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In Memory of Filmmaker Richard Glatzer, 1952-2015

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Caroline Libresco

Sundance Institute mourns the loss of Richard Glatzer, whose feature film Quinceañera, written and directed with his long-time creative partner and husband, Wash Westmoreland, won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. His comedy, Grief, also premiered in competition at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival.

Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland
at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.
© Fred Hayes | WireImage

Richard had a powerful intellect, a wry and sophisticated wit, a subversive spirit, a magnificent heart, and the vision to draw out complex meaning from the world around him through his art. He was that rare breed of storyteller who brought not only a canny sense of contemporary zeitgeist and political insight to his work, but a preternatural lexicon of literature and film as well. (He had a Ph.D. in English and taught screenwriting). His body of work reveals both a keen sensitivity to and compassion for human experience as well as a willingness to face the absurdity of life. Also striking is the egalitarian community of loving friendship Richard built organically around every project he undertook and every aspect of his life.

Despite his declining health, he and Westmoreland wrote and directed two celebrated feature films –The Last of Robin Hood starring Dakota Fanning, Susan Sarandon, and Kevin Kline, and Still Alice, for which Julianne Moore won the 2015 Academy Award for Best Actress. Until the very end of his struggle with ALS, Richard’s voracious and humanistic love of film, literature, ideas and other living beings was palpable.

We salute this deeply beloved and highly respected independent artist. It’s hard to accept that one so vital and so attuned to what truly matters in life, is no longer with us.   

 

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