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Edgar Wright has proven himself to be at the forefront of genre hybrid cinema, successfully blending comedy with a combination of different genres; whether it be horror (Shaun of the Dead), action (Hot Fuzz) or science-fiction (The World’s End). Wright’s deft ability to thrill and tickle our funny bone simultaneously has made him one of the most exciting voices in modern day cinema, and his movie-buff nature shines through in every one of his works. Born in Poole, Dorset, Wright’s interest in film was unearthed at an early age in the same way that many directors realise their passion and begin to hone their craft – he was gifted a Super 8 camera by a family member. Throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, he directed many short films, with one of them winning in a competition on the television programme Going Live. In 1995, Wright made his feature directorial debut with A Fistful of Fingers which received a limited theatrical release and caught the attention of Little Britain co-creators David Walliams and Matt Lucas. The comedy duo selected Wright to be the director of their Paramount Comedy channel production Mash and Peas, and he helmed the 1996 series Asylum. Wright worked with Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson on the series and the trio later developed the sitcom Spaced for Channel 4.

Ansel Elgort and director Edgar Wright on the set of TriStar Pictures’ BABY DRIVER.

The series’ unique visual language borrowed heavily from that of science-fiction and horror films. Wright has attributed his style and frequent homages to his love of An American Werewolf in London, “I suppose the reason that this film changed my life is that very early on in my film-watching experiences, I saw a film that was so sophisticated in its tone and what it managed to achieve.” Wright’s second feature, Shaun of the Dead (2004), was rife with homages to the horror classics of George A. Romero and Sam Raimi and marked the first instalment of “The Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy” that Wright co-wrote with Pegg. The trilogy is connected not by narrative elements or overarching themes, but by shared motifs including a running gag involving the inability to hurdle a garden fence. Although he is unabashedly candid about his influences and homages, Wright has also asserted many of his own film-making flairs, most notably his tightly choreographed action sequences to music. Who can forget the moment when Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now blasts through the jukebox as Shaun and co try to defeat an influx of zombies? It’s one of the most satisfying and hilarious sequences in a comedy in recent memory. Wright applied this successful technique to his most recent feature, Baby Driver (2017). Wright has said of the film, “I’d been thinking about it for 22 years. My initial idea of a car-chase film powered by music goes right back to my flat in Wood Green when I was 21 and first living in London.” Baby Driver experienced a long gestation period but was eventually released in the summer of last year with an all-star cast including the likes of Ansel Elgort, Lily James and Jamie Foxx. It became Wright’s most commercially successful film of his career and the director has said that talks are “already in the works” for a sequel. Unmissable Picks:
  • Spaced (1999-2001)
  • Shaun of the Dead (2004)
  • Hot Fuzz (2004)
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
  • The World’s End (2013)
  • Baby Driver (2017)
Author: Estelle


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