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The director, writer and producer Walter Hill to receive the Maverick Director Award
(Photo Credit: Elizabeth Perrin)
The director, writer and producer Walter Hill will be honoured with the Maverick Director Award of the 7th Rome Film Festival (November 9-17, 2012, at the Auditorium Parco della Musica) on Wednesday, November 14th. The award will be presented by Alessandro Camon, in the presence of Sylvester Stallone. Hill’s latest film, Bullet to the Head, written by Alessandro Camon and starring Sylvester Stallone in the leading role, will be world premiered at the festival after the awards ceremony.
This new award will go to master filmmakers who have broken new ground in cinema and consistently stand out from the crowd. Its first recipient is one of America’s most acclaimed and versatile filmmakers, who directed cult films such as The Warriors, 48 Hrs. and Streets of Fire; produced the modern masterpiece of science fiction, Alien, as well as its two sequels (Aliens and Alien3); and also scripted films by directors of the calibre of John Huston (The Mackintosh Man) and Sam Peckinpah (The Getaway). During his long career, starting in the early '70s, Walter Hill has effortlessly moved from classic cinema to its modern variations, trying his hand at all genres, from his trilogy of western heroes (The Long Riders, Geronimo and Wild Bill) to thrillers (Southern Comfort, Trespass), along with action films (Extreme Prejudice,Undisputed) and comedy (Brewster’s Millions). Hill received the DGA and Emmy Award for directing the pilot to the ground-breaking neo-western Deadwood. He most recently received a DGA Award for directing the acclaimed television movie Broken Trail, for which he also was awarded an Emmy.
Bullet to the Head is a genre action thriller starring Sylvester Stallone, with a screenplay by Alessandro Camon, produced by Dark Castle and IM Global and distributed internationally by IM Global. Inspired by the well-known graphic novel Du plomb dans la tête by Matz (Alexis Nolent), the film tells the story of a New Orleans hit man (Stallone) and a Washington, D.C. cop who join forces to avenge the deaths of their respective partners. Warner Bros. will release the film in the United States in February 2013.
Walter Hill: American cinema outlaw
“I generally make movies about tough men in dangerous situations, but what I’m really just looking for is a good story to tell.”
Disciple and heir of master American filmmakers such as Howard Hawks, Sam Peckinpah, Don Siegel, and Robert Aldrich, Walter Hill is often acclaimed as the last of the classic American action directors.
A poet of the lost frontier and male relationships, a visionary with an iconoclastic take on film genres, Hill’s filmmaking is key to understanding the transformation that action films underwent from the 1970s to the following decade.
Adored by the critics for his style, at once powerfully classical and geometrically abstract, over the course of his career Hill has worked with the “toughest of the tough” in American film, from Charles Bronson and James Coburn, David Carradine and Nick Nolte, to Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis.
With his own unmistakable director’s eye, Walter Hill has always defended his own autonomy and freedom from the industry’s market logic. And just like his mavericks, outlaws and desperados, he is known to be allergic to compromise and the easy way out.
And like other past masters and modern maestros of American film, Hill’s hallmark is the precision of his cinematic style; a precision juxtaposed against widely kinetic images of movement and color - a style that, over time, has achieved legendary status.
Walter Hill - Biography
During the course of his remarkable career, Walter Hill has been a writer, director and producer on projects ranging from classic westerns to action-packed thrillers and buddy comedies, all marked with his unique visceral style. A veteran director of twenty feature films, he has also made a successful foray into television, having worked on a variety of projects for HBO, receiving both the Emmy and DGA Awards in 2005 for the pilot of the groundbreaking neo-western Deadwood. His overall work ranges from intimate character studies to full-blown blockbusters, and he has been critically praised for being equally adept at both.
Hill most recently directed the Warner Brothers action thriller Bullet To The Head starring Sylvester Stallone, Sung Kang and Jason Momoa. The film tells the story of a New Orleans hit man (Stallone) and a Washington D.C. cop (Kang) who form an alliance to bring down the killer (Momoa) of their respective partners. Bullet To The Head is scheduled to be released by Warner Bros. in February 2013.
Hill directed AMC’s acclaimed Emmy Award-winning debut television movie, Broken Trail, chronicling a story of five lost immigrant women and their trail driving rescuers during the waning days of America’s West. This critically applauded film starred Oscar winner Robert Duvall and Oscar nominee Thomas Haden Church and premiered on AMC in June 2006to record breaking numbers for the network. Hill received the DGA Award for his work on behalf of Broken Trail which was nominated for 16 Emmy Awards and won for Outstanding Miniseries, Lead Actor, Supporting Actor and Casting. Hill received an Emmy Award for producing and was nominated for Outstanding Directing For a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special.
Hill’s career began in the early 1970s with screenplay credits for The Getaway starring Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw, and The Drowning Pool starring Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. In 1975, he made his directorial debut with Hard Times, a Depression-era street fighting drama starring Charles Bronson and James Coburn. From there, Hill chose a succession of projects that found both cult and mainstream audiences.
In 1979, Hill co-produced the science fiction blockbuster Alien, starring Sigourney Weaver, and served as producer or executive producer on the three sequels of the legendary film series. Among his other credits, Hill directed the smash hits 48 Hrs. and Another 48 Hrs., both starring Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte. With these films and others such as The Warriors, Southern Comfort (starring Keith Carradine and Powers Boothe), Last Man Standing (Bruce Willis, Bruce Dern and Christopher Walken), and Johnny Handsome (Mickey Rourke and Morgan Freeman), he became known as one of the foremost action filmmakers in Hollywood.
Hill began his exploration of the American western in 1980 when he directed the Cannes Film Festival Golden Palm nomineeThe Long Riders starring David and Keith Carradine, James and Stacy Keach, Randy and Dennis Quaid, Chris and Nicholas Guest. This film marked the beginning of Hill’s western trilogy, which continued with Geronimo starring Jason Patric, Wes Studi and Gene Hackman, and ended in 1995 with Wild Bill, which starred Jeff Bridges, Ellen Barkin and John Hurt.
For his worldwide contributions to film culture, Hill has received retrospectives at the Cinémathèque Française in Paris (2005), the Torino Film Festival (2005), the British Film Institute (1991), and the Pacific Film Archives at the University of California (Berkeley, 2007). He was also honored with film retrospectives by the San Sebastian Film Festival (2011), the American Cinematheque (2006), and at the 9th Annual Maine International Film Festival which also presented Hill with a Lifetime Achievement Award in July 2005. He also received a Lifetime Achievement Award and mini retrospective at the Savannah Film Festival (2006). Hill won the critics’ prize as Best Director at the Cognac Film Festival in 1983 with 48 Hrs. The Torino Film Festival honored Hill and Broken Trail for Best Film and Best Director with the Film Critica Bastone Bianco Prize in 2007. Hill was the recipient of two Golden Boot Awards, one on behalf of Broken Trail, the other for lifetime achievement; he has twice won the Western Heritage Wrangler Award for his work on Geronimo and for Broken Trail. Other awards include: Saturn Award from the Academy of Science Fiction and Fantasy (1979), the Cable Ace Award as Best Director of a Series (Tales From the Crypt, ‘Deadline’ ), Best Director of the Year Award – Motion Picture, Kinema Jumpo (1983, Japan).
Walter Hill was born and raised in Long Beach, California. He and his wife Hildy are longtime residents of Beverly Hills.
Italian screenwriter, author and film producer Alessandro Camon moved to the United States in the ‘90’s, and he earned his master’s degree at the UCLA Film School. In 2000 he was the co-producer of American Psycho. He later worked as the producer and executive producer of many films including Owning Mahowny and The Cooler (2003), Undertow (2004), Thank You for Smoking (2005), Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus (2006), The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans (2009) and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010).
In 2008 he made his debut as a screenwriter with the Italian production The Bandit K (K. Il bandito) and the following year, with Oren Moverman he wrote The Messenger, which won the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay at the 59th Berlin International Film Festival and an Oscar nomination in 2010.