Hollywood An Interview with Director Penelope Spheeris

An Interview with Director Penelope Spheeris


Spheeris’ career began with a love for music. In 1974, she formed her own production company, ROCK ‘N REEL. It was the first production company in LA to specialize in music videos. After producing, directing, and editing videos for major bands throughout the seventies and eighties, she directed the 1979 documentary on the Los Angeles punk scene, THE DECLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION, which was received with unanimous critical praise.

Still fascinated with the subject, she wrote and directed her first narrative film, SUBURBIA produced by industry legend Roger Corman. The drama revolves around the lives of “The Rejected”, a group of punk kids who have abandoned their homes escaping abuse, and have squatted a Los Angeles bungalow.

In 1992, Spheeris directed her seventh feature and first studio film, WAYNE’S WORLD (Paramount Pictures), followed by THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES (Fox, 1993), THE LITTLE RASCALS (Universal, 1994), BLACK SHEEP (Paramount, 1996), and SENSELESS (Dimension, 1998). THE KID & I (2005), starring Tom Arnold and Eric Gores about a brilliant young actor with cerebral palsy is the last film she directed.

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