Alex Cox

Active - 1984 - 2016  |   Born - Dec 15, 1954   |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Comedy Drama, Crime, Film, TV & Radio

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Biography by Hal Erickson

English director Alex Cox studied law at Oxford--at least until being deflected into theatre through his participation in the University's drama department. Cox switched to a film studies program at University of Bristol, received a Fulbright scholarship, then traveled to the United States to attend the UCLA film school. His plans to become the next Welles or Scorsese were muddied by several years' inactivity, during which time he took a job repossessing automobiles. Drawing from the experience, Cox made his feature-film directorial bow with the wildly inconsistent but very entertaining Repo Man (1984), which served as one of the first starring assignments of Emilio Estevez. Repo Man's musical score was drenched in punk-rock, a symbolic form of violent rebellion explored further in Cox's Sid and Nancy (1987), a fascinating if depressing chronicle of the life and death of "punk" musician Sid Vicious and groupie Nancy Spungen. Critically celebrated for both films, Cox's reputation declined with the meandering western spoof Straight to Hell and the political satire Walker. In the '90s he began repairing the damage with his low-budget, Spanish-language black comedy Highway Patrolman.

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