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Todd Haynes

Todd Haynes

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Far From Heaven DVD No relationship is perfect, no matter how things might appear. In this... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

I'm Not There DVD Six different actors play six different versions of Bob Dylan in one remarkable... more info $14.93was $14.93 Buy Now

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Also Known As: Todd A Haynes Died:
Born: January 2, 1961 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Encino, California, USA Profession: director, producer, screenwriter

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Known for making provocative movies that undercut standard genre tropes, writer-director Todd Haynes became associated with the so-called New Queer Cinema movement of the early 1990s, as coined by Sight & Sound critic B. Ruby Rich, even though Haynes long maintained that he was more than just a director of gay movies. He burst onto the scene with the cult classic short film "Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story" (1987), which was banned from being seen in public after the pop star's brother, Richard Carpenter, filed a successful lawsuit. He earned further controversy with his first feature length film, "Poison" (1990), a gay-themed film funded by the National Endowment of the Arts that contained graphic depictions of homosexuality and naturally sparked an angry reaction from right-wing circles. But it was his ambitious, if somewhat flawed "Velvet Goldmine" (1998) that announced Haynes as a filmmaker to watch, thanks to that film's "Citizen Kane"-like search for a missing glam rock star. From there, Haynes used the 1950s domestic melodrama to depict repressed sexuality, suburban ennui and forbidden love amidst racial prejudice in "Far From Heaven" (2002), arguably one of his most realized and...

Known for making provocative movies that undercut standard genre tropes, writer-director Todd Haynes became associated with the so-called New Queer Cinema movement of the early 1990s, as coined by Sight & Sound critic B. Ruby Rich, even though Haynes long maintained that he was more than just a director of gay movies. He burst onto the scene with the cult classic short film "Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story" (1987), which was banned from being seen in public after the pop star's brother, Richard Carpenter, filed a successful lawsuit. He earned further controversy with his first feature length film, "Poison" (1990), a gay-themed film funded by the National Endowment of the Arts that contained graphic depictions of homosexuality and naturally sparked an angry reaction from right-wing circles. But it was his ambitious, if somewhat flawed "Velvet Goldmine" (1998) that announced Haynes as a filmmaker to watch, thanks to that film's "Citizen Kane"-like search for a missing glam rock star. From there, Haynes used the 1950s domestic melodrama to depict repressed sexuality, suburban ennui and forbidden love amidst racial prejudice in "Far From Heaven" (2002), arguably one of his most realized and accessible pictures of his career. He next returned to his experimental roots with "I'm Not There" (2007), an unusual biopic that used six different actors - including one African-American and one female - to depict various aspects of Bob Dylan. Though perhaps not palpable to mainstream audience's tastes, there was no doubt that Haynes remained one of cinema's most challenging inventors.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Carol (2013)
2.
3.
  Far From Heaven (2002) Director
4.
  Velvet Goldmine (1998) Director
5.
  Safe (1995) Director
6.
  Dottie Gets Spanked (1993) Director
7.
  Poison (1989) Director
9.
  Sex Shop (1983) Director
10.
  Letter From a Friend (1982) Director

CAST: (feature film)

3.
 At Sundance (1995) Himself
4.
 Swoon (1991) Phrenology Head
5.
 He Was Once (1989)
6.
 Great Directors (2010)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Helmed the student films; "Suicide," "Letter From a Friend," "Sex Shop" and "Assassins: A Film Concerning Rimbaud"
1987:
Won underground cult-figure status with his 43 minute film, "Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story"
1987:
Formed Apparatus Productions, a non-profit film cooperative that provided resources and money for emerging filmmakers
1989:
Served "cease and desist" court order to stop showing "Superstar" by Carpenter estate and A&M Records
1989:
Produced short film "He Was Once," directed by Mary Hestand
1990:
Wrote and directed first feature, the three-part "Poison," inspired by the works of Jean Genet (made for approximately $200,000)
1992:
Appeared as a phrenology head in Tom Kalin's "Swoon"
1993:
Returned to the short form for "Dottie Gets Spanked" (aired on NYC's Channel 13 in 1994 and on PBS in 1995)
1995:
Earned critical praise for "Safe," his first feature shot in 35mm; first collaboration with actress Julianne Moore
1997:
Contributed additional dialogue to Cindy Sherman's "Office Killer"
1998:
Directed "Velvet Goldmine," about 1970s glam-rock; also scripted
2002:
Directed Julianne Moore in the award-winning, "Far From Heaven"; received Golden Globe and Oscar nominations for Best Screenplay
2007:
Helmed the Bob Dylan biopic "I'm Not There," with the singer-songwriter being portrayed by six actors; earned an Independent Spirit Award Nomination for Best Director
2011:
Directed the five-hour HBO miniseries "Mildred Pierce," starring Kate Winslet in the title role
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Bard College at Simon's Rock: Great Barrington , Massachusetts -
Bard College: Annandale-on-Hudson , New York -
Oakwood School: North Hollywood , California -
Brown University: Providence , Rhode Island - 1985

Notes

Haynes received a Golden Gate Award for "Superstar" in 1987.

"Mr. Haynes's accomplishment and future are beyond doubt. Like Genet, whose release from a lifelong prison sentence was accomplished with the help of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, Mr. Haynes has gone from being the outlaw creator of "Superstar" to being a praised filmmaker taken up by the intelligentsia. Soon he will probably be eminently acceptable to the mainstream. Who knows yet whether that is Mr. Haynes's blessing or his curse. Meanwhile, there is "Poison", the most iconoclastic little film ever made popular by right-wing politics." --Caryn James in THE NEW YORK TIMES, April 14, 1991

"I can't not make films right now that don't deal with illness, I can't. There's just no way. So instead of setting it in the transgressive world of 'Poison', I wanted to put it ['Safe'] about as far away from my reality and my experiences as possible--in a seemingly safe, undisturbed world. So I chose my family's world. I guess in a way, to make myself find the universal, the empathetic, to challenge my own critical instincts." --Haynes quoted by Manohla Dargis in "Endangered Zone: With Safe, Director Todd Haynes Declares His True Independence", VILLAGE VOICE, July 4, 1995

"Films reflect and instruct us at the same time, and that's strong stuff. So I do delight in the idea that by playing around, tinkering or upsetting that process of identification a little bit, people have to think more about what they're seeing, who's telling then what and why. A viewer has to ask the question: where is this idea coming from? Without losing all the pleasure that's part of the process. . . . I'm always surprised when films of mine which I think are intellectual experiments are received by a wider audience." --Haynes quoted in BOMB, c. July 1995

His feelings on finishing "Velvet Goldmine": "I don't want to touch another film for a few years. I was miserable, and it was largely due to how little money we had and how much I was demanding of myself. I didn't have much fun making the film, and that's sad. It's made me think about the way I work, and what I might want to do differently. Having a real budget would be the first step.

"I don't have a lot of good ways of releasing the enormous tension all directors feel. Often they get rid of it in cruel ways that aren't fair to people around them--I don't like hearing that about directors whose work I love, but I have a feeling they have more fun. When you're a little more sadistic, you get it off your chest." --Todd Haynes, SIGHT AND SOUND, September 1998

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
James Lyons. Editor, actor. Pair had conducted a six-year relationship as of June 1995; portrayed Bolton in "Homo" section of "Poison"; no longer together.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Allen E Haynes. Perfume sales representative. Owned sales company c. 1995.
mother:
Sherry Lynne Haynes. Interior decorator.
sister:
Gwendolyn Haynes. Born in March 1964.
brother:
Shawn Haynes. Born in February 1971.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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