One of Robert Zemeckis' most vivid boyhood memories from the South Side of Chicago is of the crisp fall day in 1959 when the lowly Chicago White Sox won the American League pennant, their first in 40 years. The city fathers were so excited that, without warning, they switched on all the air-raid sirens, which blared across the city.
Pandemonium is something that has always fascinated the director, who has enjoyed an enviable run of box-office success with movies satirizing the extravagant spectacle of our pop culture. Zemeckis won an Oscar for directing 1994's "Forrest Gump," which deftly lampooned both Vietnam-era protest rallies and Me Decade guru worship, showing Gump aimlessly running across America, hordes of worshipers and media in his wake.
His first film as a director was "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" (1978), depicted the madcap antics of teenagers overwhelmed by Beatlemania. "1941," the 1979 film he co-wrote for his mentor, Steven Spielberg, depicted Los Angeles in the grip of post-Pearl Harbor invasion mania. In 1988, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," which seamlessly blended animation with live action, celebrated the brash energy of Toontown, a raucous cartoon character ghetto in constant uproar.
Zemeckis also directed the "Back to the Future" series, "Cast Away," "The Polar Express" and "A Christmas Carol."
|1985||Best Original Screenplay||Back to the Future||Nomination*|
|1994||Best Director||Forrest Gump||Win|