July 13 ~  Finesse It a Little Whack on the Side of the Head

"You can still get a point across, even a difficult one, if you finesse it a little and not ram it down people's throats." ~ Cameron Crowe

A writer/director with finesse, Cameron Crowe (1957-), born on this day in Palm Springs, California, was a self-described "predominately accelerated child" who began writing for Rolling Stone magazine at age 16.

His mom was a teacher at San Diego City College and Crowe recalled that she urged him forward with optimism, saying: "Be positive, be positive. It's rough out there, but don't succumb. Don't succumb to the cynicism in the world."

Good advice, indeed.

With passion, Crowe poured his heart into the autobiographical film Almost Famous (2000), a coming-of-age story which chronicled his "honest and unmerciful" gig as a rock journalist.

"I was just overjoyed to have a front-row seat," he recalled. The film's screenplay won him an Academy Award.

Married to Heart singer Nancy Wilson, who he called "my incredible wife and collaborator," Crowe said, "I married a musician, music is everywhere I turn, thankfully."

Given his talent, Crowe is one of the few director's in Hollywood with final cut approval. With unique vision and quirky originality, just a few of his successful films include Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), Say Anything (1989), and Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise, 1996), and Elizabethtown (2005).

In 1997, Crowe took several months to write the critically acclaimed Conversations with Wilder, a fascinating collection of interviews with legendary director Billy Wilder.

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