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Tony Kaye Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (1)  | Trade Mark (4)  | Trivia (11)  | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (3)

Born in London, England, UK
Nicknames Humpty Dumpty
Ralph Coates
Height 6' 2" (1.88 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Tony Kaye was born in London, United Kingdom. He has made several well-known music videos, including the video for "Runaway Train" by Soul Asylum, which won a Grammy Award, "Dani California" by Red Hot Chili Peppers, "What God Wants" by Roger Waters, and "Help Me" and "God's Gonna Cut You Down" by Johnny Cash. Kaye is a six time Grammy nominated music video director. His feature film debut was American History X (1998), a drama about racism starring Edward Norton and Edward Furlong. Kaye disowned the final cut of the film, as he did not approve of its quality. He unsuccessfully attempted to have his name removed from the credits. The final cut was critically lauded and Norton was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in the film. Kaye's second feature, a documentary called Lake of Fire, was about the abortion debate in the United States. It opened in Toronto in September 2006. The movie was shortlisted for an Oscar, nominated for Best Documentary Film at the Independent Spirit Awards, the Chicago Film Critics Association Awards, and the Satellite Awards. Lake of Fire took Kaye 18 years to make. Kaye's third feature film, Black Water Transit (2010), starred Laurence Fishburne, Karl Urban, Evan Ross, Brittany Snow, and Stephen Dorff. The film is unfinished as the production company went bankrupt during the making. Kaye's fourth feature film, Detachment (2011), starring his daughter Betty Kaye, is a drama about the decline of the education system in American high schools.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Movie Guy

Family (1)

Spouse Yan Lin Kaye (? - present)
Eugenia Volosonovici (? - ?)  (divorced)  (2 children)

Trade Mark (4)

His protagonists are often filled with self-hatred and regret, trying to atone for past failures
Use of flashbacks and cutaways
His films often tackle controversial social themes
Often films scenes in black and white

Trivia (11)

November 23, 1998 - Tony filed a $275 million lawsuit against New Line and the Director's Guild of America for not letting him use the pseudonym "Humpty Dumpty" as the director of American History X (1998)
Performs music and comedy at open mics around Los Angeles.
Directed one Academy Award-nominated performance, Edward Norton in American History X (1998).
Was 45 years old when he directed his first feature, American History X (1998).
His documentary Lake of Fire (2006) was 16 years in the making.
His favorite director is Stanley Kubrick.
Has suffered from an extreme speech impediment since childhood. It was so severe he didn't even speak on the telephone until he was 27.
Left school at age 16.
He originally aspired to be a painter and started work in Graphic Design.
Decided to pursue a career in film at age 27.
Father of Betty Kaye.

Personal Quotes (1)

When New Line sent me the script of American History X (1998), about the relationship between a Neo-Nazi and his impressionable kid brother, it was deeply flawed. I thought I could manoeuvre around it: invent stuff, improvise, improve what was on the page. That was one of the reasons I went along with the studio's idea to cast Edward Norton. At the time Norton was Hollywood's golden boy, although personally I didn't think he had enough weight or presence. I held some open casting calls but I couldn't find anyone better than him. And one advantage of having Edward was that we had a shared vision of how to improve the script. In casting him I was really buying another writer. The shoot went smoothly. That much is evident from the parts of the picture that work. It was the endgame that I wasn't savvy enough to win. That was when everything fell apart, including me. The first screening of my cut had been a success. Then the studio gave me pages and pages of notes, as did Norton. Let's just say that I was not what you'd call "user friendly". I understand now that when someone offers advice, you shouldn't flare up and throw some prima-donna hissy fit. Better to come up with answers to their questions - or to lie and say you'll give it some thought. I couldn't grasp that. Their first reaction after I bawled them out was to ban me from the cutting room. Eventually they let me in, and I worked with them on re-edits for a year. In that time, I found a whole new film, one that they never allowed me to finish. At one point, they even let Norton work on the editing. I was so staggered by what he was doing to my film, and by the fact that New Line approved, that I punched the wall and broke my hand. Whenever I argued with Norton, I didn't have a leg to stand on. He could wipe the floor with me because he's a great articulator. My problem all through 'American History X' was that I could never tell anyone what I wanted to do with the film. Sometimes I didn't even know myself. More often, I was so intimidated by the process that I went into meltdown if I wasn't left alone to work things out. Of course, if you actually listened to what Norton was saying, you could hear that none of it made sense in film-making terms: that's not his forte, as you'll know if you saw the movie that he directed, Keeping the Faith (2000). "Pretty fucking awful" hardly covers that one. The version of 'American History X' that got released was 40 minutes longer than my cut. I had done a hard, fast, 95-minute rough diamond of a picture. But the movie they put out was crammed with shots of everyone crying in each other's arms. And, of course, Norton had generously given himself more screen time. [The Guardian, Oct. 2002]

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