Today we lost a great director, a great storyteller. I'm deeply saddened by the loss of Curis Hanson, he was one of my favourite directors. It was 1997, October, a cold wet rainy evening and I went to see LA Confidential. I wasn't sure what to expect, this was pre-internet days remember, my phone called people, that was it. I discovered three things that night: 1. A Masterpiece, 2. One of my favourite movies, and 3. A director named Curtis Hanson.
Without realising I had already seen a couple of his films, and they'd stood out to me, his two previous actually, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle and The River Wild. But LA Confidential was something else. Then came Wonder Boys, an absolutely delightful film, a surprise from start to finish, and a film I just fell in love with.
(Career Best Performances all round)
Performing a hat-trick, 8-Mile came next. I don't have to say much about it. A Rocky Rap movie with Eminem. It worked perfectly and his ability to tell a story, effect emotion and be energetic was masterful.
Then came In Her Shoe, I think a largely forgetten movie, or fobbed off as a chik-flick, it is so much more than that. It tells the story of the complicated relathioship between two sisters and their mother, with pitch perfect performances from Toni Collete, Cameron Diaz and Shirely McClaine. It's old, simple, calssic Hollywood storytelling.
I have yet to see his last three films, Lucky You, Too Big to Fail and Chasin Mavericks. And I haven't seen his earlier work. But that just means I have many more gems to discover, and I can't wait to discover them. I hope you will too.
Curtis Hanson, and directors like him, are the reason I want to make films. When I see their movies I am inspired and invigourated, I'm filled with the joy of being told a great story by a great storyteller. And there's no better feeling.
We are all storytellers, the whole human race are storytellers, we crave to be told a great story, which is why film is so essential. And today we lost one of our greatest storytellers.
RIP Mr. Hanson.
Thank you for your films.