Biennale Cinema 2022 | Walter Hill receives the Cartier Glory to the Filmmaker 2022 award

During his prestigious career, Walter Hill he has been a screenwriter, director and producer of projects ranging from classic westerns to action thrillers to noir dramas, all marked by his unique visceral style. A veteran director of more than twenty films, he also made a successful foray into television, earning both Emmy and DGA Awards in 2005 for the revolutionary neo-western. Deadwood. His work generally ranges from intimate character studies to full-blown blockbusters, and he has been praised by critics for following both of these styles.

Walter Hill’s career began in the early 1970s with the screenplay of Getaway!with Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw, and of Detective Harper: water in the throat, with Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. In 1975 he made his directorial debut with The hero of the road, a drama set at the time of the Depression, starring Charles Bronson and James Coburn. From there, Hill chose a series of projects, both “cult” and “mainstream”.

In 1979, Hill co-produced the sci-fi blockbuster Alien, with Sigourney Weaver, and served as producer or executive producer on this legendary film series. Among other works, Hill directed the big hits 48 hoursAnd Still 48 hours, both with Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte. With these films and others such The warriors of the night, The warriors of the silent swamp (with Keith Carradine and Powers Boothe), Still alive (with Bruce Willis, Bruce Dern and Christopher Walken), and Johnny the handsome (with Mickey Rourke and Morgan Freeman), he became one of Hollywood’s leading action directors.

Hill began his exploration of the western in 1980 when he directed The knights with long shadows, in competition at Cannes, with David and Keith Carradine, James and Stacy Keach, Randy and Dennis Quaid, Chris and Nicholas Guest. This film marked the beginning of Walter Hill’s western trilogy, continued with Geronimowith Jason Patric, Wes Studi and Gene Hackman, and concluded in 1995 with Wild Billstarring Jeff Bridges, Ellen Barkin and John Hurt.

Among Hill’s other works, titles such as Streets of firewith Michael Paré, Diane Lane and Willem Dafoe; The more you spend… the more you earn! with Richard Pryor and John Candy; Driver, the impregnable, with Ryan O’Neal, Bruce Dern and Isabelle Adjani; Wanted: officially deadwith Nick Nolte, Powers Boothe and Rip Torn; Jimmy BoboBullet to the Head with Sylvester Stallone e Nemesis, with Michelle Rodriguez, Sigourney Weaver, Tony Shalhoub and Anthony LaPaglia. Hill also directed the acclaimed Emmy-winning TV movie, Broken Trail – A dangerous journey, receiving the DGA Award and her second Emmy for this work.

For his contribution to world film culture, retrospectives have been dedicated to Walter Hill by the British Film Institute (1991), the Torino Film Festival (2005), the Cinémathèque di Paris (2005), and the Pacific Film Archives of the University of California (Berkeley, 2007). He has also been honored with retrospectives from the American Cinematheque (2006), the San Sebastian Film Festival (2011), and the Munich Film Festival (2014). Walter Hill was born and raised in Long Beach, California.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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