David Mackenzie (director)

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For other people with this name, see David MacKenzie.
David Mackenzie
David Mackenzie Hell or High Water.jpeg
David Mackenzie on the set of Hell or High Water (2016)
Nationality Scottish
Occupation Film director
Organization Sigma Films

David Mackenzie is a British film director and co-founder of the Glasgow-based production company Sigma Films.[1] He has made nine feature films including Young Adam (2003), Hallam Foe (2007), Perfect Sense (2011) and Starred Up (2013).[2] Mackenzie's most recent film, Hell or High Water (2016), premiered in Un Certain Regard at Cannes 2016 and will be released in the second half of 2016.

As a film director, David Mackenzie resists genre and typecasting, and so can't be neatly pigeonholed.[3] His signature has been not to have one, except for the immense passion he’s channeled through each of his projects.[4]

Career[edit]

After studying at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee, David Mackenzie began his directorial career with a series of well-regarded shorts, the first being Dirty Diamonds (1994). After that came California Sunshine (1997), which starred his brother Alastair Mackenzie, and won a number of awards including a BAFTA for Best Short Film. Somersault and Marcie's Dowry (both 2000) also won international awards.[5]

Mackenzie then made his feature film debut with The Last Great Wilderness (2002), which again starred Alastair Mackenzie, this time as a man looking to exact revenge by burning down his wife's lover's house in the Highlands. The film begins as a comedy gangster thriller, then wanders into horror film territory before subverting all expectations and delivering something altogether different instead.[6] It premiered at TIFF in 2002.

He followed this with his acclaimed adaptation of Scots beat writer Alexander Trocchi’s cult novel,[7] Young Adam (2003). It features Ewan McGregor as a young drifter working on a river barge as he disrupts his employers' lives while hiding the fact that he knows more about a dead woman found in the river than he admits. Tilda Swinton, Peter Mullan and Emily Mortimer also star.[8] The film premiered in the Un Certain Regard, Cannes 2003, and played TIFF and Telluride, winning Best Film and Best Director at the 2004 BAFTA Scotland awards. Tilda Swinton and Ewan McGregor both won Scottish BAFTAs for their performances.[9] The film also won the Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature at EIFF,[10] and British Newcomer of the Year at the London Critics Circle Awards[11] and was nominated for four BIFA nominations [12] and several European Film Academy Awards.[13]

Mackenzie then made Asylum (2005), adapted from Patrick McGrath's book and starring Natasha Richardson, Sir Ian McKellen, Hugh Bonneville and Marton Coskas. It follows Richardson's character as she becomes very curious about one of her psychiatrist husband's inmates, a man who was found guilty in the murder and disfigurement of his former wife.[14] It was nominated for Berlin's Golden Bear [15] and won the Prize of the Guild of German Art House Cinemas at the 2005 Berlin International Film Festival.[16]

Next, Mackenzie made the highly regarded Hallam Foe, starring Jamie Bell and Sophia Myles. The film is adapted from the book by Peter Jinks and follows the voyeuristic title character as he runs away to Edinburgh and becomes transfixed by a beautiful woman who looks uncannily like his late mother. Again, this film won many awards including a Silver Bear in Berlin 2007,[17] the Golden Hitchcock and Kodak Award for Cinematography at the Dinard Festival of British Cinema 2007,[18] and the 2008 National Board of Review Award for Top Independent Film,[19] as well as numerous other nominations including for Bell and Myles' performances.

After that came the sex satire Spread (2009), which marked Mackenzie's first feature in the USA. The film follows Ashton Kutcher's LA gigolo as he begins living with a rich older client played by Anne Heche. Spread had its premiere at Sundance in 2009.

Mackenzie followed this by returning to Glasgow - where Sigma Films is based - to make sci-fi romance Perfect Sense (2011). The film follows a burgeoning romance between Ewan McGregor and Eva Green against the backdrop of a global epidemic of people losing their senses one by one.[20] The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2011 and went on to pick up awards at film festivals around the world including Edinburgh, Bratislava and Philadelphia International Film Festivals.

Almost straight after Perfect Sense, Mackenzie directed the comedy musical You Instead (2011) [released as Tonight You’re Mine in the United States]. The film stars Luke Treadaway and Natalie Tena as two rival rock stars who get handcuffed together for 24 hours at a music festival where they're both due to perform. It was filmed over five days at the Scottish music festival T in the Park in 2010 and the cast and crew had to adopt a kind of guerrilla filmmaking approach to shoot amidst the chaos of a music festival.[21] It premiered at both T in the Park in 2011 as well as at Austin based music and film festival SXSW.[22]

Mackenzie then turned his hand to prison drama with Starred Up (2013). It features Jack O'Connell as a young offender who is moved into an adult prison where his estranged and incarcerated father resides. O'Connell stars alongside Ben Mendelsohn and Rupert Friend. The film is based on the writer Jonathan Asser's experiences as a voluntary therapist in HM Prison Wandsworth.[23][24] It premiered at Telluride 2013 and went on to win numerous awards including the BAFTA Scotland 2014 Best Film and Best Director Awards,[25] get nominated for seven BIFAs [26] and holds a remarkable 99% Rotten Tomatoes score.[27]

Most recently, Mackenzie returned to the States to make Hell or High Water starring Chris Pine, Jeff Bridges and Ben Foster. The film follows two brothers (Pine and Foster) as they go on a bank robbing spree across Texas whilst being pursued by a Texas Ranger (Bridges) and his partner (Gil Birmingham). It premiered in the Cannes 2016 Un Certain Regard competition [28] and was met with critical acclaim.[29]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Short Film[edit]

  • Dirty Diamonds (1994)
  • California Sunshine (1997)
  • Somersault (2000)
  • Marcie's Dowry (2000)

Awards[edit]

BAFTA Scotland Awards

Year Nominated Work Category Result
2003 Young Adam Best Film Win
Best Director Win
2007 Hallam Foe Best Film Nominated
Best Screenplay (with Ed Whitmore) Nominated
2011 Perfect Sense Best Feature Film Nominated
Best Director Nominated
Audience Award - Favourite Scottish Film Nominated
You Instead Audience Award - Favourite Scottish Film Nominated
2013 Starred Up Best Feature Film Win
Best Directing in Film or TV Win

Berlin International Film Festival

Year Nominated Work Category Result
2005 Asylum Prize of the Guild of German Art House Cinemas Win
Golden Berlin Bear Nominated
2007 Hallam Foe Prize of the Guild of German Art House Cinemas Win
Silver Berlin Bear - Best Film Music Win
Golden Berlin Bear Nominated

British Independent Film Awards

Year Nominated Work Category Result
2003 Young Adam Best British Independent Film Nominated
Best Director Nominated
2007 Hallam Foe Best British Independent Film Nominated
Best Director Nominated
Best Screenplay (with Ed Whitmore) Nominated
Best Technical Achievement (with Colin Monie for Music) Nominated
2011 You Instead Best Achievement in Production Nominated
2013 Starred Up Best British Independent Film Nominated
Best Director Nominated
Best Achievement in Production Nominated

Cannes Film Festival

Year Nominated Work Category Result
2003 Young Adam Un Certain Regard Nominated
2016 Hell or High Water Un Certain Regard Nominated

Edinburgh International Film Festival

Year Nominated Work Category Result
2003 Young Adam Best British New Feature Win
2011 Perfect Sense Best British New Feature Win

Directed Recognised Performances

Year Nominated Work Performer Category Result
BAFTA Scotland Awards
2003 Young Adam Ewan McGregor Best Actor in a Scottish Film Win
Tilda Sinton Best Actress in a Scottish Film Win
2007 Hallam Foe Jamie Bell Best Actor Nominated
Sophia Myles Best Actress Win
2013 Starred Up Jack O'Connell Best Actor - Film Nominated
British Independent Film Awards
2003 Young Adam Ewan McGregor Best Actor Nominated
Tilda Sinton Best Actress Nominated
2005 Asylum Natasha Richardson Best Actress Nominated
2007 Hallam Foe Jamie Bell Best Actor Nominated
Sophia Myles Best Actress Nominated
2013 Starred Up Jack O'Connell Best Actor Nominated
Ben Mendelson Best Supporting Actor Win
Rupert Friend Best Supporting Actor Nominated

Sigma Films[edit]

Along with producer Gillian Berrie, David Mackenzie is a partner in Sigma Films. As well as producing Mackenzie's own films, the company has produced other directors' pictures including Andrea Arnold's Red Road (2006), Jonathan Glazer's Under The Skin (2013), Lars von Trier's Dogville (2003) and Robert Carlyle's The Legend of Barney Thomson (2015).[30]

Sigma Films founded the production and post-production facility Film City Glasgow and runs Jumpcut, a new-entrants scheme dedicated to providing a fast-track into the screen industries for young and disadvantaged people.[31]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "David Mackenzie". 2013-08-25. Retrieved 2016-07-13. 
  2. ^ "David Mackenzie". IMDb. Retrieved 2016-07-13. 
  3. ^ "BFI Screenonline: Mackenzie, David (1966-) Biography". www.screenonline.org.uk. Retrieved 2016-07-13. 
  4. ^ "Interview: David Mackenzie on Evolving
    as a Director With "Starred Up""
    . The Moveable Fest. 2014-08-28. Retrieved 2016-07-13.
     
  5. ^ "BFI Screenonline: Mackenzie, David (1966-) Biography". www.screenonline.org.uk. Retrieved 2016-07-13. 
  6. ^ "BBC - Films - review - The Last Great Wilderness". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-07-13. 
  7. ^ Ebert, Roger. "Young Adam Movie Review & Film Summary (2004) | Roger Ebert". www.rogerebert.com. Retrieved 2016-04-29. 
  8. ^ Mackenzie, David (2003-09-26), Young Adam, retrieved 2016-07-13 
  9. ^ "Young Adam scores Bafta success". BBC. 2004-11-15. Retrieved 2016-04-29. 
  10. ^ http://www.line.uk.com/. "Past Award Winners". Edinburgh International Film Festival. Retrieved 2016-04-29. 
  11. ^ "Young Adam receives seven nominations in London Film Critics awards". www.scotsman.com. Retrieved 2016-04-29. 
  12. ^ BIFA. "Nominations - Awards 2003 - BIFA - The British Independent Film Awards". www.bifa.film. Retrieved 2016-05-09. 
  13. ^ "Europejska Akademia Filmowa 2003 - Filmweb". www.filmweb.pl. Retrieved 2016-05-09. 
  14. ^ Mackenzie, David (2005-09-09), Asylum, retrieved 2016-07-13 
  15. ^ "| Berlinale | Archive | Annual Archives | 2005 | Programme". www.berlinale.de. Retrieved 2016-05-09. 
  16. ^ "Asylum gets German art-house prize". Cineuropa - the best of european cinema. Retrieved 2016-05-09. 
  17. ^ Scott, A. O. (2008-09-04). "Stalking in Scotland, the Aerial Perspective". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-05-02. 
  18. ^ "'Hallam Foe' takes top prize at Dinard fest". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-05-11. 
  19. ^ "2008 Archives - National Board of Review". National Board of Review. Retrieved 2016-05-11. 
  20. ^ "Interview: David Mackenzie on Perfect Sense and You Instead". The List. 2011-08-24. Retrieved 2016-05-02. 
  21. ^ "Interview: David Mackenzie on Perfect Sense and You Instead". 2011-08-24. Retrieved 2016-07-13. 
  22. ^ "T in the Park film returns to festival for premiere". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-05-02. 
  23. ^ SouthwarkTV (2013-10-23), SVI - Shame/Violence Intervention (Jonathan Asser), retrieved 2016-05-02 
  24. ^ Asser, Jonathan (2014-03-08). "'If I move he'll attack': mastering rage in prisoners". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-05-02. 
  25. ^ "British Academy Scotland Awards 2014 Winners Annouced". www.bafta.org. Retrieved 2016-05-02. 
  26. ^ BIFA. "Nominations - Awards 2013 - BIFA - The British Independent Film Awards". www.bifa.film. Retrieved 2016-05-09. 
  27. ^ "Starred Up". www.rottentomatoes.com. 2014-08-27. Retrieved 2016-05-02. 
  28. ^ Hopewell, Elsa Keslassy,John (2016-04-22). "Asghar Farhadi’s ‘The Salesman’ Joins Cannes Film Festival Competition". Variety. Retrieved 2016-05-02. 
  29. ^ Hell or High Water, retrieved 2016-07-13 
  30. ^ "Sigma Films". Sigma Films. Retrieved 2016-05-02. 
  31. ^ Fielder, Miles. "Interview: David Mackenzie on Perfect Sense and You Instead". The List (Edinburgh/Glasgow). Retrieved 4 November 2013. 

External links[edit]