Michael Apted

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Michael Apted
Michael Apted cropped by David Shankbone.jpg
Apted in April 2007
Born (1941-02-10) 10 February 1941 (age 78)
Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, England, United Kingdom
OccupationFilm director

Michael David Apted, CMG (born 10 February 1941) is an English director, producer, writer and actor. One of the most prolific English film directors of his generation, he is known for directing: the Up series (1964–), the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough (1999) as well as Coal Miner's Daughter (1980), which received seven Academy Award nominations including for the Best Picture and Nell (1994), which received three Golden Globe Award and one Academy Award nominations.

<i>James Bond</i> Media franchise about a British spy

The James Bond series focuses on a fictional British Secret Service agent created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve novels and two short-story collections. Since Fleming's death in 1964, eight other authors have written authorised Bond novels or novelizations: Kingsley Amis, Christopher Wood, John Gardner, Raymond Benson, Sebastian Faulks, Jeffery Deaver, William Boyd and Anthony Horowitz. The latest novel is Forever and a Day by Anthony Horowitz, published in May 2018. Additionally Charlie Higson wrote a series on a young James Bond, and Kate Westbrook wrote three novels based on the diaries of a recurring series character, Moneypenny.

<i>The World Is Not Enough</i> 1999 James Bond film directed by Michael Apted

The World Is Not Enough is a 1999 spy film, the 19th in the James Bond series produced by Eon Productions, and the third to star Pierce Brosnan as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. The film was directed by Michael Apted, with the original story and screenplay written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and Bruce Feirstein. It was produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. The title is taken from a line in the 1963 novel On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

<i>Coal Miners Daughter</i> (film) 1980 film by Michael Apted

Coal Miner's Daughter is a 1980 American biographical musical film directed by Michael Apted from a screenplay written by Tom Rickman. It follows the story of country music singer Loretta Lynn from her birth in a poor family and getting married at 15 to her rise as one of the most successful country musicians. Based on Lynn's 1976 biography of the same name by George Vecsey, the film stars Sissy Spacek as Lynn. Tommy Lee Jones, Beverly D'Angelo and Levon Helm are featured in supporting roles. Ernest Tubb, Roy Acuff, and Minnie Pearl make cameo appearances as themselves.

Contents

On 29 June 2003 he was elected president of the Directors' Guild of America. He returned to television, directing the first three episodes of the TV series Rome (2005). Apted directed Amazing Grace which premiered at the closing of the Toronto International Film Festival in 2006. He was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in the 2008 Birthday Honours. [1]

<i>Rome</i> (TV series) TV series

Rome is a British-American-Italian historical drama television series created by John Milius, William J. MacDonald, and Bruno Heller. The show's two seasons were broadcast on HBO, BBC Two, and Rai 2 between 2005 and 2007. They were later released on DVD and Blu-ray. Rome is set in the 1st century BC, during Ancient Rome's transition from Republic to Empire.

<i>Amazing Grace</i> (2006 film) 2006 film by Michael Apted

Amazing Grace is a 2006 British-American biographical drama film directed by Michael Apted, about the campaign against the slave trade in the British Empire, led by William Wilberforce, who was responsible for steering anti-slave trade legislation through the British parliament. The title is a reference to the hymn "Amazing Grace". The film also recounts the experiences of John Newton as a crewman on a slave ship and subsequent religious conversion, which inspired his writing of the poem later used in the hymn. Newton is portrayed as a major influence on Wilberforce and the abolition movement.

Toronto International Film Festival annual film festival held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The Toronto International Film Festival is one of the largest publicly attended film festivals in the world, attracting over 480,000 people annually. Since its founding in 1976, TIFF has grown to become a permanent destination for film culture operating out of the TIFF Bell Lightbox, located in downtown Toronto.

Early life

Apted was born in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, the son of Frances Amelia (née Thomas) and Ronald William Apted, [2] who worked for an insurance company. Apted secured a scholarship to attend City of London School and then to study law and history at Downing College, Cambridge. [2]

Aylesbury town and civil parish in Buckinghamshire, England

Aylesbury is the county town of Buckinghamshire, England. It is an ancient market town with several historic pubs, is home to the Roald Dahl Children's Gallery and, since 2010, the 1,200 seat Waterside Theatre. The predecessor to the paralympic games started in the town.

City of London School school in the City of London, England

The City of London School, also known as CLS and City, is an independent day school for boys in the City of London, England, on the banks of the River Thames next to the Millennium Bridge, opposite Tate Modern. It is a partner school of the City of London School for Girls and the City of London Freemen's School. All three schools receive funding from the City's Cash. It is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC).

Downing College, Cambridge college of the University of Cambridge

Downing College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge and currently has around 650 students. Founded in 1800, it was the only college to be added to Cambridge University between 1596 and 1869, and is often described as the oldest of the new colleges and the newest of the old. Downing College was formed "for the encouragement of the study of Law and Medicine and of the cognate subjects of Moral and Natural Science", and has developed a reputation amongst Cambridge colleges for Law and Medicine.

Career

Television

Michael Apted at the 72nd Annual Peabody Awards Michael Apted at the 72nd Annual Peabody Awards.jpg
Michael Apted at the 72nd Annual Peabody Awards

He began his career in television as a six-months trainee at Granada Television in Manchester, where he worked as a researcher. One of his first projects at Granada would become his best known: the Up series, which began in 1964 as a profile of 14 seven-year-old children for the current affairs series World In Action. As a researcher and assistant to Canadian director Paul Almond, Apted was involved in selecting the children. Though it began as a one-shot documentary, the series has become an institution, revisiting the subjects every seven years, with Apted directing the later episodes in the series. It follows Apted's thesis that the British class system remains largely in place, and is premised on the Jesuit motto "Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man." The series looks at the lives of this sample of British people over the years; the latest instalment, 63 Up, was produced in 2019. It won a Peabody Award in 2012 "for its creator’s patience and its subjects’ humanity." [3]

Paul Almond writer

Paul Almond was a Canadian television and motion picture screenwriter, director, producer, and novelist.

Peabody Award international awards for excellence in radio and television

The George Foster Peabody Awards program, named for the American businessman and philanthropist George Peabody, honor the most powerful, enlightening, and invigorating stories in television, radio, and online media. Programs are recognized in seven categories: news, entertainment, documentaries, children's programming, education, interactive programming, and public service. Peabody Award winners include radio and television stations, networks, online media, producing organizations, and individuals from around the world.

During his seven-year stay at Granada, Apted also directed a number of episodes of Coronation Street, then written by Jack Rosenthal. Apted and Rosenthal went on to collaborate on a number of popular television and film projects including the pilot episodes for The Dustbinmen and The Lovers . They worked together again in 1982 for the TV movie P'tang, Yang, Kipperbang , the first film commissioned by Britain's Channel 4. In 1976 he directed a play in the Granada TV Series Laurence Olivier Presents . The episode was The Collection by Harold Pinter. The play starred Laurence Olivier, Malcolm McDowell, Alan Bates and Helen Mirren.

<i>Coronation Street</i> British soap opera

Coronation Street is a British soap opera created by Granada Television and shown on ITV since 9 December 1960. The programme centres on Coronation Street in Weatherfield, a fictional town based on inner-city Salford. In the show's fictional history, the street was built in 1902 and named in honour of the coronation of King Edward VII.

Jack Rosenthal British playwright

Jack Morris Rosenthal was an English playwright, who wrote 129 early episodes of the ITV soap opera Coronation Street and over 150 screenplays, including original TV plays, feature films, and adaptations. A street in Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester is named after him, appropriately next to a centre of contemporary art, theatre and film that opened in 2015, HOME.

The Dustbinmen is a British television sitcom made by Granada Television for ITV, which starred Bryan Pringle, Trevor Bannister, Graham Haberfield and Tim Wylton. The show was a spin-off from a one-off 90-minute television film There's a Hole in Your Dustbin, Delilah (1968) written by Jack Rosenthal and directed by Michael Apted. This led to the sitcom which ran for three series between 1969 and 1970. Rosenthal wrote all of the episodes of the first two series.

Apted used his idea from the Up Series a second time in Married in America and Married in America 2. The idea is to explore a subject and then return to the subject in a subsequent film to tell a more complete story.

Married in America is an ongoing documentary film series that follows the lives of nine American married couples. Directed by British director Michael Apted, it is a similar take on his famed Up Series.

For his work in television, Apted has won several British Academy Awards, including one for Best Dramatic Director.

Film

Apted made his first feature film in 1972, The Triple Echo , starring Oliver Reed and Glenda Jackson, and he directed two films for David Puttnam. The Triple Echo was entered into the 8th Moscow International Film Festival. [4] He alternated this work with working on the TV series Play for Today . He directed six plays including Stronger than the Sun, written by Stephen Poliakoff and starring Francesca Annis as a young woman who places her life in danger to expose a crime, a theme Apted has returned to several times.

In 1979 he directed the Hollywood-financed Agatha , featuring Vanessa Redgrave. [5] The majority of Apted's feature films since then have been based around a female protagonist. He went to the United States in 1980, where he directed Coal Miner's Daughter , which received seven Academy Award nominations, winning best actress for Sissy Spacek. Both Spacek and Loretta Lynn, the subject of the film, have said that they believe Apted's outsider point of view was crucial to the movie's success in securing the participation of Appalachian residents and to the avoidance of stereotypes that previously had marred portrayals of mountain culture. [6] [7] Sigourney Weaver and Jodie Foster have also earned Academy Award nominations for their work in Apted-directed films.

Apted has also made several films with a strong social message or that deal with an ethical dilemma. In 1983 he directed Gorky Park , a political thriller based on the novel by Martin Cruz Smith, that deals with police corruption in the former Soviet Union. Class Action deals with a corporate whistleblower, and Extreme Measures is about medical ethics. Class Action was entered into the 17th Moscow International Film Festival. [8] In 1999, Apted directed the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough .

Documentary

In addition to feature films, Apted has continued directing documentaries, including Bring on the Night , a feature-length concert film about the making of Sting's first solo album. In 1988/9 he directed the documentary The Long Way Home, [9] which chronicled the UK, US and USSR adventures of Boris Grebenshchikov, the first Soviet underground musician allowed to record in the West. Before the making of Thunderheart , Apted made the documentary Incident at Oglala about Leonard Peltier. Incident at Oglala then informed Thunderheart in the casting of actors for the fiction film. In 1997, he explored the creative process in Inspirations through candid discussion with seven artists from diverse media, including music, painting, dance, sculpture, and architecture.

In a departure from his earlier work, from 1992 to 1994, Apted ventured into China's rapidly changing popular culture. In a project backed by Trudie Styler, Apted directed Moving the Mountain , a feature documentary which probed the origins of the 1989 protests in Tiananmen Square and the consequences of the movement in the lives of several of the movement's student leaders.

In 2006, Apted directed The Official Film of the 2006 FIFA World Cup , [10] narrated by Pierce Brosnan.

Apted was the collaborator and subject of the documentary: Michael Apted – Visions on Film, by artist and filmmaker Melinda Camber Porter.

Family

Apted married Paige Simpson, his third wife, in January 2014. Apted is divorced from his second wife, the screenwriter Dana Stevens, with whom he has a son. From his first marriage to Jo Apted he had two sons, Paul and Jim. Paul Apted was a sound editor who worked on movies such as The Wolverine , and died on 4 July 2014 from colon cancer. [11] In 2007 Apted became a father for the fourth time to a girl, Lily Mellis, who lives with her mother Tania Mellis.

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References

  1. "No. 58729". The London Gazette (Supplement). 14 June 2008. p. 2.
  2. 1 2 "Michael Apted Biography (1941–)".
  3. Annual Peabody Awards, May 2013.
  4. "8th Moscow International Film Festival (1973)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 16 January 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  5. Agatha on IMDb
  6. Sissy Spacek and Michael Apted. Feature commentary track, Coal Miner's Daughter 25th Anniversary/Collector's Edition, 2005.
  7. Interview with Loretta Lynn and Michael Apted. Featurette on Coal Miner's Daughter 25th Anniversary/Collector's Edition DVD, 2005.
  8. "17th Moscow International Film Festival (1991)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 3 April 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
  9. The Long Way Home on IMDb
  10. The Official Film of the 2006 FIFA World Cup on IMDb
  11. "Paul Apted, Sound Editor and Son of Director Michael Apted, Dies at 47".