Filmmaker-screenwriter Neal Jimenez, best known for helming The Waterdance and who won an Independent Spirit Award for writing the 1986 cult classic River’s Edge, passed away aged 62 due to heart failure on December 11 in Arroyo Grande, Calif. Joseph ‘Jo Mersa’ Marley Son of Stephen Marley Dies at 31.
According to Variety, a US-based news outlet, his works were favourites on the awards circuit, attracting wins in screenwriting categories at ceremonies such as the Independent Spirit Awards and the Sundance Film Festival. Along with the accolades, the autobiographical film got on the awards circuit in 1993, Jimenez created and co-directed The Waterdance with Michael Steinberg. The autobiographical movie was also listed in the book “The New York Times Guide to the Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made.” In addition to Where the River Runs Black, For the Boys, The Dark Wind, Sleep With Me and Hideaway, he also co-wrote five more movies.
He worked as a script doctor in Hollywood for more than ten years, writing scripts for directors like Martin Scorsese, Ridley Scott, Wolfgang Peterson, Atom Egoyan, Robert Redford, Madonna, Tom Hanks, and many more. According to Variety, Joe and Marcille Jimenez raised their son Jimenez in Sacramento, California, where he began writing plays and producing Super 8 films at a young age. At the age of 17, he started writing professionally and received jobs from LA Weekly and California Magazine while majoring in English at Santa Clara University. At age 21, he changed schools and enrolled at the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television. While taking a film course, he authored River’s Edge.
When River’s Edge was released in 1987, it established Jimenez as a renowned screenwriter. The film’s sombre theme and mood had an impact on independent movies and music for the rest of the next decade, as seen by works like the Nirvana album “Nevermind” from 1991. Vivienne Westwood Dies at 81: All You Need To Know About the Iconic Punk Fashion Designer.
Jimenez fell on a nighttime trek while camping with friends when he was 24 years old, which altered the course of his life and caused him to spend the rest of his days in a wheelchair. After learning of Jimenez’s tragedy, Tony Garnett, a producer and director for the BBC, optioned one of his writings and oversaw a Warner Bros. development contract. The outcome was The Waterdance, which Jimenez wrote about his five months of spinal cord therapy at Rancho Los Amigos.
As per a report by Variety, Jimenez is survived by his sisters Kathleen and Elizabeth.
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