Mike Figgis is an iconic film director, screenwriter, and composer. Figgis began his career as a musician. Growing up he was exposed to music early as his father was a jazz musician. In the late 60’s he started out playing trumpet and guitar in the People Band and is audible in their first record (produced by Charlie Watts) in 1968. He played keyboard with Bryan Ferry in an R & B band, Gas Board and then moved to London to study music and became involved in the fringe theatre group, before forming his own company, The Mike Figgis Group, in 1980.
After over 20 years as a musician, he got involved in theater including experimental theater and performance art using film rear projection in his presentations. He bought a 16mm film camera and started shooting film and began cultivating his path to become a filmmaker.
Figgis made his feature film debut with the low budget Stormy Monday in 1988. The film earned him attention as a director who could get interesting performances from established Hollywood actors. His first American film was Internal Affairs, which helped to revive the career of Richard Gere. This was followed by his next Hollywood feature, Mr. Jones, was misunderstood by the studio, who attempted to market the downbeat story as a feelgood film, resulting in a box office flop. Figgis poured his disenchantment with the film industry into Leaving Las Vegas, which starred Nicholas Cage and Elisabeth Shue, which earned Figgis Academy Award nominations for Best Directing and Best Screenplay. He followed this up with the romantic drama One Night Stand and The Loss of Sexual Innocence.
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“Conversations with Charlie” is a podcast about the people that make up the film, broadcast and entertainment industry. Actors, directors, cinematographers, producers and other fascinating characters that inhabit this world.
Hosted by CHARLIE HERZFELD a veteran of the film and broadcast industry who has worked on over 100 feature film and broadcast projects with the likes of Martin Scorsese, Darren Aronofsky, Spike Lee, John Turturro and many more.