Colin Clark (filmmaker)

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Colin Clark
Born (1932-10-09)9 October 1932
London, England, UK
Died 17 December 2002(2002-12-17) (aged 70)
London, England, UK
Occupation writer and filmmaker

Colin Clark (9 October 1932 – 17 December 2002) was a British writer and filmmaker who specialised in films for cinema and television about the arts.

Life and career[edit]

He was the son of the art historian Lord Clark of Saltwood (Sir Kenneth Clark), and the younger brother of the Conservative politician and military historian Alan Clark, with whom he was not always on good terms.[1]

Born in London, he was educated at Eton College and Christ Church, Oxford. From 1951 to 1953 he did National Service as a pilot officer in the Royal Air Force.[2] In that capacity, he flew Handley Page Hastings to Malaya and the Middle East.[3]

Colin Clark's first job on leaving university was as a personal assistant on the film The Prince and the Showgirl (1957), directed by Laurence Olivier and starring Olivier and Marilyn Monroe, an experience Clark later turned into two books - The Prince, the Showgirl and Me and My Week With Marilyn[4] - the former a set of diaries[5] (a TV documentary version of which was also made in 2004)[6] and the latter a memoir of his alleged[7] relationship with Monroe.[8] Clark's time with Monroe is the basis of the 2011 film My Week with Marilyn, where he is portrayed by Eddie Redmayne.

He went on to work with Olivier on The Entertainer, Titus Andronicus and other British stage productions.[9] In January 1958 he agreed to be bound over having been rounded up in a police raid on John Aspinall's illicit gaming house.[10]

He then worked for Granada Television in Manchester, initially as a floor manager and later as assistant to studio boss Denis Forman and then head of design. Moving to New York in 1960, he was involved in setting up a PBS educational television station, Channel 13 New Jersey, with the aim of covering arts and culture in the New York region. He made a series of programmes called Art: New York, and recorded live concerts by Thelonious Monk and Sonny Rollins.[11]

Clark returned to Britain in 1965 to work for Associated Television (ATV), where he made many documentary films, including series with Angus Wilson and Bernard Levin, as well as directing a series on art appreciation presented by his father, Sir Kenneth Clark, who had fallen out with the BBC, which had produced his earlier programmes including Civilisation.[12] After leaving ATV in 1971 to work as an independent film producer, he made further cultural documentary films for various commercial sponsors and for the Getty Museum as well as a film in which Alistair Cooke interviewed Prince Charles.[13] Although much of this work was for the American market, he ran the operation partly from London because costs there were lower and because, he said, there was little American tradition or experience of making documentary films.[14]

He retired from filmmaking in 1987 to write books. He died in December 2002 in London.[15]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Ahmed, Kamal (17 December 2000). "Maverick's diaries were 'flawed'". The Observer (London). 
  2. ^ Clark 1997, pp. 44 ff.
  3. ^ "Colin Clark". The Daily Telegraph (London). 19 December 2002. 
  4. ^ "My Week With Marilyn DVD review" at Tuppence Magazine.
  5. ^ Clark 1995.
  6. ^ "The Prince, the Showgirl and Me" at Internet Movie Database.
  7. ^ The New York Times: "The Sex Goddess Who Longed to Be Human"
  8. ^ Clark 2000.
  9. ^ Clark 1997, p. 97 ff.
  10. ^ The Times, Alleged Gaming House Sixteen Persons Bound Over, 11 January 1958
  11. ^ Clark 1997, pp. 138-143.
  12. ^ Clark 1997, pp.144-150.
  13. ^ Clark 1997, pp.155-161.
  14. ^ Fiddick, Peter (19 April 1976). "American Pie: Peter Fiddick talks to Colin Clark, independent television producer". The Guardian (London). 
  15. ^ Trewin, Ion (18 December 2002). "Colin Clark: Writer and film producer in the shadow of his father and brother", The Independent (London).

References[edit]

  • Clark, Colin (1995). The prince, the showgirl and me: the Colin Clark Diaries. London: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-00-255642-2. 
  • Clark, Colin (1997). Younger brother, younger son: A memoir. London: HarperCollins. ISBN 0-00-255799-1.