Álex de la Iglesia

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This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is De la Iglesia and the second or maternal family name is Mendoza.
Álex de la Iglesia
Álex de la Iglesia2.jpg
Born Alejandro de la Iglesia Mendoza
(1965-12-04) December 4, 1965 (age 49)
Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain
Nationality Spanish
Alma mater University of Deusto
Occupation Film director, screenwriter
Website
Official website

Alejandro de la Iglesia Mendoza, more known as Álex de la Iglesia (born December 4, 1965) is a Spanish film director, screenwriter, producer and former comic book artist.

De la Iglesia's films combines grotesque and very dark elements such as death and murder: most of his work is considered dark comedies, but are also often considered to have horror and/or drama elements. All his films, with the notable exceptions of The Last Circus (2010) and As Luck Would Have It (2011), were written together with Jorge Guerricaechevarría.

De la Iglesia was revered by Pedro Almodóvar who produced his first feature film Acción mutante in 1993. For his following film, The Day of the Beast (1995), he won the Goya Award for Best Director.

Biography[edit]

Álex de la Iglesia was born in Bilbao, Spain, in 1965. He is a philosophy graduate of the University of Deusto who ended up working in the comic book field at a young age. He had a brief stint in television before finding work as production designer on Pablo Berger's Mamá. This little seen short film focuses on a family forced to live in a basement after a nuclear war and features a little boy who wears a Batman costume.

Enrique Urbizu came calling for his production designer services in 1991 for Todo por la pasta (Anything for money), a Basque crime thriller which was nominated for 4 Goya Awards, and won 1 (best supporting actress). A good film to get De La Iglesia noticed.

He then met José Guerricaechevarria and together they made the short film, Mirindas Asesinas (1991), in which a boring man, whose mind is gradually degenerating, is on the verge of becoming a psychotic killer. The two men became fast friends and have worked together ever since, with José writing the screenplays to many of De La Iglesia's films.

In 1993 De La Iglesia received a big break when Spain's most famous director, Pedro Almodóvar, produced his debut feature Accion mutante (Mutant Action). This tale of a group of crippled and handicapped outcasts in the future taking arms against handsome oppressors, became an independent success globally. It also received two prizes at the Montreal Fantasia Festival, and three Goya's.

The next step he took was El día de la Bestia (The Day Of The Beast) (1995). It won 6 Goya's, the Best Director award amongst them. It also marked his first collaboration with producer Andrés Vicente Gómez.

Wanting to build on the success of The Day Of The Beast, Gómez hired Iglesia to direct Perdita Durango based on novelist Barry Gifford's 59 Degrees and Raining; The Story of Perdita Durango. Barry Gifford helped out on the script also. Isabella Rossellini played Perdita Durango in David Lynch's Wild At Heart, also based on a Gifford work.

The film was in English, but did not prove as great a success as hoped; for some it felt too post-Tarantino. The film was also more nasty in its violence, and its confrontational style (though laced with typically dark humour), resulted in cuts and running times around the globe varying from 95 minutes in South Korea to 126 minutes in Spain. It was rumoured Bigas Luna was originally offered the directors chair for the film.

Back in Spain, in 1999 de la Iglesia had success with Dying of Laughter a dark comedy about a Martin & Lewis style comic duo with no love for each other, nominated for 3 Goya's, winning 2. La Comunidad (2000), a dark comedy/thriller set in an apartment block with a money scamble, got 15 Goya nominations, won 3. 800 Bullets (2002), a homage to spaghetti westerns, got 4 Goya nominations, 1 win. And Crimen ferpecto (2004), a dark comedy thriller with a man aspiring to perfection, winning 6 Goya prizes as a result. All these films have the recipe of dark humour, selfish aspirational characters, and very sexy situations.

De la Iglesia himself also provided the voice of The Underminer in the Spanish language dubbing of The Incredibles (2004).

In 2006 he directed an episode of the TV series Películas para no dormir (Films To Keep You Awake) titled The Baby's Room.

In 2008, de la Iglesa directed the science-fiction comedy TV series Plutón B.R.B. Nero.

He has directed Elijah Wood and John Hurt in The Oxford Murders, which is his second movie in English, released in Spain in January 2008.

Filmography[edit]

Acting[edit]

Interviews[edit]

External links[edit]