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Wes Craven

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

Exploitation FilmographyPress Kit

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Overview

Wesley Earl "Wes" Craven (August 2, 1939 - August 30, 2015) is an American film director, writer, producer, actor, best known for horror films, particularly slasher films, including A Nightmare on Elm Street. Some of his other films include, The Hills Have Eyes, The Last House On The Left, The Serpent and the Rainbow, The People Under the Stairs, Vampire in Brooklyn, Scream, Red Eye, and My Soul to Take.

Craven earned an undergraduate degree in English and Psychology from Wheaton College in Illinois, and a masters degree in Philosophy and Writing from Johns Hopkins University.[1] Prior to landing his first job in the film industry as a sound editor for a post-production company in New York City, Craven briefly taught English at Westminster College and was a humanities professor at Clarkson College of Technology (now Clarkson University) in Potsdam, New York. He left the academic world for the more lucrative role of pornographic film director. In the documentary Inside Deep Throat, Craven says on camera he made "many X-rated films" under pseudonyms, learning his directing craft.[2] While his role in Deep Throat is undisclosed, most of his early known work involved writing, film editing or both. In 1972 Wes Craven directed his first feature film The Last House On The Left.

Craven's works tend to share a common exploration of the nature of reality. A Nightmare on Elm Street, for example, dealt with the consequences of dreams in real life. New Nightmare "brushes against" (but does not quite break) the fourth wall by having actress Heather Langenkamp play herself as she is haunted by the villain of the film in which she once starred. At one point in the film, we see on Wes Craven's word processor a script he has written, which includes the exact conversation he just had with Heather – as if the script was being written as the action unfolded. The Serpent and the Rainbow portrays a man who cannot distinguish between nightmarish visions and reality. In Scream, the characters frequently reference horror films similar to their situations, and at one point Billy Loomis tells his girlfriend that life is just a big movie. This concept was emphasized in the sequels, as copycat stalkers reenact the events of a new film about the Woodsboro killings occurring in Scream.

Craven also frequently collaborates with Sean S. Cunningham in his filmography. In Craven's debut feature, The Last House On The Left, Cunningham served as producer. Later, in Craven's most famous film, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Cunningham directed one of the chase scenes, although uncredited. Their infamous characters, Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees, appeared together in the 2003 slasher film Freddy vs. Jason with Cunningham acting as producer, while screenwriter Victor Miller is credited as "Character Creator".

Although known for directing horror/thriller films, he has worked on two that were outside this genre: the 1999 film Music of the Heart, and as one of the 22 directors in the 2006 collaboration Paris, je t'aime.

Craven is currently slated to helm the 3rd film in the Ring series, currently titled The Ring 3D. Recently Craven has signed on to adapt the vampire novel Fangland taking over from John Carpenter who has recently backed away from the project.

References

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Steve Simels (September 5, 1997). "Slashed and Burned". Entertainment Weekly. [2]
  3. ^ Biography for Wes Craven at the Internet Movie Database

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