Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Happy 55th Birthday to Alex Cox

Alex Cox was born on December 15, 1954. He was working on a law degree at Oxford when he left to pursue a film career at UCLA. In 1984 Cox wrote the screenplay for “Repo Man”, which he hoped to produce for a budget of $70,000. While seeking this funding, he met ex-Monkee Michael Nesmith, who agreed to produce the film, and convinced Universal Studios to back the project with a budget greatly increased to over a million dollars. During the course of the film's production, management changed, and new management had far less faith in the project. The initial theatrical release was limited to Chicago, followed by Los Angeles, and was short lived. After the success of the soundtrack album (notable for featuring many popular LA punk bands), there was enough interest in the film to earn a re-release in a single theater in New York City. This ran for 18 months and eventually earned $4,000,000, despite arriving after the movie was already on video and cable. He has been influenced by such well known directors as Sergio Leone, Luis Bunuel, Akira Kurosawa, Sam Peckinpah and John Ford. One of his better known films was “Walker” (1987). Carrying a love for the Spaghetti Western genre since high school he made “Straight to Hell” (1987) and wrote a history on the genre called 10,000 Ways to Die. Today we celebrate his 55th birthday.

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