way of the Wicked, The (1989) Director
3.
  Days Are Numbered (1986) Director
4.
  Man in Your Room, A (1984) Director

CAST: (feature film)

VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in NYC
1983:
Returned to New York City after college
1983:
First feature credit, production assistant on Bette Gordon's "Variety"
:
Worked on several small independent films such as Bill Sherwood's "Parting Glances" (1986) and Sheila McLaughlin's "She Must Be Seeing Things" (1987) in various production capabilities including production assistant, assistant editor
1984:
Wrote and directed first short, "A Man in Your Room"
:
Worked on several low-budget horror films
1986:
Wrote and directed a short entitled "Days Are Numbered"
1987:
Started Apparatus Productions with Todd Haynes and Barry Ellsworth
1987:
Producing debut, Todd Haynes' "Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story"; first collaboration with writer-director Haynes
:
Produced seven short films
1990:
Produced "Anemone Me," an experimental fantasy short that marked the directorial debut of playwright Suzan-Lori Parks
1990:
Served as an assistant director on Chilean surrealist filmmaker Raul Ruiz's "The Golden Boat"
1990:
Produced "Poison," Todd Haynes' controversial directorial debut (also served as assistant director)
1992:
Produced Tom Kalin's "Swoon" (also assistant director)
1995:
Served a co-producer on "Kids," the controversial, high-profile directorial debut of photographer Larry Clark
1995:
Formed Killer Films with Pamela Koffler and Katie Roumel
1998:
Killer Films signed to two-year, first-look deal at Goldwyn Films (a division of MGM)
1999:
Produced the award winning film, "Boys Don't Cry"
2002:
Produced "Far from Heaven," directed by Todd Haynes
2004:
Produced "A Home at the End of the World," based on the 1990 novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning American author Michael Cunningham
2006:
Produced "Infamous," a biographical film drama about Truman Capote
2007:
Co-produced the Todd Haynes directed "I'm Not There," about the life of Bob Dylan; earned an Independent Spirit Award Nomination for Best Feature
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Brown University: Providence , Rhode Island -

Notes

The following is quoted from QW magazine (September 27, 1992):

QW: Any girl directors on the horizon, Christine?

CV: No! I'm only going to work with gay men! White gay men! I've been attacked for being a bad lesbian. There's one project I think could be very interesting--but relationships like I have with Tom [Kalin] and Todd [Haynes] don't come along very often; our projects are ultimately most important to me. It also looks like I'll be producing Derek Jarman's next film--James Purdy's novel "Narrow Rooms".

QW: What do you think the political climate demands from gay filmmakers?

CV: I think they all want that one positive image that's going to make everyone say "That's us, that's me. That's my life"! It's almost impossible for one film to do that. I don't believe in bashing "Longtime Companion" because it's about gay, upper middle class white men; I don't think that's fair. But its also unfair to position it as THE positive representation, period. It doesn't really have a hell of a lot to do with me.

". . . It was producer Christine Vachon, known for her ability to find the commercial potential in way-out-of-the-mainstream product, who pushed Kalin to make his next project a theatrical feature. `I want the films I produce to be provocative, original, intense, and uncompromising,' says Vachon. `But I also want them to make their money back.'" --From Premiere, October 1992

The following letter was published in the Village Voice (July 11, 1995):

Re: Maria Maggenti's "The Man I Love" [June 27]: publication of this piece was clearly meant to provoke discussion about gender politics, so I feel a little silly rising to the bait. But here goes:

I guess all of us square, politically correct dykes who still like to fuck other women are suppressing the expressive freedom of the real radicals--straight people who are gay but look and act like straight people.

It's wonderful that Maggenti has found true love, but I find her outrage that she and her boyfriend are perceived as heterosexual when they walk down the street holding hands naive. Her article underlines the same tedious cliches: we lesbians disallow diversity and are so threatened by men that we cannot handle their intrusion into our (utterly sexless) existence.

CHRISTINE VACHON

"She can scare the hell out of people. . . . She can be very tough. She can also be extremely witty and funny and loyal, but she is focused on what she does, and that kind of intensity can be intimidating." --Tom Kalin quoted in The New York Times, July 21, 1996

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Marlene McCarthy.

Family close complete family listing

sister:
Gail Vachon. Director. Directed experimental films; older.
daughter:
Guthrie Vachon. Adopted at nine months in April 2000.

Bibliography close complete biography

"Shooting to Kill: How an Independent Producer Blasts Through the Barriers to Make Movies That Matter" Avon

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