John Maybury biography

The Jacket Director

John Maybury

Date of Birth: 1958

Born in London, England, John Maybury, a painter, writer and director, studied art at North East London Polytechnic in the late 1970s. There he began his film education, shooting Super8 films in and around London's punk scene as part of a course. During this time he met director Derek Jarman, who became a major influence on Maybury's avant-garde style. Working with Jarman, Maybury was a set designer for Jubilee (1977), an editor on Last of England (1987) and designer and editor for the war sequences in War Requiem (1988).

After his first solo film and some art exhibits in the mid-1980s, Maybury turned to music videos to satisfy a desperate need for cash. He directed for major recording artists, including Boy George, Cyndi Lauper and Everything But the Girl. Most notable was the video for Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2 U," which received a Grammy nomination and won three MTV awards, including best video.

In the 1990s, Maybury returned to filmmaking. He made an experimental film called Remembrance of Things Fast (1994) for Channel 4, one of Britain's national networks. The provocative queer film received more complaints than anything they had ever shown. It also won the Los Angeles Critics Circle award for Best Independent/Experimental Film of 1994, the Golden Jury Teddy Bear award at the Berlin Film Festival, and Best Experimental Film at the Viper Film Festival Zurich.

Maybury made his feature film debut with his first screenplay, Love is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon (1998), which examined the doomed relationship of artist Francis Bacon and his lover and muse, George Dyer. It was a success at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival and won various awards at other festivals, including the Michael Powell Award for Best New British Film at the Edinburgh Film Festival and Best New Film at the Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema. In making the film, Maybury restrained his experimental tendencies because he wanted the film to be accessible to large audiences. He also identified somewhat with Bacon and Dyer's hesitation to normalize homosexuality. Maybury told The Advocate in 1998 his "sexuality is just another way to annoy people. It's being different that excites me."

Maybury's exhibitions have included one-man shows at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London and the Palazzo dell'Espezzione in Rome, as well as retrospectives in Europe, Japan and the USA. He has also participated in many group exhibitions at major galleries around the world.

Maybury stepped into mainstream film with the release of The Jacket (2005), starring Adrien Brody and Keira Knightley, but maintained his avant-garde style.

John Maybury Filmography


The Jacket

Genre:  Thriller
Running Time:  102 min.
Release Date: March 4, 2005
DVD: June 21, 2005

Current rating: Rating: 3.41
based on 714 votes and 37 reviews
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Cast: Adrien Brody, Keira Knightley, Kris Kristofferson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kelly Lynch, Brad Renfro, Daniel Craig, Jason Lewis