Lisa Cholodenko

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  • Born: June 5, 1964
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Director, Screenwriter

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Lisa Cholodenko is an American screenwriter and director of film and television. She wrote and directed the films High Art (1998), Laurel Canyon (2002), and The Kids Are All Right (2010). For the latter film she won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay in 2010. She has also directed numerous works for television, including the 2014 miniseries Olive Kitteridge for which she won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special and the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing – Miniseries or TV Film.

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Along my path, I've realized that this comedy/drama balance is something that's really interesting to me, and I feel, like, authentic to my voice.
At the base of it, my gut instinct tells me that there's a kind of fundamental misogyny in the culture. There just is. You know, there's just a weird anxiety around women. Women
Boundaries get blurry and identities can get lost easily. It's easy to take your partner for granted.
Everyone on the planet has a dark and a light. That's a multi-dimensional character.
Great actors help. Every project is different. Sometimes it's completely open, and I've been able to cast who I've wanted. And then sometimes people want a certain kind of actor.
I don't feel like my films are about gender; they are about identity - but a different slant on identity.
I don't know if my films are about women in a kind of frolicking - here's a grab bag of women's issues. They are about women of substance with very particular stories. Women
I feel like if you feel good about a script, and you feel confident about your ability to direct and just capture it right, it's all just, really, really in your favor there.
I feel like I've been observed as an individual more than a gay person, or as a filmmaker with a certain point of view rather than a lesbian filmmaker with a gay point of view.
I get asked why there aren't more female directors all the time. I'm kind of reluctant to talk about it. That's not because I think the question is irrelevant or stupid. It's just that there are so many mitigating factors. Time
I got exposed to art-house cinema and foreign films. I was from L.A., so it was a film culture that I didn't know about.
I had a great love affair in high school and let myself have that love affair and tried to keep it to myself. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I had a nutty career. I was living in New York. Then I got to an age where my friends and sister were having children, and I started to think I needed to orient myself towards a world where it could happen.
I had pretty cool parents. Still do.
I have a deal with HBO to develop television, and I am also developing a movie called 'The Abstinence Teacher,' which is based on a book by Tom Perrotta. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
I have enjoyed writing my own stuff, and it's been a privilege to be able to scrap some money together to be able to make films from my own scripts. Money, Coins & Minting
I just think self-satisfied people ignore certain signs about other people.
I tend not to be so attracted to films that force me into an intellectual place over an emotional one.
I think for any artist, your voice is always evolving. For me, the constant is finding a tension or balance between drama and comedy.
I think I'm interested in these kinds of character dramas, psychological dramas, domestic dramas, whatever you want to call them - comedy dramas.
I think invariably when you are dealing with relationships, the films really center on that, and the plot is really born out of that. That's the most core part of a relationship: intimacy, I think, whether it's expressed or not.
I think when you're writing films that just come fresh out of your own imagination - I think probably anyone who's done that, there are certain themes or styles.
I was a student at SF State, and I honestly didn't know where I was headed. I thought maybe something in the social sciences. But I happened to be living with a group of people, and one person was a film student. I was always keen on and aware of what she was doing.
I was going through some stressful stuff, and I lost feeling in my face and in my tongue. So I went to a doctor. He said he didn't think I had MS or a brain tumor. He said, 'I think you're just stressed out.'
I was very influenced by the films of the '70s.
If you write something that's personal, there's going to be elements of yourself in it.
I'm in my mid-40s now, and I came out in 11th grade, so I must have been 17. So that's quite a long time ago, and the temperature and the culture was different. Time
In June 2002, I had just finished 'Laurel Canyon' and decided to move back to Los Angeles after nearly a decade in New York. Post-9/11 New York felt different.
In May 2006, I had our son, Calder. I spent the next couple of years learning how to be a mom. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
I've done episodic television and some other things that have been written by other people.
L.A. is conventional to a hyper-real degree. It's plastic.
Making the choice to cast someone in a lead role is a big one. You don't want to squander your opportunity.
Not only does Annette Bening have a really lovely, deep voice, but she's also a great articulator. I think I'm more of a mumbler.
The source of so much of my anxiety in life and the tensions in my relationship is my anxiety about my kid. It's all very abstract and unfounded and ungrounded. Life
There is a core value I wanted to illuminate: No matter what kind of family you have - straight, gay, married, single parent, separated, no kids, two kids, 20 kids, whatever - we all go through the human comedy. But if the bonds are strong enough, and the desire is there, you can get to the other side, still together and still a family. Families, Children & Parenting
There's a lot of technology out there to help people have children in different ways, and later in life, for better or worse. Life ;Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
This whole Oscar thing is so political. It's about how much a film grosses, and who's in it, and how well it has been promoted.
Wendy and I both wanted kids, but since we were pushing 40, the clock was ticking.