Twenty years after winning Best Director for American Beauty, Sam Mendes is back in the Golden Globe winners circle.
On Sunday, the 1917 filmmaker once again took home the Best Director trophy. Beating out Bong Joon Ho (Parasite), Todd Phillips (Joker), Martin Scorsese (The Irishman), and Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood).
Inspired by an account told to Mendes by his Trinbagonian grandfather, 1917 follows two young British soldiers (George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman) who are sent on a dangerous mission to deliver a message that will prevent an ambush.
In his speech, Sam dedicates the win to his Trinbagonian grandfather, Alfred Hubert Mendes, novelist, short-story writer and World War 1 veteran. “He signed up for the First World War when he was 17 yrs old, and I hope he’s looking down on us, and I fervently hope it never, ever happens again.
His Grandfather was Born in Trinidad in 1912, Alfred emigrated to England at the age of 15 yrs old to attend school but enrolled in the army where he served in the Rifle Brigade.
1917 is partially based on Alfred’s memories of life in the colony in the early twentieth century, his experiences as a rifleman in the Great War which is chronicled in his book: The Autobiography of Alfred H. Mendes 1897–1991 published in 2002 by the University of the West Indies Press.
The film’s direction is notable for being shot to look like one continuous take.
“I just wanted the audience to be part of every second of the journey with them,” Mendes said, describing the film as taking place in real-time. “I wanted them to walk every footstep and breathe every breath with them… It was an emotional decision as much as anything else, but it posed obviously a bunch of pretty tricky technical problems but that was part of the joy of it as well.”
Sam Mendes was born to a Portuguese-Trinidadian father and a British Jewish mother, who divorced when he was three. He grew up near Oxford with his mother, who is the author of novels for young adults.
The 54-year-old is one of only a handful of directors to win the Best Director Oscar for their first feature film and won further plaudits for his work on two of Daniel Craig’s 007 movies.
His first, Skyfall, became the first Bond film to break the billion-dollar barrier at the box office.
Take a look at the trailer for 1917 below: