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Todd Haynes (1961 - )

Lifespan: 1961 -

Related: gay cinema - queer cinema - American cinema - director

Films: Poison (1991)

Safe (1995) - Todd Haynes [Amazon.com]


Maverick, onetime New Queer Cinema director Todd Haynes (born January 2, 1961, Encino, California) has had a controversial, if short, career. His 1987 stop-action animation film, Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, caused Richard Carpenter to sue him and was removed from distribution. His 1991 debut, Poison, based on the writings of Jean Genet, and partly funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, was targeted by the American Family Association's Reverend Donald Wildmon as inappropriately federally funded "filth". His sophomore effort, 1995's Safe, confirmed him as a maverick director capable of dealing with more issues than his new queer cinema tag might indicate. He also directed the glam inspired Velvet Goldmine (1998), and the Douglas Sirk inspired Far From Heaven (2002). Haynes is a semiotics graduate of Brown University. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Todd_Haynes [Oct 2004]

More films

  1. Far from Heaven (2002) - Todd Haynes [Amazon.com]
    This uniquely beautiful film--from one of the smartest and most idiosyncratic of contemporary directors, Todd Haynes (Safe, Velvet Goldmine)--takes the lush 1950s visual style of so-called women's pictures (particularly those of Douglas Sirk, director of Imitation of Life and Magnificent Obsession) to tell a story that mixes both sexual and racial prejudice. Julianne Moore, an amazing fusion of vulnerability and will power, plays a housewife whose husband (Dennis Quaid) has a secret gay life. When she finds solace in the company of a black gardener (Dennis Haysbert), rumors and peer pressure destroy any chance she has at happiness. It's astonishing how a movie with such a stylized veneer can be so emotionally compelling; the cast and filmmakers have such an impeccable command of the look and feel of the genre that every moment is simultaneously artificial and deeply felt. Far from Heaven is ingenious and completely engrossing. --Bret Fetzer for Amazon.com

  2. Safe (1995) - Todd Haynes [Amazon.com]
    Carol White (Julianne Moore) is a mousy housewife living the affluent life in the San Fernando Valley when, over the span of a few months, she begins to develop debilitating sensitivities to her environment. A permanent at the hair salon makes her nose bleed and her skin go bad, exhaust from a truck causes her to cough violently, she's allergic to the new couch, goes into seizures at the dry cleaner's. No one understands or credits her condition, least of all her husband or family physician. But the symptoms worsen, and Carol eventually discovers others who suffer from similar environmental illnesses. She checks into a desert spa that caters to those in her predicament, and the staff regales her with touchy-feely, infomercial-style affirmations. All of this could have been broad satire, but director Todd Haynes (Velvet Goldmine) opts for a filming style that captures the empty elegance of Carol's passive lifestyle and looks on with clinical dispassion, so that you can hear the oppressive quiet surrounding her. It's positively eerie, so you know you're not watching just a worthy cause picture or movie of the week. Haynes has more ambition than that, even going so far as to insert a slight buzzing sound in the soundtrack to accentuate the unease. Fluorescent lights? Power lines? Who knows? Maybe it's safe to call it the ominous rumblings beneath the surface of Carol's life, from antiseptic affluence to septic isolation in the spa environment. A model of sustained tone, boasting one of the most remarkable performances by Julianne Moore, from a whole career of remarkable performances. --Jim Gay for amazon.com

  3. Velvet Goldmine [SOUNDTRACK](1998) - Todd Haynes [CD, Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    1. Needle in the Camel's Eye - Brian Eno 2. Hot One - Shudder to Think 3. 20th Century Boy - Placebo 4. 2HB - The Venus In Furs 5. T.V. Eye - Wylde Rattz 6. Ballad of Maxwell Demon - Shudder To Think 7. The Whole Shebang - Grant Lee Buffalo 8. Ladytron - Venus In Furs 9. We Are the Boyz - Pulp 10. Virginia Plain - Roxy Music 11. Personality Crisis - Teenage Fanclub & Donna Matthews 12. Satelite Of Love - Lou Reed 13. Diamond Meadows - T. Rex 14. Bitter's End - Paul Kimble & Andy Mackay 15. Baby's On Fire - The Venus In Furs 16. Bitter-Sweet - Venus In Furs 17. Velvet Spacetime - Carter Burwell 18. Tumbling Down - Venus In Furs 19. Make Me Smile (Come up and See Me) - Steve Harley
    Director Todd Haynes's celebration of the sex, drugs, and rock & roll of the British glam era of the early '70s, Velvet Goldmine, would be nothing without the music that inspired it. A few unusual absentees (no Bowie, Iggy Pop, or New York Dolls?), but folks such as Brian Eno, Roxy Music, Lou Reed, and T-Rex are represented. Several covers from the glam era are performed without much deviation by two supergroups: the Venus in Furs, featuring members of England's elite--Bernard Butler, and Thom Yorke of Radiohead; and Wylde Ratz, featuring Mark Arm of Mudhoney, Ron Asheton of the original Stooges, and Thurston Moore and Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth. Strongest are the originals submitted to the film: Shudder to Think tame their own experimental excesses to put forth two glam-worthy originals with "Hot One" and "Ballad of Maxwell Demon." Pulp deliver "We Are the Boys," which runs amuck with the dramatic stagepower of the finest glam. --Rob O'Connor for amazon.com

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