Todd Haynes - Rotten Tomatoes

Todd Haynes

Highest Rated:   94% Carol (2015)
Lowest Rated:   30% The Last Of Robin Hood (2014)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Not Available
Filmmaker Todd Haynes is known for making provocative films that subvert narrative structure and resound with transgressive, complex eroticism. The content of his work has made Haynes the subject of both acclaim and controversy, a whipping boy for debates about NEA funding and a figurehead in the new queer cinema. Although he doesn't characterize himself as a gay filmmaker who makes exclusively gay films -- he has pointed out in interviews that to do this would be taking only the content instead of the form of his films into consideration -- Haynes' name has become synonymous with that cinematic movement and its work to both expose and redefine the contours of queer culture in America and beyond.Born January 2, 1961, in Los Angeles, Haynes grew up in nearby Encino. He developed an interest in film at a young age, and while still a high school student, he produced his first film, a short about contemporary teenage life entitled The Suicide (1978). Haynes went on to study at Brown University, where he made his directorial debut with Assassins: A Film Concerning Rimbaud (1985). After attaining his BA in Arts and Semiotics, the young filmmaker moved to New York, where he launched Apparatus Productions, a non-profit organization for the support of independent films. Shortly thereafter, he gained his first dose of attention -- and ultimately, controversy -- with Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (1987). A psychological docudrama about the life and death of singer and anorexia victim Karen Carpenter, the film blended sharp satire (most obviously in its use of Barbie dolls to portray the characters) with historical perspective and surprising compassion. Unfortunately, the considerable notice it earned at a number of film festivals was tempered by a lawsuit filed against Haynes by Richard Carpenter, whom the film portrayed in a less than flattering light. Carpenter's lawsuit resulted in Superstar's almost complete disappearance from theatres and the video market alike; unsurprisingly, it went on to become a bootleg classic. Controversy and acclaim again came Haynes' way with his 1991 feature directorial debut, Poison. Based on the writings of French author Jean Genet, the film was a three-part exploration of AIDS-era deviancy, alienation, death, homosexuality, and persecution told in turn as a vox-pop documentary, '50s sci-fi horror fantasy, and gay love story. Its provocative, unsettling nature, explicit depictions of male homosexuality, and the fact that it received $25,000 worth of funding from the National Endowment for the Arts made the film a target of the campaign being waged by the right-wing American Family Association's Reverend Donald Wildmon against federally-funded art. If anything, the publicity generated by the controversy helped the film, and Poison gave a strong showing on the art house circuit and became touted as one of the seminal works of the new queer cinema. It also won the 1991 Sundance Festival's Grand Jury Prize, an honor that fully established its director as a talent to be taken seriously.Haynes did not make another major feature film until 1995 (his 1993 Dottie Gets Spanked was a short film shown on PBS), when he resurfaced with Safe. The story of a San Fernando Valley housewife (the excellent Julianne Moore) who is literally allergic to the 20th century, it was both a brilliant analogy for the AIDS crisis and a coolly devastating portrait of despair and isolation. Safe was easily Haynes' most widely acclaimed film to date, and it gave him a significant measure of mainstream critical recognition.This recognition was apparent in the anticipation surrounding Haynes' next feature, 1998's Velvet Goldmine. Starring Christian Bale, Ewan McGregor, and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, the film was intended as a loving tribute to the Glam rock era, replete as it was with gender and identity experimentation, feather boas, and image-mongering divas of both sexes. Despite such a fascinating subject and strong performances from

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Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
73% Wonderstruck
  • Director
2017
93% Certain Women
  • Executive Producer
$1.1M 2016
94% Carol
  • Director
$8.6M 2015
30% The Last Of Robin Hood
  • Executive Producer
2014
86% Night Moves
  • Executive Producer
2014
86% Meek's Cutoff
  • Executive Producer
$1M 2011
65% Great Directors
  • Actor
$18.4k 2010
89% It Came from Kuchar
  • Actor
2010
85% Wendy and Lucy
  • Executive Producer
$0.8M 2008
No Score Yet 40 X 15
  • Actor
2008
76% I'm Not There
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
$4M 2007
84% Old Joy
  • Executive Producer
2006
86% Quinceañera
  • Executive Producer
$1.6M 2006
87% Far From Heaven
  • Screenwriter
$15.9M 2003
No Score Yet Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story
  • Producer
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
2001
56% Velvet Goldmine
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1998
85% Safe
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1995
No Score Yet Dottie Gets Spanked
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1993
76% Poison
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1991
63% Swoon
  • Phrenology Head
1991
No Score Yet Superstar
  • Director
1987

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Charlie Rose
2013
  • Guest
  • 2016
  • 2014
86% Enlightened
2011-2013
  • Director
  • 2013
70% Mildred Pierce
2011
  • Producer
  • Executive Producer
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
  • 2011

Quotes from Todd Haynes' Characters

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