Oldenburg Festival to Honor 'Withnail & I' Director Bruce Robinson

Bruce Robinson
Courtesy of the Oldenburg Film Festival

Robinson, who wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay for 'The Killing Fields' and directed Johnny Depp in 'The Rum Diary,' will attend the 25th Oldenburg Fest from Sept. 12-16.

Germany's Oldenburg Film Festival will honor British cult director Bruce Robinson (Withnail & I) with a retrospective of his work.

Oldenburg will screen eight films featuring Robinson, from his early work as an actor in features such as Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet (1968) and Francois Truffaut's The Story of Adele H (1975); to Roland Joffe's The Killing Fields (1984), for which Robinson penned the Oscar-nominated screenplay; to his four features as a director: Withnail & I (1987), How To Get Ahead in Advertising (1989), Jennifer 8 (1992) and The Rum Diary (2011).

Despite his Oscar nomination for The Killing Fields and the wide acclaim that greeted Withnail & I, his 1987 directorial debut (“possibly the world’s most iconic cool film”, wrote The Independent on the occasion of its 20th Anniversary last year), Robinson's career has been marked by a series of high-profile battles with the film industry establishment. He fought Withnail & I producers HandMade Films for funding of the dark low-budget comedy, reinvesting his own money to shoot key scenes.

His Hollywood debut, 1992's Jennifer 8, starring Uma Thurman and Andy Garcia, was brutally re-edited by Paramount and consequently flopped at the box office. Robinson had a similar experience with Neil Jordan's In Dreams, for which he wrote the screenplay.

Johnny Depp finally pulled Robinson out of retirement to adapt and direct Hunter S. Thompson’s novel The Rum Diary, in which Depp starred. Given full creative control for the first time in his career, Robinson cites the 2011 film as his best experience as a filmmaker.

Robinson will attend for the entire Oldenburg festival, which runs Sept. 12-16.