Michael Almereyda

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Michael Almereyda
Born 1960 (age 58–59)
Overland Park, Kansas, U.S.
Occupation Film director, screenwriter, film producer
Years active 1985–present

Michael Almereyda (born 1960) is an American film director, screenwriter, and film producer. His most well known work is Hamlet (2000), starring Ethan Hawke.

Early work

Almereyda studied art history at Harvard but dropped out after three years to pursue filmmaking. He acquired a Hollywood agent on the strength of a spec script about Nicola Tesla. His first film as writer/director was a self-financed, black-and-white short featuring Dennis Hopper, A Hero of Our Time, based on Mikhail Lermontov’s novel of the same title. Shot in 1985, it was finished in 1987 and screened in the 1992 Sundance Film Festival.

Early screenplays include Cherry 2000 (1987), the first draft for Wim WendersUntil the End of the World (1991), and uncredited work on Total Recall (1990).

Almereyda’s films range across many genres, styles, and formats. His first feature, Twister (1989), based on Mary Robison’s novel Oh, was a comedy about a dysfunctional mid-Western family. Another Girl Another Planet (1992) was a romantic chamber piece, a black-and-white, one-hour featurette shot with a Fisher-Price Pixelvision camera.

Nadja (1994) was a comic vampire film shot on 35mm with Pixelvision inserts.

Hamlet (2000) was shot on Super 16mm and featured Ethan Hawke, Bill Murray, Kyle MacLachlan, Julia Stiles, Liev Schreiber and Sam Shepard. The adaptation layered a contemporary New York setting on Shakespeare’s text.


Almereyda directed features set in pre- and post-Katrina New Orleans: Happy Here and Now (2002) and New Orleans, Mon Amour (2008). In 2004, he directed an episode of the HBO series Deadwood, His most recent work has mainly involved documentaries and shorts.

William Eggleston in the Real World (2005) was nominated for a Gotham Award for Best Documentary from the Independent Filmmaker Project,[1][2] as was the sketchbook film Paradise (2009).

Almereyda edited and contributed texts for Night Wraps the Sky: Writings by and About Mayakovsky, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2008, and William Eggleston: For Now, published by Twin Palms in 2010.

He has written criticism and commentary for The New York Times, Film Comment, Artforum, Bookforum, The Believer, and Triple Canopy.

Partial filmography


External links