elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Todd Haynes (born January 2, 1961)

Todd Haynes (born January 2, 1961) first gained notoriety with a short film, Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, employing Barbie dolls to portray the ill-fated pop singer and other characters. He followed that with Poison, based on the writings of Jean GENET, which won the Berlin Festival and the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. Poison marked the producing debut of Christine Vachon, who went on to produce several more films for Haynes and dozens of other successful—often queer-themed—films, including Happiness, Boys Don ’t Cry, and One Hour Photo. He is best known for his feature films Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, Poison, Velvet Goldmine, Safe, and the Academy Award-nominated Far from Heaven and I'm Not There.

Haynes’ Far From Heaven, set in 1950s Connecticut, deals with issues of race and sexuality. Dennis Quaid portrays a married executive struggling with his homosexuality. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards, and won over seventy other awards. (Picture: James Lyons in a scene from "Postcards from America" (1994). Photo provided by Killer Films)

I'm Not There is based on the life of Bob Dylan, with Marcus Carl Franklin, Ben Whishaw, Heath Ledger, Christian Bale, Richard Gere, and Cate Blanchett taking turns portraying the singer/songwriter.

Haynes was a founding member of Gran Fury, an artists’ collective associated with the AIDS activist group Act Up. His ex-lover and editor, Jim Lyons, died of AIDS-related illness shortly before the release of I’m Not There.

Stern, Keith. Queers in History: The Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Historical Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals. Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition.

Further Readings:

Far From Heaven, Safe, and Superstar: Three Screenplays by Todd Haynes
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Grove Press; 1 edition (October 24, 2003)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0802140270
ISBN-13: 978-0802140272
Amazon: Far From Heaven, Safe, and Superstar: Three Screenplays

Todd Haynes is a fiercely intelligent and visionary writer-director. Haynes's award-winning short film Superstar (1987) tells the story of Karen Carpenter's dark struggle with anorexia nervosa. With a cast of Barbie dolls, the underground classic became "the most talked-about, least-seen film of the 1980's" (The Onion A.V.) after the Carpenter estate forced it permanently out of circulation. Haynes's breakthrough feature, Safe (1995), was voted Best Film of the 1990s by the 2000 Village Voice Film Critics Poll. It is the disturbing, elusive story of an affluent suburban housewife whose life is shattered by a mysterious illness. Haynes's latest movie, Far from Heaven, continues his investigation of the conflicted woman, depicting a 1950s housewife who is alienated by her neighbors when her husband's homosexuality leads her to turn to her African-American gardener. The winner of fifty critics' prizes and on over two hundred Top Ten lists (more than any film of 2002), Far from Heaven was nominated for a slew of major awards, including an Academy Award. With exquisite subtlety, all three films demonstrate Haynes's concerns as a pioneer of the "new queer cinema" who is winning increasing acceptance by the American mainstream. Black-and-white photographs are featured throughout.

More LGBT History at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Persistent Voices

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Tags: director: todd haynes, gay classics, persistent voices

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