Salvatore Stabile's rags-to-riches story was not quite what he initially foisted onto journalists, claiming at times to have had an older brother who died of a drug overdose, bragging at other times o...
"Gravesend" opened with the words "Oliver Stone Presents" appearing above the title
Grew up in the poor Brooklyn neighborhood known as Gravesend
Began shooting "Gravesend"
"Gravesend" debuted at the Seattle Film Festival
Signed by Robert Bookman of Creative Artists Agency
"Gravesend" accepted as a work in progress by third annual Hamptons International Film Festival on Long Island
Negotiated two-picture deal with DreamWorks SKG
Exposure at festival led to individuals investing $60K
Graduated form a Catholic high school in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, NY and moved to Manhattan to share a one-bedroom apartment with his maternal grandmother
Salvatore Stabile's rags-to-riches story was not quite what he initially foisted onto journalists, claiming at times to have had an older brother who died of a drug overdose, bragging at other times of mob connections or confessing to a string of misdemeanor arrests and rotation through drug rehab at 14. Far from leaving home at 17 because his parents threw him out, Stabile hailed from a solid working-class family, but the Cinderella facts remained equally fantastic in the light of the more mundane truth. "Gravesend" (1997), the movie he began shooting at age 19, debuted at the 1996 Seattle Film Festival, and within months Bob Bookman of the Creative Artists Agency had signed him, Oliver Stone had agreed to take a presentation credit on the film and Steven Spielberg had given him a two-picture deal. Applauded for his "edgy sense of form" and "surprisingly original feel for film language", Stabile had sold much of mainstream Hollywood on his talent, yet the question remains: Can Sal Stabile go the distance like a Spielberg or a Stone? Initial critical reaction to "Gravesend" was mixed to negative.
New York University
Xavier High School
"You just work with people. I got to know these guys. I worked with each one. I knew which buttons to push. And I let them interact. There were parts of the film where I was letting them tell me what the scene should be. I would just let them go up to the point that I didn't like what they were doing, and I'd step in and say no, yes, whatever." --Salvatore Stabile in THE NEW YORKER, August 11, 1997
On considering himself more a director than a writer: ". . . In fact, I do want to direct, and the movies I want to make are very personal. But directing is something I do as a job, and my whole goal is to be able to sit at home and write.
"When I take these meetings, I tell everybody that, if they have a script they need somebody to rewrite, send it to me, I'll look at it. But one of the first things I told Bob Bookman was, 'Please, spare me the gangster scripts. Send me a quality romantic comedy. Send me a thriller. Just don't send me another "Gravesend".' And I never want to make a movie and have an audience go into the theater expecting anything in particular." --Stabile in THE NEW YORKER, August 11, 1997
"How talented is Mr Stabile? It's hard to say. 'Gravesend' is such a mess you can see the skid marks left behind by its cruder scenes. But it also has some gripping moments, a bracing staccato cinematic rhythm, a sharp sense of humor and some realistic semi-improvised performances . . . " --From THE NEW YORK TIMES review of "Gravesend" by Stephen Holden, September 5, 1997