Brian De Palma is celebrating his 77th today. He made his first feature, The Wedding Party, featuring a very young Robert De Niro, in 1963, but it was not released until 1969. He made several documentaries in the sixties, and re-teamed with De Niro for the 1968 film Greetings, which won a Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival. In the early 1970s, he made his first forays into the psychological thriller genre, films such as Sisters and Obsession that some have found Hitchcockian.
Then he became a pioneer of another sort, when in 1976 he directed the film adaptation of the first novel by a not-yet-world-famous Stephen King.
John Hawkes celebrates his 57th birthday today. Hawkes began working in film and television in the mid-1980s. For much of that time he seemed to be stuck in fairly minor parts, even if they sometimes were in major films like The Perfect Storm. A regular role on HBO’s Deadwood raised his profile, but few could have foreseen the outcome when indie director and writer Debra Granik cast Hawkes in her second feature, Winter’s Bone: