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Monday, August 31, 2015

Craven Images

Wes Craven has left Elm Street. He passed away yesterday at age 76 of brain cancer.

He, of course, directed many influential and trend-setting horror films. His Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream series broke new ground in the genre.

Craven was born in Cleveland and died in L.A. He started his career in film doing porn movies under aliases. He is rumored to be the director of Deep Throat! Gag me with a... whatever!

His horror film debut as director was First House on the Left in 1972, his tribute to Ingmar Berman's The Virgin Spring -- on an exploitation level. He followed that up with the horror-billy classic, The Hills Have Eyes. He also directed Marvel comics' screen version of Swamp Thing and the edgy The Serpent and the Rainbow.

Craven began his film career as a post-production film director in NYC. He has an undergraduate degree in English and Psych, and a Master's in Philosophy and Writing.That explains why much of his work is so rich in dream experiences and in the psychology of fear, and why the concepts of his later films are grounded in that.

He also directed Meryl Streep in the touching Music of the Heart in 1999. Quite a departure for him and a successful one at that.

RIP, Wes Craven, and thank you for your major contributions to film.

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