Jonathan Nossiter

Active - 1988 - 2020  |   Genres - Drama, Family & Personal Relationships, Culture & Society

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Biography by AllMovie

A director with a keen eye for exploring the complexities of the human soul, worldly filmmaker Jonathan Nossiter successfully translated his acute documentarian skills to the realm of the feature with his 1997 film Sunday. A Washington, D.C., native and the son of New York Times reporter Bernard Nossiter, young Jonathan spent his childhood traveling across the globe, a fact that found him quickly gaining proficiency in no less than five languages. Following his painting studies at Paris' Ecole des Beaux Arts Nossiter studied film at Dartmouth, and his love of wine eventually lead him to a degree as a sommelier as well. Though his various skills left many career options open for the taking, Nossiter opted to work as an assistant theater director on both sides of the Atlantic in order to better understand the directing process. Subsequently learning even more while working with film director Adrian Lyne, Nossiter's inherited inquisitiveness lead him into work as a documentarian. Nossiter became fascinated with actor/writer Quentin Crisp while assisting Lyne as he filmed Fatal Attraction (Crisp's minor role was eventually cut), and Nossiter ultimately made the eccentric celebrity the subject of Resident Alien, his directorial debut. Though Nossiter would subsequently bide his time as a sommelier at some of New York's finest restaurants, his next film would no doubt make up for lost time in the world of cinema. A Grand Jury winner at the Cannes Film Festival, Sunday (1997) offered a haunting glimpse into the lives of two lost souls who long for human contact. His background in documentaries gave the film an introspective quality that made it unusually effective. Following his short documentary Searching for Arthur (1998), Nossiter would find himself markedly busy as he began work on both a feature and a documentary. The feature, Signs & Wonders -- again concerning a misplaced figure attempting to find his place in modern society) -- offered affecting performances by Stellan SkarsgÄrd and Charlotte Rampling, despite the fact that it went largely unseen. That same year, Nossiter's documentary Losing the Thread explored the obsessive works of Florentine "Filo" (colored string) artist Lorenzo Pezzatini.

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