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Gregg Araki

Gregg Araki

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The Doom Generation DVD Billed as "a heterosexual movie by Gregg Araki," The Doom Generation is the... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Mysterious Skin: Deluxe Unrated Director's... Two Little League teammates confront their harrowing shared past in Gregg... more info $24.99was $24.99 Buy Now



Also Known As: Gregg Y Araki Died:
Born: December 17, 1959 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Los Angeles, California, USA Profession: screenwriter, director, director of photography, editor, producer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A self-styled "guerrilla filmmaker" (because he often makes films without permits and pays his actors very little), Gregg Araki's features are tinged with ironic nihilism and reflect the boredom, despair and inadequacy of segments of American youth who consider themselves outside the mainstream. The openly gay, Asian-American was born and raised in Southern California and made his first feature, "Three Bewildered People in the Night" (1987), on a budget of $5000. Shot in grainy black and white with a stationary camera, the film was a character study of a love triangle between an aspiring video artist, her gay male friend and her boyfriend. His second feature, "The Long Weekend (o' Despair)" (1989), shot in similar style on the same budget, depicted a reunion of college friends who come to realize that they cannot recapture the feelings of the recent past. Both films depicted disintegrating relationships in a starkly stylized, claustrophobic manner.Araki achieved a breakthrough with his third feature, "The Living End" (1992), which also earned him the label as a pioneer of the 'Queer New Wave Cinema'. Shot in bright colors on a budget of over $20,000, "The Living End" follows two HIV-positive men who,...

A self-styled "guerrilla filmmaker" (because he often makes films without permits and pays his actors very little), Gregg Araki's features are tinged with ironic nihilism and reflect the boredom, despair and inadequacy of segments of American youth who consider themselves outside the mainstream. The openly gay, Asian-American was born and raised in Southern California and made his first feature, "Three Bewildered People in the Night" (1987), on a budget of $5000. Shot in grainy black and white with a stationary camera, the film was a character study of a love triangle between an aspiring video artist, her gay male friend and her boyfriend. His second feature, "The Long Weekend (o' Despair)" (1989), shot in similar style on the same budget, depicted a reunion of college friends who come to realize that they cannot recapture the feelings of the recent past. Both films depicted disintegrating relationships in a starkly stylized, claustrophobic manner.

Araki achieved a breakthrough with his third feature, "The Living End" (1992), which also earned him the label as a pioneer of the 'Queer New Wave Cinema'. Shot in bright colors on a budget of over $20,000, "The Living End" follows two HIV-positive men who, in the midst of a casual affair, embark on a road trip after one murders a policeman. The film exploits and explodes the cliches of the road picture to create a controversial exploration of life in a society where AIDS and homophobia are inescapable realities.

Araki's fourth film, "Totally F***ed Up" (1993), was actually shot before "The Living End" but delayed because of funding difficulties. "Totally F***ed Up" portrays, in a fragmented structure, the lives of six gay and lesbian teenagers contending with AIDS, suicide, homophobia, despair, depression and drugs. "The Doom Generation" (1995), subtitled "A Heterosexual Movie", was a return to the road picture. Essentially a riff on "The Living End", it focuses on two alienated teenagers, aimlessly driving around California, whose lives are transformed when they become involved with a mysterious drifter. The supporting cast was filled with odd cameos by such diverse personalities as former madam Heidi Fleiss and 1970s TV icons Lauren Tewes ("The Love Boat") and Christopher Knight ("The Brady Bunch"). The visually striking "Nowhere" (filmed in 1995; released in 1997) is Araki's take on the interrelationships among post-high school youth in Los Angeles and is meant to be an antithetical version of TV's "Beverly Hills, 90210".

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

2.
  Kaboom (2010)
3.
  Smiley Face (2007)
4.
  Mysterious Skin (2004) Director
5.
  Splendor (1999) Director
6.
  Nowhere (1997) Director
7.
  Doom Generation, The (1995) Director
8.
  Totally F***ed Up (1993) Director
9.
  Living End, The (1992) Director
10.

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 At Sundance (1995) Himself
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Santa Barbara, California
1987:
Directed first feature (reportedly for $5,000), "Three Bewildered People in the Night"
1992:
Breakthrough feature "The Living End" released
1993:
Began his "teenage" trilogy with "Totally F***ed Up"
1995:
First feature with budget of $1 million, "The Doom Generation"
1997:
Completed unofficial trilogy with the nihilistic "Nowhere"
1999:
Shifted gears and directed the romantic comedy "Splendor"
2000:
Produced and directed the MTV series "This Is How the World Ends"
2004:
Earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for directing "Mysterious Skin"
2007:
Directed the comedy "Smiley Face," starring Anna Faris
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Education

University of California, Santa Barbara: Santa Barbara , California - 1982
University of Southern California: Los Angeles , California - 1984

Notes

Araki freely admits that his films frequently refer to Godard: "Totally F***ed Up" borrows the intertitle device and the lesbian leads Michele and Patricia are named after the characters played by Jean-Paul Belmando and Jean Seberg in "Breathless"; the male leads in "The Living End" are named John and Luc, etc. --Noted by Chris Chang in "Absorbing Alternative" in Film Comment, September-October 1994.

"I taught a class in independent film at my old school in Santa Barbara and we talked about this idea of 'the mainstream' versus ideas of 'the outside' and 'the edge'. We came up with this metaphor of an amoeba or giant blob absorbing everything. Punk culture, which starts way out there with The Sex Pistols ad safety pins through your nose, all becomes accountants driving around listening to Nirvana. Everything out there eventually comes around. Being on the outside, being a part of alternative culture, being gay and away from the middle of the road has always struck me as a very scary and hypocritical thing. I've always distrusted popular culture, Top 40, hit TV shows, and I don't like being in a huge faceless crowd, or a mob. I just feel more comfortable outside than inside but, at the same time, as the margins get pushed further and further, they're slowly drifting towards you." --Araki in Film Comment, September-October 1994.

"None of my films are autobiographical, [but] I make films about a very specific subculture or milieu which is directly related to my experience." --Araki in "Absorbing Alternative" in Film Comment, September-October 1994.

"I'm very interested in sex and violence. Not in a slasher, T&A way, but violence as bizarre action."--Araki quoted in Elle, December 1993.

"One thing I hate about contemporary movies is that most of them clearly lack any visual conception or style. They're flat, lifeless and predictable. A lot of things influence me visually besides other films -- magazines, photography, MTV, advertising." --Araki quoted in UGC News, February 1995.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Kathleen Robertson. Actor. Appeared in "Nowhere"; reportedly began dating in 1996; no longer together.

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