Years ago, when I fist read MISS LONELYHEARTS, I was fascinated by Nathanael West’s novel of a young man’s attempts to come to grips with both the misery of the world and his own helplessness. And later, as a director, I was intrigued by the prospect of attempting to re-create the Westian universe. MISS LONELYHEARTS is a film of shadows, a film about a world that is inhabited by broken people who desperately want to connect. Although the film is a depiction of Depression-torn America, it is also a timeless reflection of our own modern world. It is about despair and alienation and violence and fragmentation and dehumanization and victimization and sterility. And the film’s horrifying conclusion is one with which we are familiar: If man seeks to adress his fellow man, whether through the active pursuit of love or the passive submission to others, he is destroyed. This is our history and our legacy. Michael DINNER
Emmy Award-winning director Michael Dinner has enjoyed an extraordinary career with an auspicious feature directorial debut, numerous Emmy, Golden Globe and Humanitas Award nominations and a track record of six-for-six pilots having been sold to series, now that Fox Network is planning a major November launch for The Street, which he directed and will co-executive produce.Dinner’s early aspiration was to become a rock star. In 1972, he moved from Denver to Los Angeles. He worked as a musician, songwriter and recording artist for Fantasy Records. He returned to the East Coast where he earned his BFA with honors from Harvard University and went on to earn his masters degree from the American Film Institute. His graduate project for AFI was the critically acclaimed Miss Lonelyhearts, starring Eric Roberts. The film received a Special Jury Prize in the Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival, won numerous international awards and was shown on PBS’ American Playhouse. While editing Miss Lonelyhearts, Dinner found the screenplay for the Catholic boys school drama, Heaven Help Us. The film, starring Andrew McCarthy, Mary Stuart Masterson and Kevin Dillon, opened the Deauville Film Festival in 1985. Dinner went on to direct Judge Reinhold and Meg Tilly in the feature comedy Off Beat.His initial foray into television was as the director for the final episode of the ’88-’89 season of The Wonder Years, which brought him his first Emmy nomination. As executive producer for the series, he continued to direct episodes, bringing home an Emmy Award, a Peabody Award and two Humanitas Awards. Dinner directed the pilots for Tribeca, Sweet Justice, Early Edition and Dellaventura. He produced and directed the acclaimed movie for television Rise and Walk: The Dennis Byrd Story.