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Karel Reisz Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trivia (9)  | Personal Quotes (3)

Overview (2)

Born in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia [now Czech Republic]
Died in London, England, UK  (after suffering a blood disorder)

Mini Bio (1)

Karel Reisz was born on July 21, 1926 in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia. He was a director and producer, known for Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960), The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981) and Morgan! (1966). He was married to Betsy Blair and Julia Coppard. He died on November 25, 2002 in London, England.

Spouse (2)

Betsy Blair (1963 - 25 November 2002) ( his death)
Julia Coppard (19?? - 19??) ( divorced) ( 3 children)

Trivia (9)

Son of a Jewish lawyer who fled from Czechoslovakia to the UK to escape the Holocaust.
Member of the "Official Competition" jury at the 36th Cannes International Film Festival in 1983.
Member of the "Official Competition" jury at the 23rd Cannes International Film Festival in 1970.
One of the British "New Wave" directors.
Directed three actresses to Oscar nominations: Vanessa Redgrave (Best Actress, Morgan! (1966); Isadora (1968)), Meryl Streep (Best Actress, The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981)), and Jessica Lange (Best Actress, Sweet Dreams (1985)).
He wrote his famous book, "The Technique of Film Editing", before becoming involved in professional filmmaking. It was reviewed--not entirely favorably--in the magazine "Sight And Sound" by an actual film editor, Seth Holt. When Reisz made his first feature film, Saturday Night And Sunday Morning (1960), he hired Holt as his editor and, after their first day of working together, told him, "I didn't know what I was talking about, did I?".
Fought as a pilot with the Czech squadron in the RAF during World War II.
After the war he worked as a film journalist for the publication "Sight and Sound". He then became Program Selection Officer for the British Film Institute. In the 1950s he was one of the founders of the Free Cinema movement. His subsequent feature films have often tended to focus on working-class angst and class structure in general, with social outcasts at their center. During his later years he worked increasingly in theater direction.
He refused to direct Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983).

Personal Quotes (3)

[on being asked how he managed to get the script to Morgan! (1966) green-lighted for production] Well, I was the head of the distribution company, so it really wasn't that difficult.
[on Fred Astaire] Astaire is the motherless man-about-town, all sophistication, quite debonair, yet with a lope in his walk rather than a swagger, for--despite his receding hair--he is essentially boyish, youthful, innocent.
[on Joan Greenwood] She speaks her lines as though suspecting in them some hidden menace that she can't quite identify.

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