mary-harron.jpgCanadian writer-director Mary Harron was born on this day in 1953. The creative and technical mastermind behind some of the most provocative films of the last decade, Harron found her way to the movie world after a brief stint as a journalist both in North America and abroad. Her first feature film, I Shot Andy Warhol, starring indie maven Lili Taylor, was made for under $2 million and ended up a critical darling. The Oxford educated moviemaker is often drawn to ideas of patriarchy and the subversive culture that results from that system. For further examples, see her filmic interpretation of Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho (about a Wall Street banker’s desire for sexual conquest and murder) and her biographical tribute The Notorious Bettie Page (an unauthorized account of the 1950s pinup model’s pornography career and the subsequent Senate investigation).

Filmmaker Factoid: American Psycho was almost a different film altogether. After finding fame with Titanic, Leonardo DiCaprio was reported to be interested in the project. However, when DiCaprio bowed out, the female director successfully brought the controversial drama to the big screen, choosing Christian Bale to embody the role of the psychopathic Patrick Bateman.