Monday, June 15, 2009

RIP Allan King

Filmmaker Allan King Dies At 79

One of Canada's greatest filmmakers brilliantly told the stories of others. But now the story of his own life has ended, with the death of director Allan King at the age of 79. He was the man behind a long series of classic films, including the recent documentary "Memory for Max, Claire, Ida and Company" which was made at Toronto's Baycrest Geriatric Centre, TV shows like the award winning "Road To Avonlea," and "Kung Fu: The Legend Continues," a continuation of the classic 70s cult TV show, and 1981's "Silence of the North." King was born in Vancouver in 1930, and never forgot his Canadian roots. His first major documentary, "Warrendale" in 1967, showed viewers the inside of an institution for emotionally disturbed children, while "A Married Couple," traced the end of a marriage. But King was proficient in every kind of cinema, except as his website notes "animation," and had a career that spanned four decades and inspired numerous retrospectives around the world. His 'cinema verite' style was an inspiration for others. But it was the flick "Who Has Seen The Wind," based on W.O. Mitchell's classic novel, that brought King some of his greatest fame. The 1976 film won the Grand Prix at the prestigious Paris International Film Festival and wound up being the highest grossing Canadian movie of that year. He won the Ontario Film Institute Award for Excellence in Canadian Cinema in 1998 and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2006. King leaves behind a wife, four children and five grandchildren, and it was his family who confirmed his passing on Monday. They have yet to reveal the exact cause of his death but King was diagnosed with a brain tumour in April. Alan King directed an episode of the television series "Bordertown" in 1989 and also the TV film "By the Way of the Stars" (1992), both European co-productions.

1 comment:

  1. Biltmore: Both his westerns have been released on DVD!