Family & Companions
Growing up in Rhode Island, Michael Corrente was exposed to the movie by his father who regularly took his son to see whatever foreign-language films were playing in the area. Those motion pictures and a high school field trip to Providence's Trinity Square Repertory Company to see a production of "A Man for All Seasons" convinced the youngster to pursue a career in the arts. Following completion of his studies at the Trinity Repertory Conservatory in 1981, Corrente bartered his abilities as a contractor in return for rehearsal spaces and production opportunities, mounting over 25 productions. In 1984, he set out for Manhattan where he wrote the one-act, semi-autobiographical "Federal Hill" and eventually established the Studio B Theatre Ensemble. Eventually he expanded the one-act to full-length and produced and directed its Off-Broadway premiere. Drawing on his experiences living in a slightly insular Italian-American community, he crafted a story about a group of buddies--small time hoods whose lives are upended when one falls for a coed. Knowing he had strong material, Corrente teamed with film director Bill Durkin to shoot "Title Shot" (1989), a nine-minute reel which they hoped could be used for fund-raising purposes. Over the course of the next few years, the script for Corrente's debut feature, also titled "Federal Hill" took shape. Shot in less than a month in 1993 on black-and-white stock and a very low budget, "Federal Hill" utilized the city of Providence as a major character as well. While modest in scope, the film's expert cinematography and Corrente's spin on what could have been familiar material won over critics. There was a slight brouhaha when Trimark, the film's distributor, made public its plans to issue "Federal Hill" in a "colorized" version, claiming that contemporary audiences wouldn't go to see a black-and-white movie. While the director was willing to consider such a move for a video release, he greatly opposed tinting the theatrical release. Eventually Trimark backtracked and agreed to let the release print remain in black and white and allowed Corrente to oversee the "colorization" of a home video version.
Corrente was signed by Castle Rock to helm the feature adaptation of David Mamet's three-character drama "American Buffalo" with Al Pacino set to star. When Pacino balked at using a relatively novice helmer, the studio put the project in turnaround where it languished until the Samuel Goldwyn Company agreed to distribute it. Teaming Dustin Hoffman and Dennis Franz, "American Buffalo" premiered at the 1996 Boston Film Festival. The majority of critics again were impressed with Corrente's handling of actors but as Mamet retained the claustrophobic settings of his original, the overall effect was that of a filmed play rather than a re-imagining or reinterpretation of a work.
While he worked on developing other projects (including "The Yellow Handkerchief"), Corrente and his actress wife Libby Langdon (who co-starred in "Federal Hill") served as producers for the romantic comedy-drama "Say You'll Be Mine" (1998), the screenwriting and directorial debut of Brad Kane. At the same time, he was working on a long-cherished project, the film adaptation of Peter Farrelly's novel "Outside Providence" (1999). Corrente had bought the book for one dollar at a second-hand store in 1988 and quickly obtained the screen rights from its author for the same price. Responding not only to the story's Rhode Island setting but also its skewed sense of humor, he was certain it could be translated into a screenplay. Success, however, intervened. Corrente went off to make his films and Peter Farrelly with his brother Bobby crafted the low-brow comedy hits "Dumb and Dumber" (1994) and "Kingpin" (1996). When the three convened to pen the script, the Farrelly brothers were impressed with Corrente's disciplined approach, which was in direct contrast to their more laid-back style. Financed partly by Wall Street investors and Rhode Islanders, "Outside Providence" began shooting in the fall of 1997 with Corrente's pal Alec Baldwin in the pivotal role of a hard-drinking, blue-collar parent and newcomer Shawn Hatosy as the protagonist. Harvey Weinstein at Miramax picked up the film and allowed the director to fine-tune it until its release in the summer of 1999 to generally positive reviews.
Director (Feature Film)
Cast (Feature Film)
Writer (Feature Film)
Producer (Feature Film)
Casting (Feature Film)
Moved to New York City
Produced and directed his play "Federal Hill" Off-Broadway
Wrote and acted in nine-minute film "Title Shot", directed by Bill Durkin; film was used to raise money for "Federal Hill"
Directed short "Providence", featuring Keanu Reeves and Deedee Pfeiffer; used as a means of raising funds for a feature that was later abandoned
Co-starred in his feature directorial debut, "Federal Hill"; was engaged in dispute wiith Trimark, the film's distributor, because they wanted to 'colorize' the black-and-white film for its theatrical release; Corrente won out after the Artists Rights Foundation weighed in support, but did oversee the colorization for video distribution
Helmed the screen adaptation of David Mamet's play "American Buffalo", starring Dustin Hoffman, Dennis Franz and Sean Nelson
Appeared in small role in the Farrelly brothers' comedy "Kingpin"
With wife, produced "Say You'll Be Mine", the directing debut of Brad Kane
Awarded lease to the Cranston Street Armory in Rhode Island; planned to develop building into a production facility for TV and film
Directed and co-wrote (with Peter and Bobby Farrelly) "Outside Providence", based on Peter Farrelly's novel
Helmed "A Shot at Glory", about a Scottish soccer club, starring and produced by Robert Duvall
Produced the Tod Williams directed "Door in the Floor" starring Kim Basinger and Jeff Bridges
Helmed "Brooklyn Rules", a drama set in 1980s Brooklyn during John Gotti's rise to power, starring Alec Baldwin, Freddie Prinze Jr., Scott Caan and Jerry Ferrara