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VERONICA GUERIN

JOEL SCHUMACHER's "Phone Booth,” starring Colin Farrell, was released to critical acclaim this spring in the U.S. and continues to thrill audiences worldwide. In the summer of 2001, he directed "Bad Company” with Anthony Hopkins and Chris Rock for Touchstone Pictures. The previous year, Schumacher introduced Colin Farrell to American audiences with "Tigerland” (2000), the story of a young soldier who dared to question the morality of war even as he prepared to go to Vietnam.

Schumacher created unlikely allies and reluctant heroes out of a drag queen and a bigoted stroke victim, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robert De Niro, respectively, in the offbeat comedy "Flawless” (1999). Prior to "Flawless,” he explored the edgy world of illegal pornography in "8MM,” starring Nicolas Cage.

No stranger to controversial subject matter, Schumacher took on vigilantism and racial division in his highly successful adaptation of John Grisham's "A Time To Kill” (1996), starring Matthew McConaughey, Samuel L. Jackson, Sandra Bullock and Kevin Spacey.

Also comfortable in the mainstream, Schumacher directed the biggest domestic box office hit of 1995, "Batman Forever.” The epic adventure-fantasy amassed a worldwide gross of more than $330 million. He reproduced this success with the fourth "Batman” installment, "Batman and Robin” (1997), starring George Clooney and Arnold Schwarzenegger. In 1994 Schumacher directed the critically-acclaimed hit version of the John Grisham novel, "The Client,” starring Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones.

Again courting controversy, Schumacher challenged every notion of political correctness with his portrait of class rage, "Falling Down” (1995), starring Michael Douglas.

Schumacher's features, such as "St. Elmo's Fire,” "The Lost Boys,” "Cousins,” "Flatliners” and "Dying Young,” starring Julia Roberts, have displayed the filmmaker's versatility and close attention to performance, aesthetics and atmosphere.

Schumacher made his directing debut with the television movie "The Virginia Hill Story,” starring Dyan Cannon in the title role and Harvey Keitel as the mobster Bugsy Siegel. This was followed by his award-winning telefilm "Amateur Night at the Dixie Bar and Grill.” "The Incredible Shrinking Woman,” starring Lily Tomlin, marked his feature film directing debut, followed by "D.C. Cab,” for which he also wrote the screenplay. Schumacher also wrote the script for "St. Elmo's Fire” with Carl Kurlander. In 1988, he directed the successful Chicago theatrical run of David Mamet's scorching Hollywood satire, "Speed-the- Plow.”

Joel Schumacher was born and raised in New York City, where he studied design and display at Parsons School of Design. He began his career in the entertainment industry as an art director for television commercials before becoming costume designer for such notable films as Woody Allen's "Sleeper” and "Interiors,” Herbert Ross's "The Last of Sheila” and Paul Mazursky's "Blume In Love.” He then wrote the screenplays for "Sparkle” and the hit comedy "Car Wash.”

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