June 9, 1962 |
New York City, New York
Rodman Flender (born June 9, 1962) is an American actor, writer, director and producer.
Early life and education
Flender was born and raised in New York City, New York, the son of Enid (Rodman) and Harold Flender, a writer and screenwriter. His nephew is actor Timothée Chalamet. Flender’s early acting roles included Mischa in the Broadway production of Zalmen or the Madness of God and Charles Francis Adams in the PBS series The Adams Chronicles. He graduated from the drama department of New York’s High School of Performing Arts and studied acting at The Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London, England. He received his undergraduate degree at Harvard University, where he also wrote for The Harvard Lampoon. Flender majored in Visual and Environmental Studies and studied documentary filmmaking with Ed Pincus and Ross McElwee, who inspired him with an enthusiasm for the documentary form.
Independent filmmaker Roger Corman hired Flender out of college to run the advertising department of his Concorde-New Horizons Films. With his goal toward directing, Flender moved into production and was Corman’s Vice President of Production for two years. He produced or co-produced titles including Body Chemistry, Streets, and Full Fathom Five. Flender made his feature directing debut with the Corman-produced thriller The Unborn, which received favorable reviews. Flender next wrote and directed In The Heat of Passion, also for Roger Corman.
Over the next decade, Flender’s feature directing credits included Leprechaun 2 for Trimark, which currently holds a 0% approval rating on movie review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes; and the Columbia Pictures release Idle Hands. Flender also became a busy director of television episodes and pilots. TV credits include multiple episodes of the comedies The Office and Ugly Betty; dramas that include Chicago Hope, Gilmore Girls and The O.C.; and horror with HBO’s Tales From The Crypt. As a writer, Flender’s credits include Tales From The Crypt and the feature film Roger Corman’s Dracula Rising.
While continuing his career in fiction filmmaking, Flender never lost interest in documentary. In 1998 he began filming a musical portrait of the Boston-based rock band The Upper Crust. Unforeseen dramatic developments within the band led Flender to continue shooting on and off for the next five years. The resulting documentary, Let Them Eat Rock, played film festivals in 2005 and 2006 to mostly positive notices. Following the 2010 Tonight Show conflict, Flender joined Conan O'Brien (whom he knew since their days at Harvard) on the road, as part of the Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour, and filmed the ongoings behind-the-scenes, onstage and between shows. The documentary, titled Conan O'Brien Can't Stop, was released in select theatres on June 24, 2011, which Roger Ebert featured on his list of best documentaries of 2011.
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- Roger Ebert. "The best documentaries of 2011".
- "Rodman Flender". IMDb.