Harry Bromley Davenport

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Harry Bromley-Davenport
Born (1950-03-15) 15 March 1950 (age 67)
London, England, United Kingdom
Other names Davenport
Occupation Film director, film producer, screenwriter, composer
Years active 1969-present
Website filmharry.com

Harry Bromley-Davenport (born 15 March 1950 in London, England) is an English director, producer as well as in the beginning of his career a film screenwriter. He is most popular for the famous horror science-fiction video nasty Xtro (1983). He left the UK in 1990 and currently resides in Los Angeles, California. He became an American citizen in 1997.

Film career[edit]

Bromley-Davenport entered the film business in 1967 as an assistant to Nicholas Ray.[1]

Following his apprenticeship, Bromley-Davenport made his directorial debut with the little seen Whispers of Fear (1976) and co-wrote the screenplay for The Haunting of Julia (1977), which was adapted from the Peter Straub novel Julia (1975) and starred Mia Farrow in the title role.

His biggest commercial success came in the form of Xtro (1983) which spawned two sequels related in title only. He made the second installment Xtro II: The Second Encounter (1991) in the USA, and worked exclusively there ever since.

Bromley Davenport remained within his own low-budget franchise for one more film and hired Daryl Haney to write the screenplay for Xtro 3: Watch the Skies (1995). This began an ongoing professional relationship between Bromley-Davenport and Daryl Haney, which ultimately changed the direction of Bromley-Davenport's career, culminating in a trio of films that are arguably his finest works: Life Among the Cannibals (1996), Erasble You (1998) and the true story Mockingbird Don't Sing (2001), starring Sean Young.

Three further feature films followed - all of which display his attraction to dark subject matter. His film "Smile Pretty" (2006) follows the true story of a Romanian child, played by teenaged actress Scout Taylor-Compton, who was adopted by an American man with the express intention of using her in child pornography in the USA. "Haunted Echoes", a ghost story filmed in 2008, starred Sean Young who had previously worked with Bromley-Davenport in the well received "Mockingbird Don't Sing". "Frozen Kiss" (2010) starred Mimi Rogers and was based on the tragic true story of two young people who, after a night of partying and methamphetamine, became disorientated during their drive home in a blizzard and froze to death.

The year 2013 marked Bromley-Davenport's first documentary in over 25 years. "American Grand" captures the work of a team of piano restoration experts as they spend nine months transforming a decaying 1913 Steinway into a revitalized shining beauty. The film was shown on PBS and was reviewed by Mario Igrec, author of the definitive book on piano rebuilding "Pianos Inside Out", as "a brand new piano documentary classic". Christopher O'Reilly, host of the National Public Radio program "From The Top", wrote that the film displays: "... an unsurpassed confluence of passion and precision in the work of the team in American Grand".

This film led to further work in the field of classical and jazz films, videos and promotional pieces. He has worked extensively with concert pianist and composer Mike Garson, making films of his concerts and preparing a PBS documentary covering Garson's life and work. He has made classical music videos with multiple concert pianists, always displaying a taste for the unusual or outrageous. His 2015 video, "Yana Reznik plays Rachmaninoff", is a costume fantasy set during the first World War. Bromley-Davenport has become renowned for his arresting cinematography, unusual lighting and bold colors.

It is of note that Bromley-Davenport is an accomplished amateur classical pianist who studied under Paul Valier in Europe in the early 1970s. He continues to play and is quoted as saying of himself that he plays: "very loudly and with exuberant inaccuracy".

Even though he has made many deviations from the exploitation field since Xtro (1983) the stigma is still attached, as Bromley-Davenport himself admits that: "Getting a start in exploitation films, as I did, suddenly became unfashionable about 20 years ago, and such movies are now regarded as smut, despite the fact that they gave Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Jim Cameron, Joe Dante, Jonathan Demme and countless others their first opportunities to direct a professional movie."[2]

In early 2015 Bromley-Davenport announced that Xtro 4 is on the way.[3] A flashback of his Xtro franchise and an Interview was part of the book Adventures In VHS by author Noel Mellor.[4]

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Note(s)
1976 Whispers of Fear Director
1977 The Haunting of Julia Co-screenwriter
1983 Xtro Director, writer
1991 Xtro II: The Second Encounter Director
1995 Xtro 3: Watch the Skies Director, producer
1996 Life Among the Cannibals Director, producer
1998 Erasble You Director, producer
2001 Mockingbird Don't Sing Director, producer
2006 Smile Pretty Director
2006 Haunted Echoes Director, executive producer
2010 Frozen Kiss Director, executive producer
2013 American Grand Director, producer
TBA Xtro 4 Director, producer

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pifan.com
  2. ^ "The Most Outspoken "Echoes"". Fangoria. 2010-03-09. 
  3. ^ "Xtra! Xtra! "Xtro 4" Is Coming!". Fangoria. 2010-03-08. 
  4. ^ "Noel Mellor Adventures in VHS". Fangoria. 2010-03-09. 

External links[edit]