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Sally Potter

Sally Potter

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Yes DVD Open your heart to this touching cross-cultural love affair! Joan Allen stars as... more info $19.99was $19.99 Buy Now

Orlando: Special Edition... In this time-twisting, gender-bending 1992 indie film by filmmaker Sally Potter,... more info $14.99was $14.99 Buy Now

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: September 19, 1949 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: England, GB Profession: director, screenwriter, dance impresario, dancer, lyricist, singer, choreographer, performance artist, musician

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A fixture of London's avant-garde dance and performance art circuit since the 1970s, this English experimental filmmaker gained international critical attention and acclaim with "Orlando" (1993), a fantastic costume drama based on Virginia Woolf's 1928 novel. Starring Tilda Swinton and Billy Zane, this elegant and stylized satire presents a fanciful critique of gender politics as it presents 400 years in the life of a man who becomes a woman to escape the constraints of England's assigned sex roles. Film critic Amy Taubin, writing in the Village Voice observed that that though the film is "internationally financed, with a Russian cinematographer and a French editor, it remains unmistakably a work of English culture." Potter's films tend to reflect feminist concerns in a somewhat academic manner but her roots, she claims, "are show business roots, albeit avant-garde ones." She trained as a dancer, went on to become a choreographer, and in 1974 co-founded the experimental Limited Dance Company. Potter choreographed and directed avant-garde dance, theater and film throughout the 70s; a memorable instance of the latter is her deconstructionist reworking of film musical conventions in the short "Thriller"...

A fixture of London's avant-garde dance and performance art circuit since the 1970s, this English experimental filmmaker gained international critical attention and acclaim with "Orlando" (1993), a fantastic costume drama based on Virginia Woolf's 1928 novel.

Starring Tilda Swinton and Billy Zane, this elegant and stylized satire presents a fanciful critique of gender politics as it presents 400 years in the life of a man who becomes a woman to escape the constraints of England's assigned sex roles. Film critic Amy Taubin, writing in the Village Voice observed that that though the film is "internationally financed, with a Russian cinematographer and a French editor, it remains unmistakably a work of English culture."

Potter's films tend to reflect feminist concerns in a somewhat academic manner but her roots, she claims, "are show business roots, albeit avant-garde ones." She trained as a dancer, went on to become a choreographer, and in 1974 co-founded the experimental Limited Dance Company. Potter choreographed and directed avant-garde dance, theater and film throughout the 70s; a memorable instance of the latter is her deconstructionist reworking of film musical conventions in the short "Thriller" (1979). She also worked as a musician/lyricist at various European jazz and new music festivals before writing and directing her feature debut, "The Gold Diggers" (1983). Shot by an all-female crew and starring Julie Christie, the film depicted the circulation of gold, women and money.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Bomb (2013)
2.
3.
  Rage (2009)
4.
  Yes (2004) Director
5.
  Man Who Cried, The (2000) Director
6.
  Tango Lesson, The (1997) Director
7.
  Orlando (1992) Director
9.
  Gold Diggers, The (1988) Director
10.
  London Story, The (1987) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Tango Lesson, The (1997) Sally
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
As a young child, wrote plays and gave musical performances
:
Was loaned an 8 millimeter camera at age 14
:
Made several short films at London Filmmakers Co-Op
:
Trained at London School of Contemporary Dance
1974:
Formed (with Jacky Lansley) Limited Dance Company
:
Choreographed and directed film, dance, and theater pieces in 1970s
:
Worked as a musician/lyricist throughout Europe in jazz and new music festivals
1979:
Directed, photographed, edited, and did sound recording for experimental black-and-white short "Thriller," a deconstruction of "La bohème"
1983:
Feature directing and screenwriting debut, "The Gold Diggers" starring Julie Christie; shot with all-female crew
1986:
Directed British TV documentary "Tears, Laughter, Fear and Rage" a four-part series on the politics of emotions
1989:
Formed (with producer Christopher Sheppard) film production company, the London-based Adventure Pictures
1993:
International breakthrough, romantic drama "Orlando" with Tilda Swinton in title role
1997:
Wrote, directed, and starred in semi-autobiographical "The Tango Lesson"
2000:
Co-produced, wrote, and directed "The Man Who Cried"
2005:
Wrote and directed "Yes," the story of a passionate love affair between an American woman (Joan Allen) and a Middle-Eastern man (Simon Abkarian), written in direct response to events of 9/11
2007:
Directed Georges Bizet's "Carmen" for English National Opera at the London Coliseum
2009:
Helmed "Rage," which also featured Simon Abkarian
2012:
Wrote and directed "Ginger & Rosa," starring Elle Fanning, Alice Englert, and Annette Bening
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

"As Potter's producer Christopher Sheppard describes it, "Orlando" is a $ 15 million to $ 20 million film made for $ 4 million in Western currencies, plus rubles, plus a lot of commitment and energy." --From Amy Taubin, "About Time" in Village Voice, June 22, 1993.

From an interview with Sally Potter conducted by Manohla Dargis in Interview, June 1993:

MD: It kills me to hear you spoken of as this "upstart director," when I've known about you for ten years.

SP: In a funny way I have no attachment to my own history. "Orlando" feels as if it were my first film in which I had a degree of mastery of the form, where I knew what I was doing, and how to do it. I must say I'm quite happy to be the newcomer.

The film "Orlando" has an end title that reads: "with special thanks to Michael Powell (1905-1990)".

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Pablo Veron. Died in sring of 1921.
companion:
Pablo Veron. Dancer. Featured in Potter's "The Tango Lesson" which documents their relationship.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Norman Potter. Has a third.
father:
Norman Potter. Born 1923; died 1995; Potter dedicated "The Tango Lesson" to him.

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