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Anton Corbijn

Anton Corbijn

Born in the Strijen, Netherlands, Corbijn's had the misfortune of moving around a lot as a child. His father was a priest for the Dutch Reformed Church (his mother was a nurse), and as a result, his position required him to move his family to various locations throughout the Netherlands. If making friends was a difficult task for Corbijn growing up, given his family's nomadic lifestyle, Corbijn found his solace in music. His life changed in 1975 when, at the age of 20, he stumbled upon an up-and-coming musician named Herman Brood at a Dutch café. Corbijn immediately fell in love with Brood's music and offered to follow him around the Netherlands with a camera. The pictures Corbijn took of Brood, most of which were candid black and white shots, made the singer a star, and as a result, Corbijn's stock as a rock and roll photographer rose. By the early '80s, Corbijn was photographing some of the biggest names in music, including Miles Davis, David Bowie, Joy Division, Elvis Costello and U2. During this time, he began forming a special relationship with the Irish rockers, and ultimately shot the album covers for two of the band's most iconic albums, Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby.By the 1980s, Corbijn began directing music videos for several of the bands he previously worked with, including Depeche Mode, Joy Division, and of course, U2. He found that he enjoyed the relatively new medium, and continued directing music videos throughout the '90s, including Nirvana's "Heart-Shaped Box," Metallica's "Hero of the Day," and "My Friends" from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. However, by the turn of the decade, Corbijn began to feel limited by the music world, and wanted to broaden his directorial horizons into feature films. In 2007 he directed "Control," a music biopic based on the life of Joy Division's frontman Ian Curtis; Corbijn's iconic photos of the doomed post-punk star had been an enormous part of the band's mystique. The film was a critical hit, premiering to rave reviews at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival and winning the festival's Regards Jeunes Prize for the best directed debut feature film. Corbijn's 2010 follow-up, "The American," starring George Clooney, was a moderate success at the box office and also received mostly positive reviews. The director's third film, "A Most Wanted Man," premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, and was based on a spy thriller by the noted British author, John le Carre. "A Most Wanted Man" was also one of the last films Academy Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman appeared in, shortly before his untimely death in February 2014.
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