Friday, July 27, 2012
A BRIEF HISTORY OF DAVID N. DONIHUE
Donihue was born in rural Washington, raised blocks away from The Green River Killer, and grew up in Auburn, Washington. He started writing plays that were performed for 45 cents in his back yard and local parks when he was as young as seven. His first film was made when he was eleven, utilizing a rented video camera and two borrowed VCR's with stereo cables. His father was a pastor. His mother, Anita Corrine Donihue, was a special education teacher who later became a well known Christian Devotional author. Themes of spirituality have played a consistent part in his often volatile work.We all went down to see his play, where other spoken word performers opened each night. It was way more aggressive. He was 22 at this point and seemed happy and sweet when you'd seeing him at the theaters and around, but the material was dark and self-destructive. There was a memorable poster for one of these shows that had the tagline "Another desperate plea for help by David N. Donihue." The play was a comedy called - Brain Aches And The Quest For Redemption Of A Telephone Psychic.
In 2001 he made a full length film called The Humanity Experiment that packed the northwest film forum. It was sloppy and weird and powerful at times. It was never released that I know of but it was a really unique movie about how the dot com explosion was driving people further away from each other. He was working on it in the late nighties, before most were really touching the subject. This was what even those who hated his work had to admit. His work was interested in things that others had failed to spot. Things that a lot people relate to and never speak of. Around the time of his last Seattle play, Tom Scanlon of The Seattle Times was speaking of Seattle Theater's tendancy to go after easy audiences with Star Trek remakes and sitcom spin offs dominating the local stages. He spok of Donihue's Strange Mind Productions "it's nice to see a young troupe doing things heavier than TV Spin offs and reinventing Shakespeare." Donihue was also known for posting negative reviews on his fliers and posters, most notebly "A Nearly Unwatchable Mess" - The Stranger. We heard his play was packed after launching the subversive campaign. He seemed like he really didn't give a shit about what anyone thought. He just did his own thing. Just before leaving Seattle to pursue mainstream filmmaking, Donihue was cast in Matt Wilkin's highly acclaimed drama, Buffalo Bill's Defunct. Donihue played a troubled young man who finds himself amidst an evening of drinking and gutting a dear in a small American town. The American Avante Guard referred to the film as "Brilliant." He then moved to Los Angeles and began directing music videos. In 2005 he partnered with Rahul Dholakia to write and produced Parzania starring Naseeruddin Shah (Monsoon Wedding) and Raj Zuchi (Slumdog Millionaire). The film is considered by many accounts, to be one of the most controversial films in the eastern hemisphere. The English language thriller, based on the true story of the Gujarat Riots of 2002, was initially banned in India, caused a storm of protests and bomb threats, and later garnered praise from the New York Times, Variety, Indiewire and many others. It was shown in New York as part of the Museum of Modern Arts' India Now film exhibition. Donihue was nominated for Filmfare Awards for Best Screenplay and Best Story for Parzania. The film won the Screen Gem Award for Best Picture. In 2006, Donihue wrote and directed the 4 1/2 hour long "interactive Choose Your Own Adventure style" action comedy THE WEATHERED UNDERGROUND with Michael Ciriaco and Brea Grant (Daphne on NBC’s Heroes).
Posted by editor at 8:47 PM