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Todd Field (1964)

William Todd Field

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  Summary  

William Todd Field, known professionally as Todd Field is an American actor and writer/director. He has received three Academy Award nominations.

  Biography  

 Background and personal life
Field was born in Pomona, California, where his family ran a poultry farm. When Field turned two his family moved to Portland, Oregon, where his father went to work as a salesman, and his mother became a school librarian. At an early age he became interested in performing sleight-of-hand and later music. A budding jazz musician, at the age of sixteen Field became a member of the Big Band at Mount Hood Community College in Gresham, Oregon. Headed by Larry McVey, the band had become a proving-ground and regular stop for Stan Kenton and Mel Tormé when they were looking for new players. It was here Field played trombone alongside his friend, trumpeter and future Grammy Award-nominee, Chris Botti. Field graduated with his class from Centennial High School on Portland's eastside and briefly attended Southern Oregon State College in Ashland on a music scholarship, but left after his freshman year favoring a move to New York to study acting. Once there, he began performing with the Ark Theatre Company as both an actor and musician.

Field received his Master of Fine Arts from the AFI Conservatory.

He married Serena Rathbun on July 25, 1986; they have four children, two of whom have appeared in Field's films.

 Career
One of the film industry's more multifaceted members, having worked in varying capacities as an actor, director, producer, composer, and screenwriter, Field began making motion pictures in 1985 when he was cast by Woody Allen in Radio Days. He went on to work with some of America's greatest film makers including Stanley Kubrick, Victor Nuñez, and Carl Franklin. It was Franklin and Nunez who encouraged Field to enroll as a Directing Fellow at the AFI, which he did in the fall of 1992. Since that time he has received the Franklin J. Schaffner Fellow Award from the AFI, the Satyajit Ray Award from the British Film Institute, a Jury Prize from the Sundance Film Festival, and his short films have been exhibited at various venues overseas and domestically at the Museum of Modern Art. To date, unadjusted box office receipts for the films in which Field has participated exceed a billion dollars worldwide.

In the Bedroom

Field became one of Hollywood's hottest new writer/directors with the release of In the Bedroom, a film based on the short story Killings by author Andre Dubus. (Kubrick and Dubus were among Field's mentors; both died right before the production of In the Bedroom.) In the Bedroom was nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actor , Best Actress , Supporting Actress , and Best Screenplay . The film was shot in Rockland, Maine, a New England town in which Field resides—the house where he, his wife , and their four children live was even used as the setting for one sequence.
Rathbun and Sissy Spacek did a portion of the set designing and Field handled the camera himself on many of the shots. The result, critics said, was stunning: David Ansen of Newsweek wrote, "Todd Field exhibits a mastery of his craft many filmmakers never acquire in a lifetime. With one film he’s guaranteed his future as a director. He has the magnificent obsession of the natural-born filmmaker." Anthony Quinn of The Independent also praised the director: "Field has pulled off something here I thought no American filmmaker would ever manage again: he makes violence feel genuinely shocking."

For his work on In the Bedroom, Field was named Director of the Year by the National Board of Review, and his script was awarded Best Original Screenplay. The film went on to win Best Picture of the Year by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and the New York Film Critics Circle awarded Best First Film to Field. In the Bedroom received six AFI nominations including Best Picture, Director, and Screenplay, three Golden Globe nominations, and five Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actress, and two individually for Field both as Screenwriter and Producer. The American Film Institute honored Field with the Franklin Schaffner Alumni Medal. With the exception of the AFI Life Achievement Award, the Schaffner Award is the highest honor an individual can achieve.

Little Children


Field followed In the Bedroom with Little Children, which was nominated for three Academy Awards including two for his actors: Kate Winslet and Jackie Earle Haley . After having written, directed and produced just two feature films, Field had garnered five Academy Award nominations for his actors, and three for himself, personally. The film, based on the novel of the same name by Tom Perrotta, premiered at the 2006 New York Film Festival to similar accolades: In reviewing the film, A. O. Scott of The New York Times wrote, "Mr. Field proves to be among the most literary of American filmmakers. In too many recent movies intelligence is woefully undervalued, and it is this quality — even more than its considerable beauty — that distinguishes Little Children from its peers. A movie that is challenging, accessible, and hard to stop thinking about." Later in his end-of-year roundup "Best of 2006", Scott added: "The first time you see Todd Field's adaptation of Tom Perrotta's novel, you may remark on the director's impressive control over the unruly source material and the emotional agility of the cast. Kate Winslet in particular. The second time, the film's lurid, crazy side is more apparent, and the intensity of the supporting performances — Noah Emmerich, Jackie Earle Haley, Phyllis Somerville — creep into the foreground. This movie, Mr. Field's second feature..., is a complicated blend of gothic, melodrama and sexual comedy, unerringly attuned to the varieties of human failure."

 Future work
According to the Los Angeles Times, Field is currently in the process of adapting a film version of Cormac McCarthy's novel Blood Meridian. During the process, Field took over the directing position of Ridley Scott, who was originally scheduled to direct. Scott himself stated that the film would be a tricky film and should be left as a novel.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Field is currently in the process of preparing his next film, an adaptation of the Boston Teran novel The Creed of Violence with Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead role. The film is slated to be released in 2012.

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  Sources

Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Todd Field", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.