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Overview for Philip Kaufman
Philip Kaufman

Philip Kaufman


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Also Known As: Died:
Born: October 23, 1936 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Chicago, Illinois, USA Profession: Director ...


Kaufman met Anais Nin while she was promoting the films of Hugh Guiler, her husband, then known as Ian Hugo. After hearing Kaufman's idea for a screenplay he was considering, she encouraged him to follow through with his filmmaking.

The film, "Fearless Frank," was shot in 1964, reviewed by Variety in 1964 because of its presence in the Cannes Film Festival of that year, but was not released in the USA until 1969.

"I find people the people who are most interesting are the people you talk to and spend time with. And the best films carry on dialogues with the viewer. Even the shorter Hollywood movies of the '40s used to have that because they were for grownups ... I want to live in a world that I find habitable and which stimulates me, and I think films should reflect that." --Kaufman quoted in Variety, July 20-26, 1998.

"There are a lot of nice people in Hollywood and on occasion they make great movies. If I have any problems, it comes from speaking my piece. I'll say what I want to say, and I'll defend it. I'm a relatively easy-going person; though once I get involved with a project I get pretty obsessed. You can think of nothing but what you're working on. For me a film is a great educational process; for me it's a university unto itself." --Philip Kaufman to James Mottram at BBC Online (, January 16, 2001.

On working with stars, Kaufman told The Observer (January 14, 2001): "There is a certain spoilt quality about them. They get used to living like millionaires and acting like millionaires, and there is often a lot of bad behaviour associated with money."

"I felt betrayed with "Henry and June," because I really felt, within the code as it was, it should have been the same rating as "Unbearable Lightness of Being." We were ready to go to Washington to protest it, and that week the ratings system was changed, the head of Universal was backing it totally. Tom Pollock said, 'let's be the first NC-17 film out.' Well, it turned out that the film did great business when it first came out. It set records in some places, but very quickly theaters would not book it, because they thought it was the new X rating. We thought there would be a rating beyond this one, that suddenly we had liberated films for adults--things that European films deal with in a more open way throughout my lifetime--but the result was that the X was shrunk down to NC-17. So, in a way, it was the new X." --Kaufman on the ratings controversy to Andrea Meyer at indieWIRE (, November 28, 2000.

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