In April 2018, film critic Benjamin Lee of British newspaper The Guardian published an interesting article about the output of filmmakers during the 1990s, a decade that many cinema connoisseurs consider to have been one of the greatest in recent history.
Fans of independent movies will certainly agree with Benjamin Lee that “Reservoir Dogs,” the seminal 1992 Quentin Tarantino movie produced by Lawrence Bender, is a perfect example of what can happen when passion is mixed with a smart business outlook.
Born in 1957, Lawrence Bender thought about entering the field of civil engineering; in fact, this the career he pursued as a student at the University of Maine. While still in college, he became interested in the performing arts, specifically dance, and this new focus led him to become part of a film crew. By 1989, Lawrence Bender was already producing independent films and listening to passionate filmmakers such as Quentin Tarantino.
The 1990s were a busy decade for Lawrence Bender; after the success of “Reservoir Dogs” he went on to produce a string of crime dramas that would eventually earn cult status and critical acclaim. At the risk of being pigeonholed as a producer of gritty and quirky crime films, Bender started taking on projects such as “Good Will Hunting,” “Anna and the King” and “A Price Above Rubies.”
In the 21st century, Lawrence Bender has become known as a producer who clearly favors diversity. Aside from producing crime epics directed by Tarantino, Bender is known for the groundbreaking and game-changing documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” which won an Academy Award in 2006.
Diversity has been key to Bender’s success as a producer; he can get involved with a quirky independent film such as “The Chumscrubber” only to turn around and start working on a historical military drama such as “The Great Raid.” He is certainly not afraid to produce promotional works such as “Goal!” in 2005 and the sequel “Goal II: Living the Dream;” these two films were part of an ambitious and effective public relations campaign for FIFA.
In the end, Bender’s diverse production output has resulted in 29 Oscar nominations and six awards.