skip navigation
Neil Jordan

Neil Jordan

Up
Down

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Recent DVDs

 
 

The Butcher Boy DVD Oscar-winning director Stephen Rea brings us this funny and tragic 1997... more info $5.98was $5.98 Buy Now

The Brave One DVD A Manhattan radio host turns lethal vigilante in the wake of unspeakable tragedy... more info $12.98was $12.98 Buy Now

The Company Of Wolves DVD "The Company of Wolves" (1984) is a retelling of the classic Little Red Riding... more info $24.95was $24.95 Buy Now

Ondine DVD Colin Farrell stars as a recovering alcoholic fisherman trying to pull his sad... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Interview With The Vampire... Every young fan of the "Twilight" series should thank novelist Anne Rice for her... more info $5.98was $5.98 Buy Now

Interview With The Vampire... MORE > $5.98 Regularly $5.98 Buy Now blu-ray



Also Known As: Neil Patrick Jordan Died:
Born: February 25, 1950 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Sligo, IE Profession: director, screenwriter, producer, novelist, short story writer, saxophonist, laborer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Though not a painter like his grandfather, mother and two sisters, Irish filmmaker Neil Jordan inherited the same artistic sensibilities and opted for a camera instead of a brush to create the visually rich canvasses of his always-complex pictures. After finding some success as the author of moody, turbulent short stories, Jordan was discovered by director John Boorman, who hired the young writer as a creative consultant on "Excalibur" (1981) and later funded his first feature, "Angel" (1982). He transitioned to Hollywood with a couple of misfire comedies - "High Spirits" (1988) and "We're No Angels" (1989) - that sent him packing to Ireland. Back on his home turf, he wrote and directed the lyrical coming-of-age drama "The Miracle" (1991), which found him in his non-comedic comfort zone. Free to indulge his passion for unconventional love stories underpinned by issues of violence and death, Jordan directed "The Crying Game" (1992), which earned him an Academy Award and the fine distinction of creating one of the most notorious plot twists in cinema history. Returning to Hollywood, he directed the more commercially successful "Interview with the Vampire" (1994) before helming a long-held passion...

Though not a painter like his grandfather, mother and two sisters, Irish filmmaker Neil Jordan inherited the same artistic sensibilities and opted for a camera instead of a brush to create the visually rich canvasses of his always-complex pictures. After finding some success as the author of moody, turbulent short stories, Jordan was discovered by director John Boorman, who hired the young writer as a creative consultant on "Excalibur" (1981) and later funded his first feature, "Angel" (1982). He transitioned to Hollywood with a couple of misfire comedies - "High Spirits" (1988) and "We're No Angels" (1989) - that sent him packing to Ireland. Back on his home turf, he wrote and directed the lyrical coming-of-age drama "The Miracle" (1991), which found him in his non-comedic comfort zone. Free to indulge his passion for unconventional love stories underpinned by issues of violence and death, Jordan directed "The Crying Game" (1992), which earned him an Academy Award and the fine distinction of creating one of the most notorious plot twists in cinema history. Returning to Hollywood, he directed the more commercially successful "Interview with the Vampire" (1994) before helming a long-held passion project about the titular divisive Irish hero, "Michael Collins" (1996). Along with such other acclaimed works as "The Butcher Boy" (1997) and "The Good Thief" (2003), Jordan, at his best, delivered provocative films that combined a stylistic freshness with pensive philosophical, social and sexual dimensions.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Byzantium (2013)
2.
  Ondine (2009)
3.
4.
  Breakfast on Pluto (2005) Director
5.
  Good Thief, The (2002) Director
6.
  End of the Affair, The (1999) Director
7.
  In Dreams (1999) Director
8.
  Butcher Boy (1997) Director
9.
  Michael Collins (1996) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Wrote first novel, <i>The Past</i>
1974:
Co-founded the Irish Writers Co-operative, which helped to publish local authors
1976:
Received a grant from the British Arts Council
:
Wrote three plays for Irish TV, one of which, "Night in Tunisia," was based on his collection of stories under the same name
1981:
Hired as creative consultant on John Boorman's "Excalibur"; also shot a documentary on the making of the film
1981:
First screenplay credit, "Traveller"; shot by director Joe Comerford in 16mm
1982:
Feature directorial debut, "Angel"; initial collaboration with actor Stephen Rea
1985:
Teamed with producer Stephen Woolley for "The Company of Wolves"
1986:
Enjoyed breakthrough success with "Mona Lisa," starring Bob Hoskins
1987:
Made producing debut as co-executive producer of the Irish-made, "The Courier"
1988:
Directed first American film, "High Spirits"; also wrote screenplay
1989:
Directed first feature he did not write script for, "We're No Angels"; screenplay by David Mamet
1990:
Filmed a segment for ABC's "Red, Hot and Blue," a televised variety salute to the music of Cole Porter that also promoted AIDS awareness
1991:
Returned to filmmaking with "The Miracle," based on his story, <i>Night in Tunisia</i>
1992:
Had international success with "The Crying Game," starring Stephen Rea and Miranda Richardson; received an Oscar nomination for Best Director
1994:
Directed Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt in "Interview with the Vampire"; adapted by Anne Rice from her novel of the same name
1996:
Directed Liam Neeson as the Irish patriot "Michael Collins"; also co-starred Aidan Quinn and Stephen Rea
1997:
Co-adapted (with novelist Patrick McCabe) and directed "The Butcher Boy"; Rea played dual role of Mr. Brady and the adult incarnation of the title character
1999:
Directed and co-scripted, from Bari Wood's novel <i>Doll's Eyes</i>, the supernatural thriller "In Dreams," starring Annette Bening and Robert Downey Jr.
1999:
Produced (with Woolley), adapted and directed the remake of Graham Greene's The End of the Affair"; eighth collaboration with Rea, who played the husband of Julianne Moore
2001:
Directed his own one-act stage play "White Horses" at Dublin's Gate Theater
2002:
Directed the thriller "The Good Thief," starring Nick Nolte as an aging gambler who attempts to rob a casino in the South of France
2005:
Directed "Breakfast on Pluto," starring Cillian Murphy as Patrick "Pussy" Braden, a transvestite prostitute
2007:
Directed Jodie Foster in the crime drama "The Brave One"
2010:
Directed Colin Farrell as an Irish fisherman who discovers a woman in his fishing net who he believes to be a mermaid in "Ondine"
2011:
Produced Showtime's historical drama "The Borgias," starring Jeremy Irons as Rodrigo Borgia, also known as Pope Alexander VI
2012:
Helmed the vampire film "Byzantium"
2013:
Wrote and directed the final two episodes of "The Borgias"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

St. Paul¿s College: -
University College, National University of Ireland: - 1972

Notes

"Neil is enigmatic. He's not cut out of a mold that we're used to dealing with in the American film business. He's got a lot of layers to him, and the publicity industry here doesn't know how to deal with that." --producer Art Linson, quoted in American Film, January 1990.

Speaking of the restless, antic days of Ireland in the 1960s during which he grew up, Jordan noted in American Film (January 1990): "It was a time a lot of us rebelled from, a generation of rebels. We grew up so much with talk of 'The Troubles' and we finally came to realize that 'The Troubles' was unfinished business, and that it would stay unfinished until people began changing their attitudes. The ideal of much of my parents' generation was that Ireland was a kind of pristine Gaelic culture that would be untouched by the outside world--and the Catholic Church did much to enforce this attitude."

"I'm a literary person, and my technique as a film director is an extension of my technique as a writer. I'm aware that the term 'literary' has a pejorative ring to a lot of critics here--they associate it with something like Merchant-Ivory and 'Masterpiece Theater'. But I'm talking about 20th century literary technique. I can't stand the usual kind of English fiction--you know, 'She was bored with the day's trivialities,' that sort of thing--I decided a long time ago to take the most outrageous chances with narration. I refuse to use devices that would let anyone think they were getting the story too easily--I want to get beneath that level of understanding, stir things up a bit. What's wrong with someone walking around days after they've seen or read something and then realizing, Oh, so THAT'S what that's about? Why does instant gratification in the arts have to be important?" --Jordan quoted in American Film, January 1990.

"The validity of the Scorsese comparison is flatly denied by Jordan, partly out of pride, partly out of respect. But the connection is there. Similar motifs surface in each of their movies. Fetishized women, cheap music, spoiled Catholic imagery. Solitary males reisting the tug of old bonds--the urban neighbourhood in Scorsese, the peasant soil in Jordan.

The Catholic angle is the most direct link; upfront in Scorsese, religious symbolism creeps into Jordan's films like an insinuating presence. The blades of an unseen police helicopter at the end of 'Angel' scouring the littered earth like a pentecostal wind; distant flames peeping through the legs of a King's Cross whore in 'Mona Lisa'." --Steve Beard in Arena magazine, Spring 1991.

"I make no apology [about 'Michael Collins']. 'Yesterday's terrorist is today's statesman.' ... To me the film shows the attempt of one character who was engaged in warfare and who tried to replace warfare with politics, and that is the continuing story of the relationship between Ireland and Britain, definitely. I don't have to justify that." --Jordan quoted in Variety, October 1996.

"Making a film is a strange experience because before the cameras start rolling I've got the entire movie mapped out in my head. The actual shoot is a vast logistical exercise that involves interminable periods of waiting to see what, in a sense, I've already seen. Intellectually it can be draining, but you must stay rigorously focused on your original vision of the film. Making a film involves 2000 voices saying, 'It should be this, it should be that,' and if you listen to them you're screwed." --Jordan to Kristine McKenna in the Los Angeles Times, March 29, 1998.

"I don't want to get on this career path of making bigger and bigger movies, which seems to be the logic of the whole industry. I had a bad [big-studio] experience a while ago with [the 1988 Steve Guttenberg-Daryl Hannah ghost comedy] 'High Spirits'. I shouldn't have gotten involved with it. It became a mess. The [studios] seem to do a lot of these huge event movies with young directors. I think they do that because these movies are not so much directed as made by committee. You've got to make films out of an individual sensibility or there's nothing there." --Jordan quoted in Entertainment Weekly, April 24, 1998.

"The fairy-story elelment that Neil brings to his work, even in such realistic films as 'Mona Lisa' is extraordinary. It allows you to read lots of different symbolism and layers into his films that, I think, aren't really in the work of his contemporaries.

"If you look at his second feature, 'Company of Wolves', it obviously wasn't as technically mature as his recent films. But if you look at the ideas and themes ranging through that movie, they're very much the kind of things that Neil is dealing with in 'Butcher Boy' and 'In Dreams' and even 'Interview With the Vampire': stories within stories, the meeting of legend and myth with fact. I personally feel that Neil is one of the few auteurs from Europe who has been able to make films in Hollywood--and certainly not have them turn into Hollywood films." --producer Stephen Wooley to Bob Strauss of the Boston Globe, January 17, 1999.

Remembering his directorial debut on "Angel/Danny Boy": "It was pure, absolute terror. I had no idea that you had to communicate your private thoughts to the 200 people on the set. I was walking up and down a beach with Chris [Menges, the cinematographer], looking for the precise location to do a shot. We'd walk 200 yards to the left, look around and say, 'No, this isn't good.' Then we'd walk back to where we were before, and I'd say, 'No, this isn't good.' I looked up suddenly and saw this enormous procession of vehicles on the promenade above, and everywhere I was walking, they'd follow ...

"I just shot what I wanted to see, really. And sometimes it was disconcerting for the actors. We would be shooting a dialogue scene with two people, and I'd say, 'I think I want to see a close-up here,' so I'd shoot the close-up of one actor, and not shoot the other one ... I think literally every foot that I shot ended up on screen." --Jordan quoted in Premiere, March 1999.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Vivienne Jordan. Separated but not divorced.
companion:
Beverly D'Angelo. Actor. No longer together; acted in Jordan's "The Miracle" (1991).
companion:
Brenda Rawn. Personal assistant. Has lived with Jordan since c. 1988; mother of three of Jordan's children.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Michael Jordan. Teacher. Died in 1984.
mother:
Angela Jordan. Painter.
daughter:
Anna Jordan. Mother, Vivienne Jordan.
daughter:
Sarah Jordan. Mother, Vivienne Jordan.
son:
Ben Jordan. Born c. 1990; mother's name is Mary.
son:
Daniel Jordan. Born c. 1992; mother, Brenda Rawn.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Night in Tunisia and Other Stories" Co-Op Books
"The Past" Jonathan Cape
"The Dream of a Beast" Chatto & Windus
"A Neil Jordan Reader" Vintage Books
"Nightlines" Random House
"Michael Collins: Screenplay and Film Diary" Vintage Books
VIEW COMPLETE BIBLIOGRAPHY

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute