April 26, 2005: Headlines: Figures: COS - Bolivia: Movies: Hollywood: San Francisco Examiner: Taylor Hackford speaks up

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Taylor Hackford speaks up

Taylor Hackford speaks up

Taylor Hackford speaks up

Working-class act
SFIFF award winner Hackford speaks up
By Jeffrey M. Anderson
Special to The Examiner
Published: Tuesday, April 26, 2005 12:09 AM PDT
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Director Taylor Hackford appears Wednesday at the San Francisco International Film Festival to collect his lifetime achievement award in directing and to screen his feature directorial debut, "The Idolmaker" (1980), about a songwriter who "creates" new pop stars based on their looks.

Hackford, 59, was recently nominated for an Oscar for "Ray," and has also directed "An Officer and a Gentleman" (1982), "Dolores Claiborne" (1995) and "The Devil's Advocate" (1997). I recently spoke to him about his life's work.

Q: "The Idolmaker" makes a very interesting comparison to "Ray." One is about the guy who gets left behind by the talent, and the other is about the talent who leaves everyone behind.

TH: I make films about working-class people; show business is one of those things through which people can get themselves out of the lower rung of society. To me, the compelling story in "The Idolmaker" is the guy with a wonderful talent and a fairly strong ego has [that] to make it happen through puppets. "Ray" is a very different kettle of fish. Ray Charles was a true genius. But the drive is similar.

My proudest moments in "Ray" were in those "chitlin" clubs. Ray Charles ended his life in concert halls, where people would go in tuxedos and quietly listen to a genius perform. But in these clubs, he had to get people up dancing. What I tried to create was a little of that energy and exuberance. The great thing about music is when you can get people on their feet.

Q: You're the 19th director to win this award at the San Francisco International Film Festival. Of the directors that have won before you, whom do you most admire?

TH: [Akira] Kurosawa. I know my films aren't like his, but he was able to tell a story, with incredible style. He could do the whole thing. He could make you laugh and cry; he could do the violence and the subtlety all at once. And at the end of his career, to do something like "Ran," these huge costume dramas. He's in my top five of all time. The other thing that's particularly sweet about this: The first longish film I did was a portrait of Charles Bukoswki and I entered it in the San Francisco film festival and it won the Silver Reel Award. So the first recognition I got was from the S.F. film festival.

When this story was posted in April 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

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April 24, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: April 24 2005 No: 576 April 24, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
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Dr. William E. Hurwitz sentenced to 25 years in prison 21 Apr
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Pat Waak tells Dems to keep eyes on the prize 18 Apr
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April 24, 2005:  Special Events Date: April 24 2005 No: 574 April 24, 2005: Special Events
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RPCVs: Post your stories or press releases here for inclusion next week.

Friends of the Peace Corps 170,000  strong Date: April 2 2005 No: 543 Friends of the Peace Corps 170,000 strong
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Story Source: San Francisco Examiner

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Figures; COS - Bolivia; Movies; Hollywood



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