2929 Productions and Wild Bunch Present A Tempesta Films Production A Magnolia Pictures Release
TWO LOVERS A film by James Gray
108 minutes, 35mm, 2.35
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SYNOPSIS Set in the insular world of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, TWO LOVERS is a classic romantic drama, with Joaquin Phoenix giving a raw and vulnerable performance as Leonard, a charismatic but troubled young man who moves back into his childhood home following a recent heartbreak. While recovering under the watchful eye of his parents (Isabella Rossellini and Moni Monoshov), Leonard meets two women in quick succession: Michelle (Gwyneth Paltrow), a mysterious and beautiful neighbor who is exotic and out-of-place in Leonard's staid world, and Sandra, the lovely and caring daughter of a businessman who is buying out his family's dry-cleaning business.
Leonard becomes deeply infatuated by Michelle, who seems poised to fall for him, but is having a self-destructive affair with a married man. At the same time, mounting pressure from his family pushes him towards committing to Sandra. Leonard is forced to make an impossible decision – between the impetuousness of desire and the comfort of love – or risk falling back into the darkness that nearly killed him.
Directed and co-written by James Gray (“We Own the Night”), TWO LOVERS stars Joaquin Phoenix, Gwyneth Paltrow, Vinessa Shaw, Isabella Rossellini, John Ortiz, and Moni Moshonov. The screenplay is by James Gray & Richard Menello. TWO LOVERS is produced by Donna Gigliotti, James Gray, and Anthony Katagas.
A 2929Production, TWO LOVERS, was executive-produced by Todd Wagner, Mark Cuban and Marc Butan.
A CONVERSATION WITH DIRECTOR JAMES GRAY How does TWO LOVERS compare to your first three films? What prompted you to shift gears from the crime thriller genre to a romantic drama?
As a filmmaker, you’re always trying to refine and make clearer your ideas. So I guess what I was looking for was a way to make a film that appealed entirely to emotions and not at all to intellectual pursuits or genre convention. Making a romantic drama allowed me to focus on the authenticity of emotion, without having to pay attention to the machinery that goes along with crime dramas.
TWO LOVERS is your third film working with Joaquin Phoenix, and you have worked with him more than any other actor. Can you talk about what attracts you to working with him?
Joaquin and I have very similar ways of looking at the world. We both have a real interest in trying to examine human behavior in a way that’s honest and truthful. Joaquin has a real ability to relate to an audience a complexity and internalized conflict in ways that are not necessarily verbalized. To look at him, you know what he’s thinking. That’s a very important quality for an actor, and as a director, when you find that you have to make sure you hold on to it. Because that’s really the essence of drama—both an external and internal conflict for the main character—that’s the way that complexity gets born. And beyond that, he and I are quite friendly and get along very well. We share many of the same tastes, and I feel very lucky to work with someone like that.
Phoenix gives a brave and vulnerable performance in this film, as does Gwyneth Paltrow. What is your method working with actors in order to elicit this kind of emotional intensity?
The key is really to explain right upfront at the beginning of the process, what your ambitions and goals are for the piece. And I think what I stressed to both Joaquin and Gwyneth on a virtually daily basis, was to not put a wall between themselves and their characters. It is so important to me that they never put themselves above their character, never look down on their character, never think that they’re smarter than their character. I want there to be no separation between my actors and the person they’re playing. And that to me is where one can achieve a certain emotional honesty in a film.
How did you go about casting the three leads?
When you’re casting, you’re looking for people who understand what it is that you’re trying to say. You look for people who are sympathetic and empathetic with your cause. In Joaquin’s case, of course, I’d worked with him before, and I knew that this pursuit of a certain emotional honesty was what he was interested in. I’d known Gwyneth socially for many years, and we’d talked about working together for some time. So I pretty much wrote the movie with the two of them in mind, feeling like this was a great opportunity to make a picture where there would be no artifice to the emotion. In the case of Vinessa Shaw, I wanted someone who was appealing because to cast someone who was homely would be both a cliché and to miss the point of the story itself, which is that obsession makes one blind to qualities of the other person.
And again—that doesn’t mean there’s no artifice to the movie, because movies are always a heightened reality. But it means that the actors are not distancing themselves from the people they’re playing. I think that’s a very important idea, especially today, because that is very rarely done in movies anymore. And I don’t know if we pulled it off, but we certainly tried. And I think that’s why partly why for some people the film seems old-fashioned.
Leonard Kraditor is a grown man in his 30s living at home with his parents; Michelle Rausch is another adult wrapped up in an emotionally immature relationship with a married man. Both of these characters seem to be living in a state of arrested development. Can you comment on this?
I think that one the essential struggles that we face in life is reconciling our hopes and dreams that seem so very clear and reachable, with the countless difficulties and injuries to our psyche that keep them from becoming reality. I think it’s very common that people live in states of arrested development, because one of the rarest qualities in the world is emotional intelligence. I know that there are a significant percentage of people who are in their 30s and live with their parents.
The state of being in love is preposterous—we never leave adolescence when we are in love. We say and do such absurd and immature things, so to me, this state of arrested development was important to establish in order to justify the absurdity of being in love. These characters needed to be the ages they are—if they were 20 years old, then the essence of the story would be homogenized pap, because you wouldn’t get a sense that their struggle was one of life and death. Once you get to be a certain age, these puerile conflicts become much more important because essentially it means that your neuroses are becoming encrusted and quite severe. So the importance of these relationships and emotions is increased markedly, and so is the intensity of the drama.
You deal with very classical themes in your films, especially that of fate and predestination, and notably the seeming impossibility of class mobility. In TWO LOVERS, Leonard seems tied to a life in the family business and destined to marry the daughter of his father's business partner. Can you talk about your feelings about fate vs. free will and what this means for the characters in your films?
I would prefer of course for the audience to draw their own conclusions when they see the work, but my own view is that we overstate the importance of free will. There is, of course an element of free will in all behavior. But at the same time, we are all products of our cultural and ideological boxes, and so our ability to make what is deemed the “correct” decision by society is usually totally informed, if not forced upon us by our own position in the world. Our ability to choose is inextricable from our culture, ideology, social class, economics, history—all the factors that go into making us who we are.
The idea that you can pull yourself up by your bootstraps is a very entertaining one, but I think it would be grossly negligent not to question this. Obviously some people really can rise above their original circumstances—this country is essentially founded on that idea. But I think many more people are totally unable to do that. This is an unpleasant and unpopular notion because it means that we don’t have as much control over ourselves as we’d like to believe we have, but to me it seems like a more honest way of dealing with the way the world works. And I think it’s important to question what differentiates people who are able to rise above their circumstances from those who cannot.
Some of your previous films are notable for their ambiguous endings. How does the ending of TWO LOVERS compare?
I think it’s ambiguous as well. Outside of musicals and comedies, happy, upbeat endings can feel phony. Unhappy endings can feel indulgent and over-the-top. My ideal is an ending that hews closer to real life experience, which has both the bitter and the sweet. I think an ending that has both of those components comes closer to capturing the richness and complexity of life as we experience it. I’m not saying we pulled it off with TWO LOVERS—that’s for the viewer to decide, but that’s definitely what we were going for. I hope you can perceive multiple meanings from the ending.
TWO LOVERS has a tremendous sense of place and atmosphere. As a filmmaker, how do you go about creating such vivid moods and powerful imagery?
Several things go into what you’re talking about. If you know the neighborhood and the surroundings, then a certain verisimilitude accompanies the images and gets an emotional response from the audience because it feels real and honest. Another important element for establishing tone and mood has to do with sound and silence—with music or lack thereof. Also the duration of a shot, what the focus is, and what’s in the background. All of these decisions go into defining the tone and atmosphere of a film. So what I try to do is focus on my sensory memory of the places I’ve been, lived, or like to depict, and impart all of these principles to that. And hope that establishes a firm sense of environment for the characters.
TWO LOVERS is loosely based on a story by Dostoyevsky which was also adapted by Luchino Visconti into a film called “White Nights.” Can you talk about how you drew inspiration from the Dostoyevsky, and how your film is different from or inspired by Visconti’s?
Well, I had pulled “White Nights” off the shelf one night looking for something to read, and what stuck me about it was its psychological complexity, its total commitment to the protagonist, and its direct assault on the subject of love.
What do you mean by a “direct assault on the subject of love”?
Well, in a sense, love is preposterous and a lie. That doesn’t mean it’s a lie to you. In other words, you may think you’re in love with another person, but really, what you love about that person tends to be what you project upon that person, and what you love in them that you feel you lack yourself. So the love is real to you, but it’s not necessarily objectively real—it’s subjectively real. The character in “White Nights” thinks he’s in love, but really, he knows nothing about the woman he’s in love with. But just because we think his position is absurd, that doesn’t mean it’s absurd for him, for him it’s real, because he feels it.
So I stole some elements of the plot from “White Nights.” But you couldn’t really do a Dostoyevsky story in present day, because many of his protagonists would be recognized rather quickly as having any number of psychological problems, which in present day would be mitigated, or result in the character being put in an institution. So I stole elements that seemed to work in a modern framework, then tried to update it as best as I could.
Visconti’s WHITE NIGHTS is a marvelous movie, but it’s very surreal—from the Dostoyevsky story he achieves a beauty through heightened reality. It was all shot on a soundstage and it’s a very lovely film, but obviously a formally adventurous one, and I was not anxious to repeat that here. So the two films feel very different, I think.
What other films inspired you while you were making TWO LOVERS?
I was looking at VERTIGO, because that’s a wonderful film about love and obsession and fetish. And I was inspired here by a lot of Fellini, not the least of which was NIGHTS OF CABIRIA and LA STRADA—in fact I stole the ending of the beach from that movie. And to speak more generally, I was certainly influenced by the kind of expressive, unapologetically emotional elements of European cinema of the ‘50s and ‘60s, and a lot of the American pictures from the early ‘70s, because those movies seem to be very committed to storytelling, but also committed to emotional honesty, without what you could call the hip or ironic tone that accompanies much of independent cinema today.
ABOUT THE CAST
JOAQUIN PHOENIX (Leonard Kraditor)
In 2006, Joaquin Phoenix was hailed for his mesmerizing performance as Johnny Cash in Walk the Line. For this role, he collected his second Academy Award nomination (this time, as Best Actor) and won the Golden Globe as Best Actor in a Musical as well as nominations for BAFTA, SAG, BFCA and Chicago Film Critics Awards.
Mr. Phoenix was born in Puerto Rico and began his acting career at an early age with television appearances on such hit shows as "Hill Street Blues,” "The Fall Guy” and "Morningstar/Eveningstar.” His work in television led to his first feature role in SpaceCamp followed by Russkies and Ron Howard’s comedy Parenthood. Several years later he earned critical acclaim for his performance opposite Nicole Kidman in Gus Van Sant’s To Die For. Mr. Phoenix followed this with InventingThe Abbotts opposite Liv Tyler and U-Turn opposite Sean Penn.
Mr. Phoenix went on to star opposite Vince Vaughan in Return to Paradise and Clay Pigeons. He followed this with Joel Schumacher’s thriller 8mm. Shortly after, he earned his first Academy Award nomination for his role in Ridley Scott’s Oscar-winning Best Picture, Gladiator. In addition to nominations for the Oscar, the Golden Globe and the British Academy BAFTA Award, he received awards as Best Supporting Actor from the National Board of Review and The Broadcast Films Critics Association.
For the Oscar-nominated film Quills, Mr. Phoenix won a Broadcast Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor. That same year, he starred opposite Mark Wahlberg in James Gray’s The Yards and followed this with Signs and TheVillage for M. Night Shyamalan.
His extensive body of work also includes It's All About Love, Buffalo Soldiers, Ladder 49 and Terry George’s Hotel Rwanda. He was last seen on the screen in Reservation Road opposite Jennifer Connelly, his second film with Terry George, and We Own the Night, reuniting with Mr. Gray.
GWYNETH PALTROW (Michelle Rausch)
Gwyneth Paltrow’s credit list features critically acclaimed independent films and studio blockbusters that have made her a fixture for today’s audience. Her stunning performance in Shakespeare In Love catapulted her into awards stardom with Best Actress honors at the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild Awards, and Academy Awards.
Last year Ms. Paltrow completed production on the highly anticipated filmIronMan, released in May 2008. On the screen she was seen in her brother Jake Paltrow’s directorial debut The Good Night opposite Penelope Cruz and Danny De Vito.
In 2005, the feature film Proof reunited her with director John Madden. Ms. Paltrow received an Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress for her work in the play as well as a Golden Globe nomination for the film. She followed this with Running With Scissors and Doug McGrath’s Infamous who also directed her in Emma.
Her body of work includes Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Sylvia, Possession, Austin Powers 3 and the critically acclaimed The Royal Tenenbaums. Earlier credits include Duets, a film directed by her father Bruce Paltrow, Bounce opposite Ben Affleck, Anthony Minghella’s The Talented Mr. Ripley,A Perfect Murder opposite Michael Douglas, and the international box office hit Sliding Doors, amongst others.
Ms. Paltrow was born in Los Angeles to director Bruce Paltrow and his wife Blythe Danner. After 11 years the family moved to New York City. She currently resides in New York City and London with her family.
VINESSA SHAW (Sandra Cohen)
Vinessa Shaw was most recently she seen in The Hills Have Eyes and 3:10 ToYuma opposite Russell Crowe. Her breakthrough role came when she co-starred in Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut opposite Tom Cruise. That same year she co-starred with Sean Penn and Sarah Polley in The Weight of Water. She followed this with a co-starring role in 40 Days and 40 Nights opposite Josh Hartnett and Woody Allen’s Melinda and Melinda opposite Will Ferrell.
Ms. Shaw was born in California and was immersed in show business at an early age. She began her career as a model appearing on magazine covers that include Seventeen and Vogue. She made her acting debut in 1991 in the NBC TV-movie "Long Road Home.” Her first feature role came in 1992 with the comedy Ladybugs. That same year she had a recurring role as Tobey Maguire’s love interest in the television series “Great Scott!” Her other television credits include the Showtime series “Fallen Angels,” and the NBC miniseries event “The ‘70s.”
MONI MOSHONOV (Reuben Kraditor)
Moni Moshonov is one of Israel's most recognized actors and an Israeli cultural icon. Since the mid ‘70s, he has played over 60 roles in classic and modern plays from “Romeo and Juliet” and “Death of a Salesman” to “I'm Not Rappaport.” In addition to acting, Mr. Moshonov is also one of Israel’s most talented theatre directors. In 2001 he won the Man Of The Year award for his role in “Chairs” by Eugene Ionesco as well as the Best Theatre Director for this play.
For the past 20 years he has hosted one of Israel’s most successful television programs, “This Is It.” He has also featured in a number of popular television series that include “Kzarim,” “Betipul,” and “Dogout.”
Mr. Moshonov worked previously with Mr. Gray on We Own the Night. In 2001 he was awarded Best Supporting Actor by The Israeli Film Academy for his role in Late Marriage directed by Dover Kozashvilli. He was nominated for the same award in 2004 for Year Zero and the following year for Gift From Above, also directed by Kozashvilli. His body of work also includes the films Lirkod, Forgiveness and Kedma, to name just a few.
In 2000 he featured in Joseph Pitchhadze’s movie Besame Mucho. He also featured in the Moshe Mizrachi’s film Every Time We Say Goodbye starring Tom Hanks.
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI (Ruth Kraditor)
Isabella Rossellini grew up in Paris and Rome. At the age of 19, she moved to New York where she became a translator and later a reporter for RAI-Italian Television. Her popular segments led to appearances as the New York correspondent for the weekly Italian comedy show “The Other Sunday” with Roberto Benigni.
At 28, Ms. Rossellini was discovered by Bruce Weber and photographed for British Vogue. A modeling career followed, during which Ms. Rossellini worked with the industry's most distinguished photographers including Richard Avedon, Steven Meisel, Helmut Newton and Peter Lindbergh. She appeared on the cover of Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire, Bazaar and Vanity Fair and in 1988, an exhibition of her photographs titled ‘Portrait of a Woman’ was held at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris.
Ms. Rossellini made her cinematic debut in 1979 in Paolo and Vittorio Taviani's IlPrato (The Meadow). Her American film debut was opposite Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gregory Hines in Taylor Hackford's White Nights. In 1986, she starred opposite Dennis Hopper as ‘Dorothy Vallens’, the tortured lounge singer, in David Lynch's haunting and controversial Blue Velvet. She recently starred in the short film directed by Guy Maddin, My Dad Is 100Years Old, about her father Roberto Rossellini, which she also wrote and produced. Ms. Rossellini and Maddin worked together previously on TheSaddest Music in The World. Her most recent film credits include; The Architect, Luis Llosa's screen adaptation of Mario Vargas Llosa's novel “The Feast of The Goat” and Doug McGrath's Infamous. She will next be seen in The Accidental Husband directed by Griffin Dunne, co-starring Uma Thurman and Colin Firth.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
JAMES GRAY (Co-writer/Director)
James Gray made his directorial debut at the age of 25 with Little Odessa, a critically acclaimed crime drama about a hit-man confronted by his younger brother upon returning to his hometown of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. Starring Tim Roth, Edward Furlong, Maximilian Schell and Vanessa Redgrave, the film received the Critics Award at the Deauville Film Festival as well as the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival. That same year, he received nominations from the Independent Spirit Awards for Best First Feature and Best First Screenplay.
In 2000, Gray wrote and directed his second film for Miramax, The Yards, starring Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, James Caan and Joaquin Phoenix. The film was selected for official competition at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival.
We Own the Night paired writer/director Gray with Walhberg and Phoenix for the second time. The film is an emotional crime drama about a man who has chosen to hide his past only to discover that he has to confront an inevitable future. Eva Mendes and Robert Duvall also star. We Own the Night was selected for official competition at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.
Born in New York City, he grew up in Queens and attended the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television.
RIC MENELLO (Co-Writer)
TWO LOVERS is Ric Menello's first major feature as co-writer. Prior to this he was a creative consultant to actor/writer Owen Wilson on such films as TheWedding Crashers, Big Bounce and Starsky and Hutch and creative associate to Larry Charles on an HBO pilot, “Burt And Dickie.”
Most recently he was consultant to the filmmakers on writer/director James Gray's film We Own the Night. Menello began his career as a music video director and did such seminal works as “Fight For Your Right to Party” and “No Sleep 'til Brooklyn” for the Beastie Boys, "Going Back to Cali” for LL Cool J, “Mother for Danzig” and A “Children's Story” for Slick Rick.
The recipient of two RIAA Certified Gold Video Awards, and a nominee for two Billboard Music Video Awards, he was honored with a screening of “Goin' Back To CalI” at a special program of influential early videos at the Los Angeles Film Festival. In addition, several independent features and short films he co-wrote have been screened at Slamdance, South by Southwest, the Atlanta Film Festival and the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal.
A graduate of NYU with a degree in Dramatic Literature and Cinema, and two years postgraduate work in Cinema Studies, Menello has written for several film magazines and done audio commentary for two DVDS of films by Claude Chabrol, titled Cry of the Owl.
DONNA GIGLIOTTI (Producer)
In 1999 Donna Gigliotti won a Best Picture Oscar for the award-winning film Shakespeare in Love. She is one of only five female producers to have received this honor. That same year the film won a Golden Globe for Best Picture/Comedy and a BAFTA for Best Film. Earlier on in her career, she became the youngest woman knighted to the rank of ‘Chevalier des Arts et Lettres’ by the French Republic (1985).
Ms. Gigliotti has worked as both a studio executive and a film producer. Following Shakespeare in Love, she was hired as the President of Production at USA Films. During her tenure she was responsible for overseeing the production on Robert Altman’s Gosford Park, Steven Soderbergh’s award-winning feature Traffic and the documentary The Kid Stays in the Picture. Recently Ms. Gigliotti returned to independent production through her company, Tempesta Films. As well as TWO LOVERS their slate includes The Good Night, directed by Jake Paltrow and Vanity Fair starring Reese Witherspoon. Later this year they will commence production on Doug McGrath’s The Bridge.
Previously Ms. Gigliotti was Executive Vice President at Miramax Films where she steered the production on several critically acclaimed films including Emma, Restoration and Jane Ayre. Prior to Miramax, Gigliotti founded Orion Classics, one of the founding specialized film distribution companies. During this time she was instrumental in launching the careers of several emerging directors and their films including Pedro Almodovar’s Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown and Stephen Frears’ My Beautiful Laundrette as well as Gabriel Axel’s Oscar winning Babette’s Feast.
Ms. Gigliotti began her career as assistant to Martin Scorsese on his film RagingBull. She credits Mr. Scorsese with teaching her everything she knows about the creative aspects of great storytelling.
ANTHONY KATAGAS (Producer)
Most recently Anthony Katagas executive produced Lasse Hallstrom’s The Hoax, Vadim Perelman’s The Life Before Her Eyes and Roger Kumble’s College Road Trip. Throughout his career he has worked on the production of more than 20 independent films, primarily New York based. These include 54, Michael Almereyda’s Hamlet 2000, Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation, Jay Anania’s Long Time Since, Denys Arcand’s Stardom and the Robert Evan’s documentary The Kid Stays in the Picture. In 1999, Mr. Katagas formed his company Keep Your Head Productions, committed to the development and production of New York-based films. Through this company he has produced three features by Michael Almereyda: HappyHere and Now, This So-Called Disaster and William Eggleston in the Real World. Additional company credits include Blackbird by the Pulitzer Prize-nominated playwright Adam Rapp, Second Best, Homework and The Ostrich Incident from writer Glenn Gers.
In 2004 he was nominated for an IFP Independent Spirit award honoring filmmakers who demonstrate the creativity, tenacity, and vision required to produce high-quality independent films in spite of highly limited resources. Mr. Katagas was a co-producer on Lee Davis’ 3 A.M. (Showtime 2001), Ray Mckinnon’s Chrystal (First Look 2004), Adam Rapp’s Winter Passing (Focus 2004), and Ben Younger’s Prime (Universal 2005).
JOAQUIN BACA-ASAY (Director of Photography)
Joaquin Baca-Asay photographed James Gray’s last feature, We Own the Night. Earlier feature credits include Rodger Dodger and P.S. for director Dylan Kidd and Thumbsucker for Mike Mills.
For commercials, Mr. Baca-Asay has worked with directors Mark Romanek, Mike Mills, Brian Beletic, Joachim Back and Traktor, to name a few. In 2004 he won a Best Cinematography prize at the MTV Music Video Awards for his work with Mr. Romanek on Jay-Z’s “99 Problems.” In 2006 he joined Park Pictures, as a commercial director. Since then he has directed numerous award-winning commercials for clients such as Nike, Eurostar, Nissan, and Gatorade.
Born in Berkeley, California and raised in Boulder, Colorado, Mr. Baca-Asay graduated from New York University in 1991 where he photographed the Academy Award nominated short film The Lady in Waiting.
JOHN AXELRAD (Editor)
John Axelrad and James Gray first collaborated together on Mr. Gray’s crime drama We Own the Night. Previously, he edited Boogeyman for Sony Screen Gems and was an additional editor in 1999 on David Koepp’s Stir Of Echoes, starring Kevin Bacon and Kathryn Erbe. More recently Mr. Axelrad edited James Gunn’s Slither and the thriller The Messengers, directed by Danny and Oxide Pang.
Mr. Axelrad began his career mentored by some of the best editors in Los Angeles. He assisted Anne V. Coates on Erin Brockovich, Out Of Sight and Unfaithful, worked with Debra Neil-Fisher on Up Close and Personal and assisted Bruce Green on Home Alone 3 and While You Were Sleeping. During that time Mr. Axelrad edited a number of independent features. These include; Changing Hearts, directed by Martin Guigui, Too Smooth starring Neve Campbell and The Auteur Theory, directed by Evan Oppenheimer.
For television, Mr. Axelrad edited the pilot and series “Hack” for CBS.
HAPPY MASSEE (Production Designer)
After studying at the School of Applied Arts in Paris, Happy Massee moved to New York City. In the past 15 years his career as a designer has spanned theatre, commercials and feature films. Mr. Massee’s film credits include BrokenEnglish directed by Zoe Cassavetes, Gardener Of Eden by Kevin Connolly, Just AKiss directed by Fisher Stevens and David Fincher’s short film Thanksgiving.
For commercials, Mr. Massee has worked with some of the world’s most established directors including Wes Anderson, David Lynch, Betina Rheims, Mathew Badger, Sam Bayer, David Fincher, Michel Gondry, Michael Haussman, Mike Mills, Noam Murro and Mark Romanek.
Mr. Massee was nominated for Best Production Design at the MVPA Awards for Keith Richard’s “Wicked As It Seems” and Jay Z’s “99 Problems” for director Mark Romanek. He also received a nomination for Best Design at the MTV Music Video Awards for Madonna’s “Take A Bow.”
LUANN CLAPS (Department Head, Make-up)
Originally from Connecticut, LuAnn Claps now lives in New York City. Prior to working as a make-up artist, Ms. Claps worked as a photographer until she relocated to New York where she studied the craft of Make-up for Theatre, Film and Television. Ms. Claps attended Make-up courses at Parson’s and New York University, as well as private tutelage with some of the industry’s top make-up artists.
Her career began in television, working for daytime soap operas and later Saturday Night Live. More recently she worked for the BBC on the television series “Ruby Wax’s American Pie.”
Ms. Claps has spent the last ten years working in feature films. Her credits include Monsoon Wedding, Chicago, Unfaithful,The Pink Panther, The Hoax and Dan in Real Life. Her next project is the Lasse Hallstrom directed film Hachiko starring Richard Gere and Joan Allen.
MICHAEL ANTHONY (Department Head, Hair)
Michael Anthony is one of the beauty industry's most exciting, energetic and sought after stylists. He draws upon more than a decade of experience to bring innovative hair design to feature films, television, commercials and top fashion publications.
For several years, he was Hair Supervisor at Saturday Night Live where he quickly became a favorite of high profile celebrities for his versatility and creative mind-speed. And in 2004, he received his first Emmy nomination for "Best Hair Stylist."
When not on the set, Mr. Anthony is head colorist at the prestigious Woon Salon located in Manhattan's Nolita. Since joining forces with Kevin Woon, he has become a favorite among stylish downtown entrepreneurs, while continuing to work with cutting-edge fashion photographers and his own discriminating clientele.
Michael Anthony also applies his talent to the advertising community (including work on commercials for clients such as Johnson & Johnson) collaborating with agencies to bring bold new looks to their consumer campaigns.
MICHAEL CLANCY (Costume Designer)
Michael Clancy has previously worked with James Gray on Little Odessa, The Yards, and We Own the Night. Among his additional credits are Down To You, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, The Guru, Everything Is Illuminated, Trust the Man and A Crime.
CAST JOAQUIN PHOENIX – Leonard Kraditor