James Gray (director)
Gray at Berlinale 2017
|Born||April 14, 1969|
|Occupation||Film director, screenwriter|
(m. after 2005)
James Gray (born April 14, 1969) is an American film director and screenwriter. Since his feature debut Little Odessa in 1994, he has made six other features, four of which competed for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
Gray was born in New York City and grew up in the neighborhood of Flushing. He is of Ukrainian-Jewish descent, with grandparents from Ostropol, Western Ukraine. His father was once an electronics contractor. Gray attended the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, where his student film, Cowboys and Angels, helped him get an agent and the attention of producer Paul Webster, who encouraged him to write a script which he could produce.
In 1994, at age 25, Gray made his first feature film Little Odessa, a film starring Tim Roth about a hit man confronted by his younger brother upon returning to his hometown, "Little Odessa," a section of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. The film won the Silver Lion at the 51st Venice International Film Festival.
In 2000, Miramax released his second film, The Yards, a crime drama shot in 1998. His third film, We Own the Night, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Wahlberg, played in competition at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival in May, receiving widely divergent reviews from international critics. We Own the Night was released theatrically in the US on October 12, 2007.
In October 2016, Gray's film The Lost City of Z premiered at the New York Film Festival. The film, based on the book by David Grann, depicts the life of explorer Percy Fawcett, played by Charlie Hunnam.
On June 17, 2020, it was officially confirmed that his next film, titled Armageddon Time, would be a coming-of-age drama story of loyalty and friendship against the historical backdrop of Ronald Reagan's presidential election loosely based on Gray's childhood memories, with Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway, Donald Sutherland, Cate Blanchett and Oscar Isaac confirmed to be cast in roles.
Gray married Alexandra Dickson in 2005. The couple have three children.
|1994||Little Odessa||Yes||No||Yes||Feature directorial debut|
|2000||The Yards||Yes||No||Yes||Co-written with Matt Reeves|
|2007||We Own the Night||Yes||No||Yes|
|2008||Two Lovers||Yes||Yes||Yes||Co-written with Richard Menello|
|2013||Blood Ties||No||Executive||Yes||Co-screenwriter with Guillaume Canet; based on Les liens du sang by Jacques Maillot|
|The Immigrant||Yes||Yes||Yes||Co-written with Richard Menello|
|2016||The Lost City of Z||Yes||Yes||Yes||Based on the book of the same name by David Grann|
|2019||Ad Astra||Yes||Yes||Yes||Co-written with Ethan Gross|
|TBA||Armageddon Time||Yes||No||Yes||Second collaboration with RT Features|
|51st Venice International Film Festival||Golden Lion||1994||Little Odessa||Nominated|
|11th Independent Spirit Awards||Best First Screenplay||1996||Nominated|
|Best First Feature||Nominated|
|2000 Cannes Film Festival||Palme d'Or||2000||The Yards||Nominated|
|2007 Cannes Film Festival||Palme d'Or||2007||We Own the Night||Nominated|
|2008 Cannes Film Festival||Palme d'Or||2008||Two Lovers||Nominated|
|25th Independent Spirit Awards||Best Director||2010||Nominated|
|2013 Cannes Film Festival||Palme d'Or||2013||The Immigrant||Nominated|
|76th Venice International Film Festival||Golden Lion||2019||Ad Astra||Nominated|
- Tatiana Siegel (20 May 2007). "Dialogue: James Gray". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
- Jagernauth, Kevin (5 November 2013). "James Gray, Nicolas Winding Refn & More Giving Masterclasses At 2013 Marrakech International Film Festival". IndieWire. Archived from the original on 5 March 2014. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
- Hirschon, Nicholas (December 23, 2011). "James Gray's Films Explore Underdog Living in Qns." Daily News (New York, New York). p. p. 35.
- Kilday, Gregg (May 21, 2013). "Cannes: James Gray on 'The Immigrant,' Marion Cotillard and Returning to the Fest (Q&A)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
- Zeitchik, Steven (October 17, 2016). "Director James Gray goes on his own search while creating 'The Lost City of Z'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
And he is. He's also a grade-A kibitzer, a gregarious character, whose chatty and self-effacing wit bespeaks his Queens upbringing and Eastern European-Jewish heritage.
- Jeng, Jonah (April 20, 2017). "Of Immigrants and the City: A James Gray Retrospective". Paste Magazine. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
- Applebaum, Stephen (March 27, 2017). "James Gray: Exploring the dark and personal". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
- "James Gray Interview For 'The Immigrant'". Flicks and Bits. 23 May 2013. Archived from the original on 19 June 2013. Retrieved 5 September 2013.
- Transcript of Online Conference with Little Odessa Writer/Director James Gray, Fine Line Features, 1995, Accessed 11 May 2008.
- James, Caryn (19 May 1995). "Little Odessa (1994) – Film Review; Russian Emigre Family With a Son in the Mob". The New York Times.
- Anastasia, George; Macnow, Glen, eds. (2011). The Ultimate Book of Gangster Movies. Running Press. pp. 293, 294.
- The Yards (200) - Filming & Production - IMDb
- "Festival de Cannes: We Own the Night". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 20 December 2009.
- We Own the Night (2007) - IMDb
- "2013 Official Selection". Cannes. 20 April 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
- Halligan, Fionnuala (20 May 2013). "Blood Ties – Reviews". Screen International.
- "Warner Bros. Lines Up Director James Gray For Boston Mafia Crime Drama White Devil". Boston Magazine. 21 August 2013.
- "The Lost City of Z" Resuscitates Cinema's Classic Adventure Tale|The New Yorker
- Lang, Brent (12 May 2016). "Cannes: James Gray Making Sci-Fi Epic 'Ad Astra'". Variety. Variety Media, LLC. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
- Fleming Jr., Mike (2020-06-16). "Robert De Niro, Oscar Isaac, Donald Sutherland & Anne Hathaway Join Cate Blanchett In James Gray's 'Armageddon Time:' Hot Virtual Cannes Package". Deadline. Retrieved 2020-07-21.
- Sharf, Zack (2020-06-16). "James Gray Unveils 'Ad Astra' Follow-Up Starring Blanchett, Isaac, De Niro, and Hathaway". IndieWire. Retrieved 2020-07-21.
- "Cannes: James Gray on 'The Immigrant,' Marion Cotillard and Returning to the Fest (Q&A)". The Hollywood Reporter. 21 May 2013. Retrieved 5 September 2013.
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