When your a filmmaker that many critics love to rip apart in reviews, you forget about the great films they directed. One of those directors is Joel Schumacher and today news has broken that he has sadly passed away aged 80.
The American director has been fighting a year long battle against Cancer, sadly today he lost that battle according to Variety.
Put aside the films that received negative reviews, his filmography was pretty impressive. You could argue some of the criticism was very unfair especially as many are considered genre cult classics.
His foot in the door of the film industry was starting as a costume designer after starting as a fashion designer. Woody Allen gave him his first opportunities in his films Sleeper and Interiors. Schumacher who further his experience as an screenwriter with Sparkle starring Irene Clara and Lilly Tomlin’s The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981) two of his films.
The Incredible Shrinking Woman would also be his cinematic directorial feature debut. It was the 1974 TV Film Virginia Hill was his first directorial feature debut.
It was the 1980’s when Schumacher would finally gain some recognition. In 1985 he would direct St.Elmo’s Fire , the brat pack drama that starred the likes of Rob Lowe, Demi Moore Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy and Judd Nelson. It was his next film, The Lost Boys from 1987 which gave him his biggest success . A cult vampire horror comedy that starred Jason Patric, Kiefer Sutherland, Alex Winter and Corey Feldman.
He kicked off the next decade with the supernatural thriller Flatliners, with Julia Roberts, Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon, William Baldwin. When medical student experimented with the afterlife which was another big hit. After the fairly recent poor remake, you easily see how superior the original was. In 1993 he would gain critical recognition with Michael Douglas in Falling Down. The film played in competition in that year’s Cannes Film Festival.
It’s probably the Two Batman films Joel Schumacher directed he will always be remembered for…Batman Forever and Batman & Robin. Box Office wise Batman Forever took in over $300 million at the box office which in 1990’s would probably be like a $1 billion film nowadays. Schumacher was an openly gay man and Batman & Robin he gave the costumes nipples. Most of all, his narrative was suggesting Batman was a gay man, with a homoerotic storyline with Robin.
His other films included Cousins, Dying Young, The Client, A Time to Kill, Batman & Robin, 8MM, Tigerland, Phone Booth, Veronica Guerin, The Phantom of the Opera (2004), The Number 23, Blood Creek, and Trespass.
Rest in Peace Joel Scuhmacher and thank you for the memories.