Anthony David Leighton Scott was an English film director and producer. He was known for directing action and thriller films such as Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop II, The Last Boy Scout, True Romance, Crimson Tide, Enemy of the State, Man on Fire, Déjà Vu, Unstoppable. Scott was the younger brother of film director Sir Ridley Scott, they both graduated from the Royal College of Art in London. In 1995 both Tony and Ridley received the BAFTA Award for Outstanding British Contribution To Cinema. In 2010, they received the BAFTA Britannia Award for Worldwide Contribution to Filmed Entertainment, he committed suicide on 19 August 2012, by jumping off the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro, California. Scott was born in Tynemouth, North East England, the youngest of three sons of Elizabeth and Colonel Francis Percy Scott. Scott's great uncle Dixon Scott was a pioneer of the cinema chain. One of Dixon's cinemas, Tyneside cinema, is still operating in Newcastle, it is the last remaining open newsreel cinema operating in the United Kingdom.
He followed in his elder brother's footsteps, studying at Grangefield School, West Hartlepool College of Art and graduating from Sunderland Art School with a fine arts degree. At the age of 16 he appeared in Boy and Bicycle, a short film marking the directorial debut of his 23-year-old brother Ridley. Scott studied art in Leeds after failing to gain admission to the Royal College of Art in London at his first attempt, he made a short film in 1969 based on the Ambrose Bierce story One of the Missing. As Ridley had cast him in a film, he reciprocated by giving his brother a role too. "The film cost £1,000", he recalled in April 2012. Whilst at the Royal College of Art, where he was taught by Raymond Durgnat, he starred in "Don't Walk", a film by fellow students Hank Onrust and Richard Stanley: the film credits state it was "made for BUNAC by MARCA films at the Royal College of Art", he graduated from the Royal College of Art, following in the footsteps of his elder brother Ridley, with the intention of becoming a painter.
His eldest brother Frank had earlier joined the British Merchant Navy. It was the success of his elder brother's fledgling television commercial production outfit, Ridley Scott Associates, that subsequently diverted his attention to film, his brother Ridley said, "Tony had wanted to do documentaries at first. I told him,'Don't go to the BBC, come to me first.' I knew that he had a fondness for cars, so I told him,'Come work with me and within a year you'll have a Ferrari.' And he did!" Scott said, "I was finishing eight years at art school, Ridley had opened Ridley Scott Associates and said,'Come and make commercials and make some money' because I owed money left and right and centre." He directed many television commercials for RSA while overseeing the company's operation while his brother was developing his feature film career. "My goal was to make films but I got sidetracked into commercials and I took off. I had 15 years, it was a blast. We were prolific, and, our training ground. You'd shoot 100 days in a year we gravitated from that to film," he said.
Scott took time out in 1975 to direct a television adaptation of the Henry James story The Author of Beltraffio. After the feature film successes of fellow British directors Hugh Hudson, Alan Parker, Adrian Lyne and his elder brother during the late 1970s, all of whom had graduated from directing advertising commercials, he received initial overtures from Hollywood in 1980, his eldest brother Frank died, aged 45, of skin cancer during the same year. Scott reflected on his career in 2009: The'80s was a whole era. We were criticised, we being the Brits coming over, because we were out of advertising—Alan Parker, Hugh Hudson, Adrian Lyne, my brother—we were criticised about style over content. Jerry Bruckheimer was bored of the way American films were traditional and classically done. Jerry was always looking for difference. That's, he always applauded the way. That period in the'80s was a period when I was being criticised, my press was horrible. I never read any press after The Hunger. Scott persisted in trying to embark on a feature film career.
Among the ideas interesting to him was an adaptation of the Anne Rice novel Interview with the Vampire in development. MGM was developing the vampire film The Hunger, for which they brought Scott on in 1982; the Hunger introduced Willem Dafoe in a small role. The Hunger had elaborate photography and sumptuous production design, but it failed to find an audience or impress the critics, had disappointing box office sales, though it became a cult favourite. Finding few film opportunities in Hollywood over the next two and a half years, Scott returned to commercials and music videos. In 1985, producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer approached Scott to direct Top Gun on the strength of The Hunger, as well as a commercial he had done for Swedish automaker Saab in the early 1980s, where a Saab 900 turbo is shown racing a Saab 37 Viggen fighter jet. Scott, though reluctant at first, agreed to direct Top Gun. Though the film received mixed critical review, it became one of the highest-grossing films of 1986, taking in more than $350 million, making a star of its young lead, Tom Cruise.
Sam Delaney of The Guardian writes, "By the mid-80s, Hollywood was awash with British directors who had ushered in a new era of blockbusters using the crowd-pleasing skills they'd honed in advertising. The vast resources and freedom made available to ad
Monkey Trouble is a 1994 American comedy drama film directed by Franco Amurri and starring Thora Birch and Harvey Keitel. Eva Gregory lives in Los Angeles with her mother Amy, her brother Jack, her stepfather Tom, a police lieutenant. Tom's daughter Tessa babysits Eva and Jack. Eva wants a dog, but her mother does not think she is responsible enough to take care of a pet, her stepfather is allergic to fur, she cannot keep the pet at her father Peter's house because he is a pilot and travels a lot. A gypsy kleptomaniac Azro, whose wife and son Mark left him, is now a vagabond, lives off the grid with his intelligent Capuchin monkey Fingers. Azro blames Fingers for his son leaving, he works as a hurdy gurdy-playing busker at Venice Beach, using Fingers' cuteness as a way to lure in tourists. Azro has taught Fingers. A pair of Italian mafia members named Charlie show up to Azro's act, they deduce Azro's scheme, proposition him to bigger and better opportunities. They ask him to join their crime syndicate, with Fingers using his pickpocket skills to burglarize homes of socialites.
The men want to do a test run to see how Fingers will act, they drive to a random residence, Eva's home. Fingers steals various expensive items, Azro joins the crime group. Feeling ashamed of his actions that night Fingers runs away from Azro; the next day, as Eva is walking home from school, Fingers drops from a tree and latches himself onto Eva. She becomes connected to him, names him "Dodger", as he likes Eva's baseball cap, labeled after the same named team. Eva hides him in her bedroom, she becomes more responsible with her chores, helps take care of her infant brother Jack, to whom she reveals Dodger. She researches information on his breed; when Eva has to leave for school, she leaves him in the care of a woman who runs a pet shop near her home, Annie. Eva fibs. Azro tries to find the monkey, the Italian mafia members pester him over this. Eva spends some weekends with her father, worries about how she can hide Dodger while she's away. However, Peter can't have her over, she takes advantage of this circumstance to have a personal weekend alone with Dodger in her father's empty house, hides his message from her mother and stepfather.
She has her best friend her mother Missy drive her to her father's house. During the trip, Eva secretly reveals Dodger to Katie. Once there, Eva realizes. Dodger is able to break into the home. Once inside, they realize that there isn't any food and Eva has not brought any money, she decides to busk for money with Dodger at Venice Beach boardwalk near Peter's house. While Eva is riding her bike to the boardwalk and Azro spot each other, without Eva being aware, Dodger jumps off her bike. Azro tries to catch Dodger. Dodger secretly makes his way back to Eva's bike, they start their performance, with Dodger secretly pickpocketing everybody just as with when he was with Azro. At a grocery store that evening, with Dodger hiding in Eva's backpack, he steals and hides food without Eva knowing; the management of the store, unaware there is a monkey in her backpack, assume Eva is shoplifting and allow her to return the items without being punished. Eva is puzzled, opens her backpack in a back aisle of the store, sees the items Dodger stole.
When she returns home, she scolds him. Dodger reveals all the items he has stolen since he met Eva, she realizes that he was taught how to break into buildings. She decides to teach him not to steal anymore. Azro finds out about the supermarket incident, a store manager gives him Peter's address. Eva calls a taxi. Azro arrives at the house, Eva is scared of him, she and Dodger run out of the escape. The next day, Azro finds out. Azro attacks steals Dodger back. Azro is aghast when he discovers that the monkey won't steal anymore during a meeting with the mafia members. Meanwhile and Tom, who have been dealing with reports on stolen jewelry, discover more stolen property in Eva's room, they confront her about it, she tries to explain about her hidden monkey, but they don't believe her. Things get worse when Peter stops by and says that he had been in Canada all weekend, which reveals that Eva had lied about that time. Heartbroken at the disappearance of her beloved pet, she is upset that no one believes her.
She runs away to look for Dodger after Katie tells Eva that Dodger is at the park. She is accosted by Azro, furious about her teaching Dodger not to steal. Meanwhile, Jack ends up saying his first word, "monkey", revealing to Amy and Tom that there is a monkey in the house and that Eva had been telling the truth, they all go along with Tom's fellow police officers, to look for her. Dodger saves her, Azro is arrested by Tom; the mafia members escape but are soon arrested. Eva walks away with Dodger after she shows her mother that she is responsible and her stepfather discovers that he is not allergic to the fur of monkeys. Mark fails. Dodger ends up staying with Eva. Finster as Fingers/Dod
White Squall (film)
White Squall is a 1996 American disaster survival feature film directed by Ridley Scott. It is a coming of age film in which a group of high school and college age teen-agers sign up for several months of training aboard a sail ship, a brigantine, travel around half the globe when they are challenged by a severe storm; the film stars Jeff Bridges in the role of the captain, called "Skipper", his wife played by Caroline Goodall, a supporting cast portraying a group of nearly a dozen student sailors. The film is based on the fate of the brigantine Albatross, which sank 2 May 1961 because of a white squall; the film relates the ill-fated school sailing trip led by Dr. Christopher B. Sheldon, whom the boys call "Skipper", he teaches them discipline. He forms a close connection with all-American Chuck Gieg, troubled rich kid Frank Beaumont, shy Gil Martin and bad-boy Dean Preston. On the first days, it is discovered that one of the student crew members, Gil Martin, suffers from acrophobia and does not try to rescue Chuck, who nearly chokes to death when he becomes entangled in some rigging after slipping from one of the masts.
After Chuck was saved by Skipper Sheldon, Gil is ordered to climb the ropes, which he cannot do, is assigned to alternative limited duty while on board. The brigantine puts into shore and the boys take their leave on the island. Frank's wealthy father and mother give him a surprise visit. Frank is upset that the visit seems poorly timed by his overbearing parents, he becomes separated from the boys and their festivities when his parents require him to go out to "steak dinner" with them; the father and son end up in a fist become further estranged by the visit and the fight. After a night of festivities, the crew set out to sea again on the next day; when a white squall threatens their ship, the boys try to use what Skipper has taught them to survive the horrific ordeal. Jeff Bridges as Captain Christopher "Skipper" Sheldon Caroline Goodall as Alice Sheldon John Savage as McCrea Scott Wolf as Chuck Gieg Jeremy Sisto as Frank Beaumont Ryan Phillippe as Gil Martin Eric Michael Cole as Dean Preston Julio Oscar Mechoso as Girard Pascal Balthazar Getty as Tod Johnstone Jason Marsden as Shay Jennings David Lascher as Robert March Ethan Embry as Tracy Lapchick David Selby as Francis Beaumont Jordan Clarke as Charles Gieg, Sr. Željko Ivanek as Capt. Sanders James Rebhorn as Capt. Tyler Jill Larson as Peggy Beaumont Lizzy Mackay as Middy Gieg Part of the film was shot using a horizon tank in Malta, with a full-sized mock-up of the ship, the Eye of the Wind, used to depict the Albatross in scenes shot in the Caribbean.
Maurice Jarre was scheduled to compose the original score, but was replaced by Hans Zimmer's protégé Jeff Rona. Zimmer was failed to commit due to time difficulties; the song in the end credits is "Valparaiso" by Sting. The film received mixed to positive reviews and holds a 60% based on 35 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes with the consensus stating: "Though it gets bogged down by touchy-feely sentiment, White Squall benefits from Jeff Bridges' assured lead performance and Ridley Scott's visceral, exciting direction". White Squall, like Scott's previous film, 1492: Conquest of Paradise, was a box office disappointment. Roger Ebert gave it three stars. In his review he said "I enjoyed the movie for the sheer physical exuberance of its adventure." White Squall on IMDb White Squall at AllMovie
Red Dragon (2002 film)
Red Dragon is a 2002 psychological horror film based on the novel of the same title by Thomas Harris. Anthony Hopkins stars as Dr. Hannibal Lecter, it is a prequel to The Silence of the Hannibal. The novel was adapted into the film Manhunter; the film was directed by Brett Ratner and written for the screen by Ted Tally, who wrote the screenplay for The Silence of the Lambs. Hopkins reprises Lecter, a role he played twice before in The Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal, Edward Norton as FBI agent Will Graham; the film stars Ralph Fiennes, Harvey Keitel, Emily Watson, Mary-Louise Parker, Philip Seymour Hoffman. In 1980 Dr. Hannibal Lecter attends an orchestral performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream in Baltimore, Maryland, he is irritated by a flute player who misses his part. He hosts a dinner party in his townhouse for the orchestra's board of directors. During conversation, the disappearance of the flute player is brought up; when one of the guests asks about the amuse-bouche Lecter made, he responds that if he tells her, she might not try it.
Lecter is visited by Will Graham, a gifted FBI agent who has the ability to empathize with psychopaths. Graham has been working with Lecter on a psychological profile of a serial killer nicknamed “The Chesapeake Ripper”, who removed edible body parts from his victims, leading Graham to believe him to be a cannibal. During the consultation, Graham discovers evidence implicating Lecter as the Ripper. Lecter attacks Graham with a knife and disembowels him, but Graham impales Lecter with several arrows and empties his handgun into him. Lecter is sentenced to life imprisonment in an institution for the criminally insane. Graham is traumatized by the experience and retires from the FBI. Six years another serial killer, nicknamed “The Tooth Fairy”, appears, he has killed two entire families during sequential full moons. Special Agent Jack Crawford seeks a reluctant Graham's assistance in developing the killer's psychological profile. With the death of another family weeks away on the next full moon, Crawford guilt trips him into agreeing.
After visiting the crime scenes and speaking with Crawford, Graham concludes that he must once again consult Lecter. The Tooth Fairy is Francis Dolarhyde, who kills at the behest of his alternate personality whom he calls "The Great Red Dragon", he is obsessed with the William Blake painting The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun, has the painting tattooed on his back. He believes, his psychopathology was born from the severe abuse he suffered as a child at the hands of his sadistic grandmother. Meanwhile, Freddy Lounds, a tabloid reporter, who hounded Graham after Lecter's capture, follows him again for leads on The Tooth Fairy. There is a secret correspondence between Dolarhyde. Graham's wife and son are endangered when Lecter gives The Tooth Fairy the agent's home address, forcing them to relocate to a farm owned by Crawford's brother. Hoping to lure out The Tooth Fairy, Graham gives Lounds an interview in which he disparages the killer as an impotent homosexual; this provokes Dolarhyde, who kidnaps glues him to an antique wheelchair.
Dolarhyde forces Lounds to recant his allegations, bites off his lips, sets him on fire outside his newspaper's offices. At his job in a St. Louis photo lab, Dolarhyde falls in love with Reba McClane, a blind co-worker, he takes her home. However, his alternate personality demands. Desperate to stop the Dragon's "possession" of him, Dolarhyde goes to the Brooklyn Museum, tears apart the original Blake painting, eats it. Meanwhile, Graham deduces that the killer knew the layout of his victim's houses from their home videos, he concludes that the killer works for the company that edits the home movies and transfers them to video. He starts searching the company processing plant and asks for the workers' personnel files, overheard by Dolarhyde as he returns from Brooklyn. Dolarhyde leaves the plant unseen and goes to Reba's house. Dolarhyde finds that she has spent the evening with a co-worker, Ralph Mandy, whom she dislikes. Enraged by this apparent betrayal, Dolarhyde kills Ralph, kidnaps Reba, takes her to his house, sets it on fire.
Finding himself unable to shoot her, Dolarhyde shoots himself. Reba is able to escape the house. Dolarhyde, having used Ralph's corpse to stage his own death, turns up at Graham's home in Florida, he holds Graham's son hostage, threatening to kill him. To save his son, Graham slings insults at the boy. Enraged, Dolarhyde attacks Graham. Both men are wounded in a shootout which ends only when Graham's wife kills Dolarhyde. Graham receives a letter from Lecter which praises him for stopping The Tooth Fairy, bids him well, says they are going to cross paths soon; some time Lecter's jailer, Dr. Frederick Chilton, tells him that he has a visitor, a young woman from the FBI. Lecter asks her name. Red Dragon: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was composed by Danny Elfman, produced by Mark Helfrich and Brett Ratner. Decca Records released it on September 2002, in the United States and Canada. Red Dragon was released on October 4, 2002, opened in 3,357 theaters in the United States, grossing $13,478,355 on its opening day and $36,540,945 on its opening weekend, ranking #1 with a per theater average of $10,885.
On its second weekend, it grossed $17,655,750 -- $5,250 per theater. By its third weekend it made $8,763,545 -- $2,649 per theater. Red Dragon grossed $93
American Gangster (film)
American Gangster is a 2007 American biographical crime film directed and produced by Ridley Scott and written by Steven Zaillian. The film is fictionally based on the criminal career of Frank Lucas, a gangster from La Grange, North Carolina who smuggled heroin into the United States on American service planes returning from the Vietnam War, before being detained by a task force led by detective Richie Roberts; the film stars Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe in their first lead acting roles together since 1995's Virtuosity. The film co-stars Ted Levine, John Ortiz, Josh Brolin, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Norman Reedus, Ruby Dee, Lymari Nadal and Cuba Gooding Jr. Development for the film began in 2000, when Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment purchased the rights to a New York magazine story about the rise and fall of Lucas. Two years screenwriter Steven Zaillian introduced a 170-page scriptment to Scott. Original production plans were to commence in Toronto for budget purposes; because of the film's rising budget Universal canceled production in 2004.
After negotiations with Terry George, it was revived with Scott at the helm in March 2005. Principal photography commenced over a period of five months from July to December 2006. American Gangster premiered in New York on October 20, 2007, was released in the United States and Canada on November 2; the film was well received by most film critics, grossed over US$266.5 million worldwide, with domestic grosses standing at $130.1 million. Many of the people portrayed, including Roberts and Lucas, have stated that the film took a lot of creative license with the story, three former DEA agents sued Universal claiming the agency's portrayal was demoralizing. American Gangster was nominated for twenty-one awards, including two Academy Award nominations for Best Art Direction and Best Supporting Actress, won three including a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role for Dee. In 1968, Frank Lucas is the right-hand man of Harlem gangster Ellsworth "Bumpy" Johnson.
When Johnson dies of a heart attack, Lucas takes control of the Harlem crime scene. After handing in $1 million that he found in a mobster's car, Newark detective Richie Roberts is ostracized in his precinct. After his exiled and addicted partner overdoses on a potent brand of heroin called "Blue Magic", Captain Lou Toback puts Roberts in charge of a task force that targets local suppliers. Lucas buys Blue Magic directly from producers in Thailand and smuggles it into the U. S. through returning Vietnam War servicemen. His low overhead allows him to wholesale Blue Magic to most of the dealers in the New York area. With this monopoly, Lucas expands his control to nightclubs and prostitution, he buys a mansion for his mother and recruits his five brothers, including Huey and Turner, as lieutenants to spread his empire. During his rise to becoming Harlem's crime boss, Lucas falls in love with Eva, a Puerto Rican beauty queen; as Lucas' business prospers, he makes a point of operating and dressing with a modest conservatism both as a sign of strength and to avoid attracting police attention.
He stays away from the drugs to avoid making hard decisions under the influence. However, Lucas violates these principles when he attends the Fight of the Century with Eva, sporting gaudy clothes that were a present by Eva. Meanwhile, Lucas needs to deal with Lucchese mafia boss Dominic Cattano, who threatens to destroy Lucas' family unless he gets in on a deal, corrupt NYPD detectives led by Nick Trupo, who attempts to extort and blackmail him to give them a cut. Lucas must compete with local crime figure Nicky Barnes, a young gun trying to take over Harlem, diluting Lucas' Blue Magic and selling it under the same brand name. After the Fall of Saigon cuts off Lucas' supply, he is forced to rely on the other crime rings. Roberts' detectives witness Frank Lucas' cousin and driver shoot a woman and use the threat of a long sentence to get him to wear a wire; the gathered information allows Roberts and his task force to identify and search one of the last planes carrying Lucas' stock, discovering Blue Magic in the coffins of dead returning servicemen.
With this evidence they obtain a warrant to follow the drugs into Newark's projects and Lucas' heroin processing facility. In the ensuing shootout, Steve Lucas, Frank Lucas' young nephew who gave up a promising career for the New York Yankees to join Lucas' crime family, is killed. Meanwhile, whose prized Shelby Mustang Lucas had destroyed, his men break into Lucas' mansion to steal his emergency cash supply hidden under the doghouse, killing the dog; as Lucas gets ready to go after Trupo, his mother dissuades him from killing a cop, warning him that she and Eva will leave him if he does. Lucas is arrested. In the police station, Lucas is rebuffed. Lucas threatens Roberts' life, in which Lucas explains his hatred for police officers. Roberts offers Lucas a chance at a shorter jail sentence if he aids his investigation of dirty cops in the NYPD and Lucas duly provides Roberts with the names. In the end, three quarters of the New York DEA are arrested and convicted, a distraught Trupo commits suicide.
Roberts, having just passed the bar exam, defends Lucas as his first client. Lucas is sentenced
RKO 281 is a 1999 American historical drama film directed by Benjamin Ross and starring Liev Schreiber, James Cromwell, Melanie Griffith, John Malkovich, Roy Scheider and Liam Cunningham. The film depicts the troubled production behind the 1941 film Citizen Kane; the film's title is a reference to the original production number of Citizen Kane. In 1940, Orson Welles, RKO studio head George Schaefer, screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz struggle in making what will be considered as the greatest American film of all time, Citizen Kane. Welles and Mankiewicz attend a party at Hearst Castle where meeting the hypocritical and tyrannical William Randolph Hearst gives him the inspiration to make a film about his life. Mankiewicz is against it as he knows Hearst's wrath will be horrible, but Welles says this is the film. Mankiewicz agrees. After learning from Hedda Hopper, who had viewed a press screening, that Welles' film is a thinly veiled and exceptionally unflattering biography of him, publishing tycoon Hearst uses his immense power and influence to try to deny the release of the picture.
Hearst's mistress, actress Marion Davies, endures the embarrassment of having their private lives exposed and vilified, while offering Hearst consolation and money when his finances begin to diminish. In the end, after considerable delays and harassment, plus the disintegration of the professional relationship between Welles and Mankiewicz and a costly blow to Schaefer's career, the film is released, its publicity is muted by Hearst's ban on its mention in all his publications, its commercial success is limited. Welles, however has the satisfaction of having created one of the most critically admired films of all time. Liev Schreiber as Orson Welles John Malkovich as Herman J. Mankiewicz Roy Scheider as George Schaefer James Cromwell as William Randolph Hearst Melanie Griffith as Marion Davies Liam Cunningham as Gregg Toland David Suchet as Louis B. Mayer Brenda Blethyn as Louella Parsons Fiona Shaw as Hedda Hopper Lucy Cohu as Dolores del Río Producer Ridley Scott wanted to film in the Hearst Castle, but was denied.
RKO 281 was filmed in the United Kingdom around London. The Gothic stairwell in Hearst Castle was filmed in the St Pancras Chambers, attached to St. Pancras Station. Hearst's private quarters and office, including a marble fireplace, were filmed in the high-ceilinged Gamble Room in the Victoria & Albert Museum; the fireplace seen in the room was saved from Dorchester House prior to that building's demolition in 1929. The Hearst castle dining hall and ballroom was filmed in the Great Hall of the London Guildhall. On aggregate review site Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a "fresh" rating of 93%, based on 14 reviews; the film won Best Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television at the 2000 Golden Globes, received a Emmy Award for Outstanding Casting for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special. Score composer John Altman won a Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special. RKO 281 on IMDb
Michael "Mike" Figgis is an English film director and composer. He was nominated for two Academy Awards for his work in Leaving Las Vegas. Figgis was born in Carlisle and grew up in Nairobi, Kenya until he was eight; the rest of his childhood was spent in Newcastle upon Tyne. Figgis's early interest was in music, he played trumpet and guitar in the People Band and is audible in their first record in 1968. He played keyboards for Bryan Ferry's first band. In 1983 he directed a theatre play, produced in Theatre Gerard-Philipe; this play performed with great success in Theater der Welt. After working in theatre Figgis made his feature film debut with the low budget Stormy Monday in 1988; the film earned him attention as a director who could get interesting performances from established Hollywood actors. His first American film was Internal Affairs, his next Hollywood feature, Mr. Jones, was misunderstood by the studio, who attempted to market the downbeat story as a feelgood film, resulting in a box office flop.
Figgis poured his disenchantment with the film industry into Leaving Las Vegas, which starred Nicolas Cage and Elisabeth Shue, which earned Figgis Academy Award nominations for Best Directing and Best Screenplay. He followed this up with the romantic drama One Night Stand, starring Wesley Snipes and Nastassja Kinski, but the movie received a poor response from critics and was a commercial failure, his most ambitious film to date is the low-budget film The Loss of Sexual Innocence, a loosely based autobiographical film of the director himself. Forays into digital video technology led Figgis to conceive of and direct Timecode, which took advantage of the technology to create an ensemble film shot with four cameras all in one take and presented and uncut, dividing the screen into four-quarters, he returned to the Timecode quad-screen approach for his section of Ten Minutes Older, but has worked on documentary pieces including a segment of The Blues and a short piece on flamenco. His curiosity with the cinematic use of time has led him to cite Robert Enrico's 1962 film version of An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge as an influential film for him.
Figgis has a well-documented love-hate relationship with the Hollywood system which leads him to be an outspoken critic of the system while despairing the lack of a better alternative, in his mind, at the moment. At an appearance at Camerimage in 2005, he expressed the view that filmmaking had become "boring and need to become worse before anything better can emerge" at least in reaction. Figgis was the founding patron of the independent filmmakers online community Shooting People. At one of their events in 2005 he said that filmmaking with a small digital camera made the experience more like painting or novel writing than the movie industry, his fascination with camera technology has led him to create a camera stabilisation rig for smaller video cameras, called the Fig Rig which places the camera on a platform held within a steering wheel-like system and has since been released by Manfrotto Group. In 2007, Figgis shot his newest feature Love Live Long set between Istanbul and Bratislava on the infamous Gumball 3000 Rally, starring Sophie Winkleman and Daniel Lapaine.
Figgis, since 2008, has been professor of film studies at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, where he conducts intensive summer seminars. In 2008, he was called upon by Transport for London to help shoot a PIF entitled A Little Thought From Each of Us, A Big Difference For Everyone, encouraging more considerate behaviour on London's public transport systems, shown in London cinemas; the ad comprised the screen split into four sections, each section showing one of four scenarios all on the same double-decker bus. At the end of the ad, the friction-creating scenarios were resolved and the ad ended on "A little thought from each of us. A big difference for everyone." To promote a new camera phone, Sony Ericsson commissioned Figgis to create Life Captured, a short film made out of mobile phone snapshots taken by 14 people from Europe, the Middle East, Africa, who were selected to submit a series of photos after winning the global competition. Figgis was made an Honorary Associate of London Film School.
The House Stormy Monday Internal Affairs Women & Men 2 Liebestraum Mr. Jones The Browning Version Leaving Las Vegas Flamenco Women One Night Stand The Loss of Sexual Innocence Miss Julie Timecode Hotel The Battle of Orgreave Ten Minutes Older: The Cello Segment: About Time 2 The Blues – Episode: Red, And Blues Cold Creek Manor The Sopranos – Episode: "Cold Cuts" Co/Ma Love Live Long The Colette Film Suspension of Disbelief Mike Figgis: Collected Screenplays 1 – Stormy Monday, Leaving Las Vegas Digital Filmmaking The Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations: 978-057130504-9 Wellcome Trust oral-history interview from July 2009 Mike Figgis Faculty page at European Graduate School Mike Figgis on IMDb Mike Figgis at the TCM Movie Database Mike Figgis biography and credits at the BFI's Screenonline Digital Filmmaking book A short film for Agent Provocateur Interview Mike Figgis judged the Film of the Month competition in January 2009 on the independent filmmakers networking site Shooting People