marți, 14 februarie 2023

RIP Hugh Hudson

Found out after  a few days, that Hugh Hudson, the director of Chariots of Fire and Greystoke had passed away at 86. Oh, and Revolution (1985), which was a flop as big as they got those days.  It was David Puttnam, the golden British producer who put Hudson on the map. He's kind of the only debuting director (at 50 years of age!!!) to have a a film with SEVEN Oscar nods (and four wins), took home the BEST film of the year (1981 that is), well, Hudson didn't win an Oscar (Warren Beatty won for Reds!), but the movie is legendary and immortal! It was one of my father's favorite films, as he did get to meet the original Harold Abrahams -played by Ben Cross in the film-in London in 1967 part of the first Romanian Olympic delegation there).  He was super impressed by that meet and I grew up with that story, then later when I had a film show at the local television station P+ I went with my dad on a show in which he told that story live. Well, the film is famous for the Vangelis score (Vangelis won an Oscar in absentia) and the slow-motion montage, all imitated and parodied, but very original then. All the other projects Hudson was involved afterwards went astray, though I loved Greystoke -The Legend Of Tarzan, Lord Of The Apes-then (1984) it was a mixed bag, but Revolution was the one that iced the cake.        

His debut feature was at the age of 50, but Hudson was a well known and respected director, top of the advertising world. He is part of the so-called "rennaissance gang", the Brits that made Hollywood look cool, Alan Parker, Ridley and Tony Scott, and Adrian Lyne.  All had their background in Advertising, in the late 60's and the '70's. Here's a TV profile on Hudson, entitled King of Ads, which features one of the legendary Guinness commercials with Rutger Hauer ('Pure Genius'). 

He directed also Lost Angels (1989), which was in the Cannes official competition, and I Dreamed of Africa (2000, in competition in Un Certain Regard in Cannes). His last film was Finding Altamira (2016), with Antonio Banderas. 

In his personal life Hudson was blessed with a special encounter, Maryam d'Abo, the beautiful Bond cellist Kara Milovy from The Living Daylights (1987), became his second wife in 1993. Interestingly enough, he met d'Abo 20 years before, while casting Greystoke for the part of Jane. 

“His passing, coming on the heels of the loss of Vangelis and the film’s screenwriter, Colin Welland, offer a moment to reflect on how incredibly fortunate I was, maybe we all were, to work together at a very particular point in our careers.”              David Puttnam

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