Writer-Director Mary Harron’s first feature, I Shot Andy Warhol, was released in 1996 to great controversy and even greater acclaim: “I Shot Andy Warhol is as riveting as its title. Every so often, a filmmaker declares herself simply through her choice of subject matter, and that appears to be the case with director Mary Harron. In her startling debut feature, she has had the inspired audacity to tell the true story of Valerie Solanas…” said Entertainment Weekly. The movie was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Movie and its star, Lili Taylor, received a nomination for a Special Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival.
Mary’s second feature, American Psycho, based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis, for which she co-wrote the screenplay, was also released to much controversy, though as with her debut critics were quick to praise its cool, incisive style and smart handling of difficult material: “From the opening credits, in which drops of blood are confused with red berry sauce drizzled on an exquisitely arranged plate of nouvelle cuisine, the movie establishes its insidious balance of humor and aestheticized gore,” wrote the New York Times. The London Critics Circle nominated Mary for Director of the Year for the movie. It was followed by two more features, the erotically mischievous The Notorious Bettie Page—for which Gretchen Mol was nominated for a Satellite Best Actress award and Mary received a Filmmaker on the Edge Award at the Provincetown International Film festival—and The Moth Diaries, based on Rachel Klein’s novel set in the hothouse atmosphere of an all-girls school, which the New York Times described as “a Gothic stew of satisfying kinkiness.”
Mary has also had extensive TV experience, having directed episodes of such series as Oz, The L Word, Six Feet Under, Six Degrees and Big Love, and recently the Lifetime TV movie Anna Nicole. In 2012 she was personally commisioned by Georgio Armani to create a short film highlighting his Fall/Winter “Easy Chic” collection.
Mary began her career as a journalist and documentary filmmaker in the UK after moving from her native Canada, immersing herself in the musical and pop cultural revolution of the 70s in both Britain and the US and writing for Punk magazine and the New Musical Express, among other publications. She is currently working on a film about the last years of Salvador Dali.