Joe Dante

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Joe Dante (2009)

Joe Dante (born November 28, 1946 in Morristown , New Jersey ) is an American film director who also works for television.


Joe Dante began his career with Roger Corman's company New World Pictures , first in 1973 as a dialogue editor for productions such as Cirio H. Santiago's Fly Me and the US version Tidal Wave of Shirō Moritani's Nippon chinbotsu , then as a film editor for Steve Carver's The Arena (1974) and Ron Howard's Grand Theft Auto (1977).

For Corman, Dante shot his first own feature film Piranhas in 1978 . The director Steven Spielberg liked this B-film version of Jaws so much that he subsequently entrusted Dante with projects. This is how it came to be Gremlins , one of the most successful comedies of the 1980s. Also Innerspace and Gremlins 2 - The return of the little monsters have Spielberg as a producer of.

What sets Joe Dante apart are the influences that cinema in the 1950s and 1960s had on him. During this time, when Dante was growing up, fantastic cinema experienced its greatest boom . At the same time, paranoia and fear of the unknown reached their climax. This runs like a red thread through the entire work of Dante. People change ( Das Tier ) and seem to pose a threat to the environment ( My devilish neighbors , a parody of life in the suburbs). Seemingly harmless turns out to be a threat ( Piranhas , Die Reise ins Ich , Small Soldiers ). Not to be underestimated are the films that depict the effects of television and cinema on the perception of reality ( Explorers - A Fantastic Adventure , My Devilish Neighbors , Matinee , Small Soldiers and Looney Tunes: Back in Action ). Dante was also involved in the Eerie, Indiana series, a 1990s children's series.

In 2009 he was appointed to the competition jury of the 66th Venice Film Festival . At the festival he will also show his 3D horror film The Hole and a new cut version of his 1968 documentary The Movie Orgy .

Since 2009 he has been involved primarily as a director in various series. Among other things, he shot ten episodes of Hawaii Five-0 .

Awards (selection)

Joe Dante has received two Saturn awards. In 1979 he was awarded the Best Editing Award together with Mark Goldblatt , and in 1984 he was awarded the Best Director award for Gremlins - Little Monsters . In October 2013 Joe Dante received the Cinestrange Award for his life's work at the Cinestrange Film Festival in Dresden.

Filmography as a director (selection)



  • Nil Baskar, Gabe Klinger (ed.): Joe Dante (= FilmmuseumSynemaPublikationen Volume 19). SYNEMA - Society for Film and Media, Vienna 2013, ISBN 978-3-901644-52-8 .

Web links

Commons : Joe Dante  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files