Maverick Spirit Award - Neil Jordan

Mav Spirit - Neil Jordan

Maverick Spirit Award - Neil Jordan

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Director of the smash hits, The Crying Game and Interview with the Vampire. Neil Jordan was born in Ireland in 1950. He began his foray into the arts as a successful novelist, producing such books as "The Past" and "The Dream Of The Beast". Later migration took him to the world of film and saw him working with one of the greats of independent cinema, John Boorman, as a script consultant for the 1981 depiction of Arthurian legend, Excalibur. Jordan's next conquest was as screenwriter for another 1981 film, Traveler, and then three years later, he was given his chance to direct a film titled Danny Boy (starring Stephen Rea, an actor who would appear in quite a few of Jordan's later films).

Even though Jordan made his jump to the screen, he never lost his love for literature. Several of his screenplays originated in books. The Company Of Wolves is based on the tale of "Little Red Riding Hood", Interview With The Vampire originally appeared in the mesmerizing works of cult icon Anne Rice, The Miracle is based upon his own original short story "Night in Tunisia", and set for release in 1996, he will introduce his screen adaptation of "Michael Collins" (starring Charles Dance, Ian Hart, Liam Neeson, Aidan Quinn, Stephen Rea, Alan Rickman and Julia Roberts).

If one tries to nail down and label Neil Jordan's films, it would be quite difficult. His broad range and unique style has led him to direct such distinctive triumphs as The Company Of Wolves (starring Angela Lansbury and David Warner), Mona Lisa (starring Bob Hoskins, Cathy Tyson and Michael Caine), We're No Angels (starring Robert De Niro and Sean Penn), and The Miracle (starring Beverly D'Angelo). Jordan's rising notoriety as a marquee director finally gave him his first Oscar nominations in 1992 for The Crying Game for both Best Original Screenplay and Best Achievement In Directing, which should also have had a special nomination for the film with the best-kept secret. Critics said of The Crying Game that it does what Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho did. "It involves us deeply in its story, and then reveals that the story is really about something else altogether."

It's obvious throughout Neil Jordan's work that he's a director who trusts in the power of fantasy to make our realities that much more bearable. As a storyteller, he competently handles tremendously difficult and layered plots which, under the command of lesser directors, would easily derail. He reveals that he's a director capable of startling his audience and provoke thought, but also show them a good time through entertainment and wonder. Please join us in honoring one of the true mavericks of present day cinema. -- Mike Rabehl