Biography of John Boorman (1933-VVVV)

British film director, born on January 18, 1933 in Shepperton (London).


One of the distinctive features of the cinematographic work of John Boorman has been the attempt to combine commerciality with a personal vision of the world that surrounds us.

Educated at Salesian College, as a teenager, he/she showed a special interest in the cinema, which was reflected in collaborations as a critic in some magazines and the British public radio. After an interval of four years as editor of television and collaborator on reports, the BBC amounted him head of documentaries, platform since it launched, among others, a series of works about the pioneers of the film industry as David Wark Griffith. Due to the exceptional quality of their work, the BBC offered him then a sabbatical so that it will develop the project which would end up being his first feature film, catch them if you can (1965), the story of five inhabitants of a great city that decided to get away from the hustle and bustle and come into contact with the primitive life of nature. This film was followed by the extraordinary point blank (1967), based on the black novel by Richard Stark, and one of the greatest successes of John Boorman's career. Film, an unusual hardness, narrated the story of the revenge that you want to commit a man against the murderers of his wife, what made him enter into infernal dynamics that will further disrupt its existence.

Returning to the thematic line of confrontation between cultures, common in his filmography, hell in the Pacific (1968) described the struggle during the second world war of two pilots, one Japanese, and another American, on a deserted island. This intercultural conflict, preventing people to understand on many occasions, will also be present in other films such as the Emerald Forest (1985) or beyond Rangoon (1995).

His first clear foray into comedy appeared in Leo the last (1970), portrait of the last descendant of an aristocratic family come less. Defense (1972), for his part, marked the first scandal in the career of Boorman, attributable to the images of a homosexual rape in this tale of hunters who end up being hunted. Lover of obsessive circular structures, their movies have almost always been featuring unsatisfied everyday people and try to escape by any means at its disposal. However, the alleged final release becomes something like a return to the starting point, although the character has learned from the experience.

This filmmaker left on several occasions the realistic atmosphere to embark on the territory of science fiction or mythology. The first gender belongs Zardoz (1974), starring Sean Connery, moral fable about a chosen society isolated from the outside world and which will end up being destroyed by an intruder. While Excalibur (1981), or the adventures of the rey Arturo, you drink in the epic classic sources to put images in a virtuoso spectacle of adventure.

In 1974, and until 1982, he/she was President of the National Film Studio of Ireland, organism from which prompted a preservationist of classic film policy, which has recently extended until the annual journal Projections, of which he/she is founder. This activity not prevented him from continuing his active film career, which during that time was marked by titles as relevant as the Emerald Forest, based on the true story of an American engineer who took years to find his son kidnapped by a tribe in the jungle. With hope and glory (1987), on the other hand, he/she won major international awards and numerous nominations to the Oscar, although some dissenting voices criticized that the second world war, seen through the eyes of a child, appear a fun fireworks show. Inspired by the children's own experiences of John Boorman, hope and glory he/she obtained an extraordinary commercial success which enabled him to set up more personal projects where part of his family would participate. That was the case where is the heart (1989), where the co-writer is the daughter of Boorman, and that raised the eternal intergenerational conflict between parents and children.

After a period of silence, political manifest beyond Rangoon returned to the first line with a film about the human genocide in Cambodia and the world disregard for what took place there. In a change of register, general, presented at the Festival de Cannes in 1998, marked a return to comedy through the history of an Irish thief who brings in check to the police until his assassination at the hands of the terrorist IRA.


Feature films: [Boorman has been producer of almost all of his films]

1965: Catch them if puedes.1967: to quemarropa.1968: the pacifico.1969 hell: Leo the last (and screenwriter). 1972: Defense. 1973: Zardoz (and screenwriter). 1977: The Exorcist II: the hereje.1978: Long shot (and actor). 1979: The hard way (for TV). 1981: Excalibur. 1982: Angel. 1985: The jungle esmeralda.1987: hope and glory (and screenwriter). 1990: where is the corazon.1991: I dreamt I woke up (and screenwriter and actor). 1995: Lumière and company (Co-Director); Apart from rangun.1996: Two nudes bathing (and screenwriter). 1998: the general (and screenwriter). 2000: the tailor of Panama. 2004: Country in my skull.


BOORMAN, John. Money into light: a diary. (London: 1985).

CIMENT, Michel. John Boorman. (Paris: 1985).

PICCARDI, Adriano. John Boorman. (Florence: Nuova Italy, 1982).