Alan Rudolph

Director, Screenwriter, Producer
The son of director Oscar Rudolph, writer-director Alan Rudolph followed in the footsteps of mentor Robert Altman, embracing a similar kind of ensemble picture while pursuing his own personal, less satiric, more human ... Read more »
Born: 12/17/1943 in Los Angeles, California, USA

Filmography

Director (21)

The Secret Lives of Dentists 2003 (Movie)

(Director)

Investigating Sex 2000 (Movie)

(Director)

Trixie 2000 (Movie)

(Director)

Breakfast of Champions 1999 (Movie)

(Director)

Afterglow 1997 (Movie)

(Director)

Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle 1994 (Movie)

(Director)

Equinox 1993 (Movie)

(Director)

Mortal Thoughts 1991 (Movie)

(Director)

Love at Large 1990 (Movie)

(Director)

The Moderns 1988 (Movie)

(Director)

Made in Heaven 1987 (Movie)

(Director)

Trouble in Mind 1985 (Movie)

(Director)

Choose Me 1984 (Movie)

(Director)

Songwriter 1984 (Movie)

(Director)

Return Engagement 1983 (Movie)

(Director)

Endangered Species 1982 (Movie)

(Director)

Roadie 1980 (Movie)

(Director)

Remember My Name 1978 (Movie)

(Director)

Welcome to L.A. 1976 (Movie)

(Director)

Barn of the Naked Dead 1975 (Movie)

(Director)

Premonition 1972 (Movie)

(Director)
Writer (19)

Investigating Sex 2000 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Trixie 2000 (Movie)

(From Story)

Trixie 2000 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Bandits 1999 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Breakfast of Champions 1999 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Afterglow 1997 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle 1994 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Equinox 1993 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Love at Large 1990 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Moderns 1988 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Trouble in Mind 1985 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Choose Me 1984 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Endangered Species 1982 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Roadie 1980 (Movie)

(From Story)

Remember My Name 1978 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Welcome to L.A. 1976 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Premonition 1972 (Movie)

(From Story)

Premonition 1972 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Actor (4)

Who Is Henry Jaglom? 1994 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

The Player 1992 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Hollywood Mavericks 1990 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)
Producer (3)

Hello 2004 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Investigating Sex 2000 (Movie)

(Producer)

Premonition 1972 (Movie)

(Producer)
Production Management (1)

Nashville 1975 (Movie)

(Assistant Director)

Biography

The son of director Oscar Rudolph, writer-director Alan Rudolph followed in the footsteps of mentor Robert Altman, embracing a similar kind of ensemble picture while pursuing his own personal, less satiric, more human vision. Despised by mainstream Hollywood, he has managed to stay true to his idiosyncratic muse and remain in the game despite never having had a breakthrough commercial success. Rudolph's dialogue has a snappy, flirtatious quality, and his distinctive "pan-and-zoom" style allows audiences to experience performances that are not built from cut to cut. It is not unusual for a Rudolph film to contain four or five shots that are as long as six or seven minutes, unheard of in this era of high-tech editing. Actors who like working with him because he lets them get into real-life rhythms wave their usual salaries, enabling him to adhere to ridiculously low budgets, and he frequently reteams with his talent, knowing that subsequent collaborations will only be richer.

Relationships

Joyce Rudolph

Wife

Oscar Rudolph

Father
began acting in films as a teenager directed primarily for TV early work tended towards drama (i.e., "The Lone Ranger" ABC, "Playhouse 90" CBS) later specialized in sitcoms like "McHale's Navy" (ABC), "My Favorite Martian" (CBS) and "The Brady Bunch" (NBC) also directed such feature films as "Rocket Man" (1954), "Twist Around the Clock" (1961) and "The Wild Westerners" (1962)

EDUCATION

University of California at Los Angeles

Los Angeles , California

Assistant Directors Training Program, Directors Guild of America

Los Angeles , California 1967

Milestones

2001

Helmed "Speaking of Sex"

2000

Reunited with Nolte for "Trixie", produced by Altman; first film with Lesley Ann Warren in 16 years

1999

Did his best to capture the grandness of Kurt Vonnegut's satiric vision of American greed and commercialism in "Breakfast of Champions"; had originally written screenplay for Altman shortly after novel's publication in 1973; picture reteamed him with Nolt

1997

First collaboration with actor Nick Nolte (though both appeared as themselves in "The Player"), "Afterglow", produced by Altman; reteamed with Kurita; picture cost less to make than Nolte's regular Hollywood salary

1994

Provided a nice look into the world of the Algonquin Hotel's Round Table of writers with "Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle", produced by Altman; Carradine, in his fifth film for the director, portrayed Will Rogers; the director's first foray into a fact

1992

Appeared as himself in Altman's "The Player"

1991

First collaboration with actors Bruce Willis and Glenne Headly, "Mortal Thoughts", co-produced by Demi Moore (who also acted); hired the day before shooting commenced, delivered arguably his most mainstream entertainment, though Columbia, which purchased

1990

Appeared as himself in the documentary feature "Hollywood Mavericks"

1988

Recovered his director's aplomb for "The Moderns", a strikingly visual look at 1920s Paris of the Lost Generation; originally set to shoot picture in late 1970s with Mick Jagger in the role eventually played by John Lone; sixth and last film produced by P

1987

Helmed the misfire about reincarnation, "Made in Heaven"

1985

Set his noirish melodrama "Trouble in Mind" in the not-to-distant future; picture reteamed him with Kristofferson, playing an idealistic ex-cop fresh from a stint in jail; cast also included Carradine and Bujold; first collaboration with director of photo

1984

Scored critically with "Choose Me", an evocative use of L.A. locations starring Genevieve Bujold, Carradine and Lesley Ann Warren; also wrote and directed that year's "Songwriter" (first film with Kris Kristofferson), starring Willie Nelson

1983

Directed the feature-length documentary, "Return Engagement", featuring Timothy Leary and G Gordon Liddy

1982

Helmed and co-wrote (with John Binder) "Endangered Species", a conspiracy thriller inspired by real-life cattle mutilations in the Midwest

1980

First film with producer Carolyn Pfeiffer and first film as director-for-hire, "Roadie"

1978

Provided stunning vehicle for Geraldine Chaplin as a woman returning from prison bent on disrupting her ex-husband's life in "Remember My Name", produced by Altman; there were only six prints of the movie, of which reportedly none are extant

1976

With Altman, co-wrote the screenplay for "Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson"

1976

First film as director to achieve significant theatrical release, "Welcome to L.A."; also wrote screenplay; produced by Altman; inaugurated collaborations with actors Keith Carradine and Geraldine Chaplin, though he knew both from working on Altman films

1973

First collaboration with Robert Altman, as an assistant director on "The Long Goodbye"; would also assist Altman on "California Split" (1974) and "Nashville" (1975)

1972

First film as director, screenwriter and co-producer, "Premonition", executive produced by his father

1967

Entered Directors Guild of America assistant director's training program

1954

First film appearance, "Rocket Man", directed by his father Oscar Rudolph

Directed "The Secret Lives of Dentists" (lensed 2002)

Given a camera by his older brother; made over 200 short films

Worked at odd jobs for various Hollywood studios

Bonus Trivia

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Named by the 1985 Toronto Film Festival as one of ten filmmakers whose work would shape the next decade of cinema. He was the only American on the list.

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Rudolph credits TV directors Joseph Sargent and Leo Penn as inspirations: "They had a sense of romance that I had hoped I would get from directors, but which I found from no one else until I worked with [Robert] Altman." --From DGA News, October-November 1994.

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About working for studios: "I've been asked to do quite a few things, and the money was always interesting, but I didn't think I could do it or work with certain people. I might have if I hadn't had such bad experiences with some of my earlier films [as a studio hire], which I came out of with a brutal reminder of how something wonderful can be destroyed. I would think I made a pretty good movie and then all the knives would start flashing and what came out the other end was a film that wasn't anyone's vision."The thing with those films is that I was always broke. Every time I'd do something for the studios, there would be a paycheck which was more than I'd ever experienced. I was literally checkerboarding my way through the rent. I'd go broke and then do a picture for a studio to pay the rent. But it wasn't worth it, I could see that. No matter how often you play Faust, you're going to get a bad review some way." --Alan Rudolph to in DGA News, October-November 1994.

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"I don't have much knowledge in anything else, so I've basically been making the same film for 20 years. It's very fertile ground, and I just seem interested in the dance that people do together when they don't know the music and they don't know the steps. I'm always interested in taking a stab at this love thing, which just seems endless.'"A lot of people resist my movies, they really don't like them. I really couldn't figure it out until I began to understand that my films require the audience's participation on an emotional level. You have to basically bring yourself, and a lot of people won't do that."The point isn't to strive to be original. My movies aren't made for mass audiences, and I guess I'm not really interested in mass audiences. The masses will take care of themselves. I'm interested in the individual in the audience." --to Boston Globe, January 1, 1998.

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"I tell you what, movies have become currency. It's that good news, bad news thing. The good news is that you can make a movie just about anywhere with anyone for any amount of money, and someone might pay attention. The bad news is that everything's been co-opted. The so-called independent movement is basically a label and a sales pitch. All the independent distributors are owned by the major studios, which means its stuff for one decimal point less. I think filmmakers are in the best and worst of times right now. They should be encouraged to be original and true, but that's not what's happening." --Rudolph quoted in Chicago Tribune, January 23, 1998.

.

"The truth is, the first film I made with real actors, 'Welcome to L.A.', was the most audacious film I'll ever make, because I didn't know the difference. I had written the script for [Robert Altman's] 'Buffalo Bill and the Indians'. 'Buffalo Bill' was at the time a pretty high-budget film, maybe $7 million. Had Paul Newman, all that. So we're in Calgary, the day before shooting, and all those terrific United Artists guys like Arthur Krim and Eric Pleskow fly up to have a big production meeting with Bob. He wants me to be in on the meeting. Bob's sitting there and says, 'OK, let's make a proposition. Our picture costs $7 million. For less than $1 million more, we'll make another movie. Alan will write and direct, and we'll get a lot of stars.' They say OK Later, Bob said, 'Hey, you better write something.' So I made 'Welcome to L.A.'. It wasn't conventional, but I had no frame of reference." --quoted in Filmmaker, Winter 1998.

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"No one has ever come up to me and asked, 'what do you want to do next?' If I stopped generating [projects] myself, I would just be another statistic." --Rudolph quoted in Screen International, November 14-November 20, 1997.

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"One of the greatest rejections I ever got was when a foolish agent thought he could send 'Afterglow' to a studio, and the studio guy turned down the script. He said, 'We don't want to make this, it's just about people.' The real truth is I know my films are never going to cost very much money because I can't get very much money to do them, so I restrict the scope before I start writing. On 'Choose me' I was the mouse on the rotating wheel for a new company, Island Alive, and I'd just done a documentary for them, 'Return Engagement', that had worked out. They said, 'That was good, let's do another one.' And I said, 'I want to do a real movie.' I wish I had the napkin, because it was truly a napkin deal. I was sitting there with Chris Blackwell and Carolyn Pfeiffer and they said, 'How much would a movie cost?' And I figured out we could do it for $639,000. They said, 'OK, that's the budget." --quoted in Sight and Sound, June 1998.

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