canada africa partner reservation Roger Corman, the ‘king of cult cinema’, dies at the age of 98

Roger Corman, the ‘king of cult cinema’, dies at the age of 98

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Roger Corman, the legendary B-movie director who was called the “king of cult cinema,” has died at the age of 98.

His family confirmed this Variety yesterday that he passed away on Thursday (May 9) at his home in Santa Monica, California, surrounded by family members.

Corman was seen as a pioneer in the world of independent film. He produced and directed hundreds of low-budget films and provided an early platform for leading figures in the film industry, including Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, James Cameron, Jack Nicholson and Robert De Niro.

“His films were revolutionary and iconoclastic and reflected the spirit of the times. When asked how he would like to be remembered, he said, ‘I was a filmmaker, just that,'” the family said in a statement.

He is also known as ‘The Pope of Pop Cinema’ and ‘The Spiritual Godfather of the New Hollywood’. He made a name for himself in the 1960s by founding his own studios New World Pictures and New Concorde, and received an Honorary Academy Award in 2009 for his “rich output of films and filmmakers”.

Roger Korman
Roger Corman presents the Grand Prix Award at the 76th Cannes Film Festival on May 27, 2023. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

His own films were often made quickly on low budgets and specialized in genres such as horror, science fiction and action.

Several big names received early credits in Corman’s work, including Nicholson The little horror shop (1960), Scorsese with Boxcar Bertha (1972), Cameron met Fight beyond the stars (1980) and Ron Howard with Grand Theft Auto (1977).

Howard himself joked that Corman told him during the tumultuous shooting of his first film Eat my dust that “if you do a good job on this movie, you’ll never have to work for me again!”

Tributes have been paid to Corman, with director John Carpenter writing of X: “Roger Corman, one of the most influential film directors in my life, has passed away. It was my privilege to know him. He was a good friend. He shaped my childhood with science fiction films and Edgar Allen Poe epics. I will miss you, Rogier.”

Howard said: “RIP Roger Corman. A great filmmaker and mentor. When I was 23, he gave me my first chance to direct. He launched many careers and quietly led our industry in important ways. Even at the age of 98, he remained sharp, interested and active. Grateful to have known him.”

See other tributes below:

Quentin Tarantino has paid his own tribute to Corman, saying “thank you to the movie lovers of planet Earth,” while The silence of the lambs director Jonathan Demme said Corman offered “tremendous value at a very affordable price”.

Corman is survived by his wife Julie Corman and his daughters Catherine and Mary.