Born 1933 in Shepperton, Middlesex.
After a Roman Catholic schooling, he started in 1955 as a TV editor, where he began producing documentaries before going on to head of the BBC’s Documentary Unit. Following his first feature film, he directed one last documentary dedicated to Griffith.
“He has an art for blowing realist themes and conventions out of the water, for undermining protocols and genres, for giving false hints, for expanding and compressing time and space, for breaking the sense of continuity and hidden narrative cherished by Hollywood movies […]
Each of his films is an adventure, a challenge, a metaphysical odyssey, an exploration of the subconscious. More often than not, the protagonists have been uprooted by tragic events (Point Blank, Hell in the Pacific, The Emerald Forest) or due to a desire to “re-discover themselves” (Deliverance). The aimless wandering, the initiatory journey is a major theme running through Boorman’s work. […]
Boorman takes exception to most of the precepts upheld by US cinema: the notion of a storyline, as a prevailing formal principle, realism in the Aristotelian sense of the word as the guarantor of continuity… He is wary of true-to-life minutiae, of naturalistic touches. Accuracy never appears to be his primary concern. […]
He prefers the mythological to the psychological, and to facts, the secret meaning they conceal.”
Jean-Pierre Coursodon & Bertrand Tavernier (Cinquante ans de cinéma américain)
John Boorman has directed five films that broach the subject of wars, whether experienced or otherwise, whether real or fictional, but in each, the imaginary takes centre stage. These are the films, including a preview of his latest Queen and country, that we will be screening in French Preview at the Festival.