Life and career
Born in Birmingham, Venville was the child of deaf parents. He was, in the words of his uncle, "caught in some no-man's land between the deaf world and the hearing world." Venville attended Solihull College (1981–83) and Polytechnic of Central London (1983–86), graduating with honors with a BA in film, video, and photographic arts.
Breaking out with a campaign for Wrangler in 1991, he became an acclaimed and sought-after advertising and fashion photographer. In 1992, he began directing commercials, starting with an advertisement for Audi.
Venville has three books of photography. Layers (2003) is a collection of Venville's advertising, celebrity, fashion, and personal photography. Lucha Loco (2006) is a collection of over a hundred portraits of lucha libre wrestlers taken on a 2005 trip to Mexico. His third monograph The Women of Casa X, portraits of elderly prostitutes from Casa Xochiquetzal in the infamous Tepito district of Mexico City, was published by Schilt Publishing in 2013.
His short film career began with Silent Film (1997), an 11-minute film documenting the romance of his deaf parents. He also directed a pair of short documentaries about actresses in small memorable roles: Remembering Sister Ruth (1997), about actress Kathleen Byron, who played the disturbed nun Sister Ruth in Black Narcissus (1947), and the 15 minute Remembering Miss Torso (2004), about actress Georgine Darcy, who played the voluptuous neighbor Miss Torso in Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window (1954).
Venville initially turned down a number of offers to direct feature films, including Coyote Ugly, because he wished his feature film debut to be a planned movie called Deaf Road, about his uncle's attempts to lose his virginity in Tangiers. It would be entirely in sign language, which Orlando Bloom had pledged to learn to star in the film. Venville's feature film debut was 44 Inch Chest (2009), a gangster film starring Ray Winstone, John Hurt, Tom Wilkinson and Ian McShane. It reunited the writers and some of the cast of an earlier British gangster film, Sexy Beast (2000). He also directed Henry's Crime (2010), a romantic comedy starring Keanu Reeves, James Caan, and Vera Farmiga.
- Grant (2020)
- Silent Film (1997)
- Remembering Sister Ruth (1997)
- Layers (2003)
- Lucha Loco (2006)
- The Women of Casa X (2013)
- "Malcolm Frank Venville." People of Today. Debrett's Ltd., 2009. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 19 July 2011.
- "Malcolm Venville". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on July 22, 2012. Retrieved June 27, 2015.
- Ross, Peter (July 6, 2003). "The naked and the deaf;You may not have heard of the photographer Malcolm Venville , but you will have seen his adverts.His upbringing by profoundly deaf parents has given him a visual talent, which he plans to use in a new career as a director. But is Britain ready for a film entirely in sign language?". Sunday Herald. p. 14.
- Burney, Jan (October 3, 1994). "MALCOLM 'EGGS' JUST LIKE THE NYNEX YELLOW PAGES PRINT CAMPAIGN HE SHOT, BRITISH PHOTOGRAPHER/DIRECTOR MALCOLM VENVILLE IS OFFERING 'MORE SOLUTIONS' AND 'MORE STUFF'-ON BOTH SIDES OF THE ATLANTIC. AND DON'T MISS HIS MUGSHOTS COMMERCIAL, A STUDY IN COMIC OVAKILL". Creativity. p. 24.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-11-19. Retrieved 2011-07-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Crace, John (June 3, 1998). "Disability: Golden silence; Being brought up by deaf parents did not hinder Malcolm Venville. Instead, it opened his eyes to a whole new world of vivid images". The Guardian. p. 6.
- "Venville's killer nun tribute". Creative Review. November 3, 1997. p. 19.
- Bearn, Emily (June 13, 2004). "View from the room Georgine Darcy played the dancer living opposite Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window. Then the curtains fell on her career. Now Malcolm Venville, a lifelong Hitchcock fan, has made her the focus of a documentary. Emily Bearn meets 'Miss Torso'". Sunday Telegraph.
- Papamichael, Stella (2010). "44 Inch Chest: Malcolm Venville interview". BBC. Retrieved June 27, 2015.