Maybury, John : Maverick Director

“Love is the Devil” (1998), John Maybury's feature film examination of the doomed relationship between artist Francis Bacon and his lover George Dyer, enjoyed great success at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival, and played to acclaim at festivals around the world, winning various awards including the Michael Powell Award for Best New British Film at the Edinburgh Film Festival as well as Best Actor awards for Sir Derek Jacobi and Daniel Craig.

 

A painter, writer and director, John Maybury began shooting films in and around London's punk scene. Collaborations with the seminal British filmmaker Derek Jarman include “Jubilee” (1977), “Last of England” (1987) and “War Requiem” (1988).

 

In 1992, BBC films and the actress Tilda Swinton approached Maybury to adapt her Manfred Karge's play “Man to Man” for the screen. The resulting film received the International Critics' Prize at the Edinburgh Film Festival.

 

Maybury's film “Remembrance of Things Fast,” starring Tilda Swinton and Rupert Everett won the Los Angeles Critics Circle award for the Best Independent / Experimental film of 1994, the Golden Jury Teddy Bear (Berlin Film Festival and Best Experimental Film (Viper Film Festival, Zurich). It also went on to garner more complaints on broadcast than any other film in Channel 4's history at that point.

 

While sustaining a career as a film and video artist, along with staging numerous international painting exhibitions, Maybury also directed promotional videos for major recording artists, including The Smiths, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Cyndi Lauper, Boy George, Marc Almond, Neneh Cherry and Morrissey. He worked most prolifically with Sinead O'Connor, with the video for hit single “Nothing Compares 2 U” being nominated for a Grammy and winning three major MTV awards, including Best Video.

 

Maybury has created video installations as environments for live performance including the fashion shows of designers Rifat Ozbek and Alexander McQueen, the Glyndebourne Opera and the world tours of musicians Psychic TV, Kylie Minogue and U2.

 

Maybury is regarded as a pioneer in British contemporary art. Exhibitions include one-man shows at the Institute of Contemporary Art (London) and the Palazzo dell' Espezzione (Rome); as well as retrospectives in Europe, Japan and the USA. He has participated widely in group exhibitions at major galleries throughout the world, including the Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), Tate Britain and Tate Modern (London).

 

His dark, disturbing vision of cinema led to a commission from George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh's company, Section 8 to direct “The Jacket” (2005) starring Keira Knightley and Adrien Brody. A controversial psychological thriller, it led on to commissions from HBO in America (Rome, Season II, Episodes 7 and 10, 2008.)

 

Future projects include an adaptation of Emily Brontë's “Wuthering Heights” as director and an examination of the life of the American photographer Lee Miller as writer-director.

See Review of The Edge of Love and Commentary.

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