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Mark Polish and Michael Polish (born October 30, 1970), known informally as the Polish brothers, are American twin screenwriters and film producers. Michael usually directs their films, and Mark often has an acting role.


Life

The Polish brothers were born in
El Centro, California El Centro (Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambigua ...
. Their father is from Montana, and is of part Austrian ancestry. He used to work at the
DEA
DEA
in Sacramento. Their paternal grandfather worked on the dams of Montana. Their mother's family is Mexican. The brothers were raised Catholic.


Career

The Polish brothers began their film career with the 1999
Sundance A Sun Dance is a Native American ceremony. Sun dance or Sundance may also refer to: Places ;Canada *Sundance, Calgary, Alberta, a neighbourhood *Sundance, Manitoba, a ghost town ;United States *Sundance, New Mexico, a census-designated place ...

Sundance
debut of their first feature, '' Twin Falls Idaho''. The
identical twin Twins are two offspring produced by the same pregnancy.MedicineNet > Definition of TwinLast Editorial Review: 19 June 2000 Twins can be either ''monozygotic'' ('identical'), meaning that they develop from one zygote, which splits and forms two em ...
siblings wrote and starred in the tale of
conjoined twins Conjoined twins – sometimes popularly referred to as Siamese twins – are identical twin Twins are two offspring produced by the same pregnancy.MedicineNet > Definition of TwinLast Editorial Review: 19 June 2000 Twins can be either ''monozygo ...
. Michael directed.
Sony Pictures Classics Sony Pictures Classics Inc. is an American film production and distribution company that is a division of Sony Pictures Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. (commonly known as Sony Pictures or SPE, and formerly known as Columbia Pictures Enterta ...

Sony Pictures Classics
bought the rights for theatrical distribution of the film, which
Janet Maslin Janet R. Maslin (born August 12, 1949) is an American journalist, best known as a film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art The visual arts are art forms such as painting Pai ...
of ''
The New York Times ''The New York Times'' is an American daily newspaper based in New York City with a worldwide readership. Founded in 1851, the ''Times'' has since won List of Pulitzer Prizes awarded to The New York Times, 132 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of a ...

The New York Times
'' said had "style, gravity and originality to spare." Michael Polish, in an interview with Robert K. Elder for the book ''
The Film That Changed My Life ''The Film That Changed My Life'' (also known as ''The Film That Changed My Life: 30 Directors on Their Epiphanies in the Dark'') is a non-fiction Nonfiction (also spelled non-fiction) is any document or content (media), media content that inten ...
'' said much of his own inspiration came from watching ''
Once Upon a Time in America ''Once Upon a Time in America'' ( it, C'era una volta in America) is a 1984 epic Epic commonly refers to: * Epic poetry, a long narrative poem celebrating heroic deeds and events significant to a culture or nation * Epic film, a genre of film w ...
'' in his youth.
... Internally it speaks to me, as just a human, a person alone. I can watch this movie alone and be a fan. Whether a filmmaker or not, I can be a fan because it has so many symbols and situations that reflect life itself, growing up. Even growing up in the suburbs, you still have friendships the same way these kids have friendships.
In 2000, the Polish brothers followed up ''Twin Falls'' with '' Jackpot'', the story of a deluded
karaoke Karaoke (; ; , clipped compoundIn linguistics, a clipped compound is a word produced from a compound word by reducing its parts while retaining the meaning of the original compound.Elisa Mattiello, "An Introduction to English Slang: A Descriptio ...

karaoke
singer ( Jonathan Gries) on a tour of American dive-bars. It won the 2001
Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award The Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award is presented to the creative team of a film budgeted at less than $500,000 by the Film Independent, a non-profit organization dedicated to independent film and independent filmmakers. It is named after a ...
and the 2001
Seattle International Film Festival The Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF), held annually in Seattle Seattle ( ) is a seaport The Porticciolo del Cedas port in Barcola The thumb is the first digit of the hand, next to the index finger. When a person is standin ...
New American Cinema Award. The film was distributed theatrically by Sony Pictures Classics. In 2002, the brothers were offered the opportunity to make a mainstream film. Instead, they began to put together the independent film ''
Northfork ''Northfork'' is a 2003 film directed by Michael Polish and written by Michael and Mark Polish. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 21, 2003 and later received a limited release in the United States on July 11, 2003. The film st ...
''. When financing collapsed days before
principal photography Principal photography is the phase of producing a film or television show in which the bulk of shooting takes place, as distinct from the phases of pre-production and post-production. Personnel Besides the main film personnel, such as actor ...
, the filmmakers signed their house to creditors, and paid for their movie with personal credit cards. Starring
James Woods James Howard Woods (born April 18, 1947) is a retired American actor and producer. He is known for his work in various film, stage, and television productions. He started his career in minor roles on and off-Broadway (theatre), Broadway. In 19 ...
and
Nick Nolte Nicholas King Nolte (born February 8, 1941) is an American actor. He won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for the 1991 film ''The Prince of Tides''. He went on ...

Nick Nolte
, ''Northfork'' was chosen as an early selection by the Sundance Film Festival, and when the movie premiered at Sundance in 2003,
Roger Ebert Roger Joseph Ebert (; June 18, 1942 – April 4, 2013) was an American Film criticism, film critic, film historian, journalist, screenwriter, and author. He was a film critic for the ''Chicago Sun-Times'' from 1967 until his death in 2013. In ...

Roger Ebert
called it "a masterpiece." In 2005, the Polish brothers, along with producing partner Jonathan Sheldon wrote and released ''The Declaration of Independent Filmmaking''. The book, a how-to guide for first-time,
do-it-yourself "Do it yourself" ("DIY") is the method of building, wikt:modification, modifying, or repairing things by oneself without the direct aid of professionals or certified experts. Academic research has described DIY as behaviors where "individual ...
filmmakers, follows the filmmaking process and gives firsthand accounts of the Polish Brothers' travails in making their films. The Library Journal said the Polish Brothers "write in a way that illuminates the details more clearly than most technical scribes." In 2006, the brothers would team with Warner Independent for their fourth film, ''
The Astronaut Farmer ''The Astronaut Farmer'' is a 2006 American drama film directed by Michael Polish, who co-wrote the screenplay with his brother Mark Polish, Mark. The film stars Billy Bob Thornton, Virginia Madsen, Bruce Dern, and Max Thieriot. The plot is about a ...
''. ''The Astronaut Farmer'' is about a former
NASA The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA; ) is an independent agency A regulatory agency or regulatory authority, is a Public benefit corporation Public-benefit corporation is a term that has different meanings in differen ...

NASA
astronaut An astronaut (from the Greek "astron" (ἄστρον), meaning "star", and "nautes" (ναύτης), meaning "sailor") is a person trained, equipped, and deployed by a List of human spaceflight programs, human spaceflight program to serve as a ...

astronaut
, Charles Farmer (
Billy Bob Thornton Billy Bob Thornton (born August 4, 1955) is an American actor, filmmaker, and musician. He had his first break when he co-wrote and starred in the 1992 thriller ''One False Move'', and received international attention after writing, directing, a ...

Billy Bob Thornton
), who has been obsessively building a rocket in his barn.
Warner Bros. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (commonly known as Warner Bros. and abbreviated as WB) is an American diversified multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate Conglomerate or conglomeration may refer to: * Conglomerate (company) * ...
released it wide throughout North America in 2007. The brothers then shot two films back-to-back, just days apart while launching their new production company, Prohibition Pictures along with partners Ken Johnson, Janet DuBois, and Jonathan Sheldon. The Polish Brothers' fifth film, ''Manure'' (with Billy Bob Thornton and Téa Leoni) began shooting May 27, 2008 (and was released at the Sundance Festival in 2009 as '' The Smell of Success''), and the Polish Brothers' sixth film, ''
Stay Cool ''Stay Cool'' is an American comedy film directed by Michael Polish (credited as Ted Smith), and written by Mark Polish. The film stars Winona Ryder, Mark Polish, Hilary Duff, Sean Astin, Josh Holloway, Jon Cryer, and Chevy Chase. The film premier ...
'' (with
Winona Ryder Winona Laura Horowitz (born October 29, 1971), known professionally as Winona Ryder, is an American actress. She is the recipient of List of awards and nominations received by Winona Ryder, several awards, including a Golden Globe Award, and h ...

Winona Ryder
, Mark Polish,
Chevy Chase Cornelius Crane "Chevy" Chase (; born October 8, 1943) is an American comedian, writer, and actor. Born into a prominent family, he had a variety of jobs before moving into comedy and started acting with '' National Lampoon''. He became a key c ...

Chevy Chase
,
Sean Astin Sean Patrick Astin (né Duke; February 25, 1971) is an American actor, director and producer. His acting roles include Samwise Gamgee in The Lord of the Rings (film series), ''The Lord of the Rings'' trilogy (2001–2003), Mikey Walsh in ''The Go ...

Sean Astin
,
Hilary Duff Hilary Erhard Duff (born September 28, 1987) is an American actress, singer, and businesswoman. She began her acting career at a young age and quickly became labeled a teen idol A teen idol is a celebrity Celebrity is a condition o ...

Hilary Duff
,
Jon Cryer Jonathan Niven Cryer (born April 16, 1965) is an American actor, writer, director and producer. Born into a show business family, he made his motion picture debut as a teenaged photographer in the 1984 romantic comedy ''No Small Affair ''No Smal ...
,
Josh Holloway Josh Lee Holloway (born July 20, 1969) is an American actor, model and producer, best known for his roles as James "Sawyer" Ford on the American television show '' Lost'' and as Will Bowman on the science fiction drama ''Colony In politic ...

Josh Holloway
) began filming in July 2008 (and was shown at Tribeca Festival in 2009). In May 2010, the Polish brothers began filming '' For Lovers Only''. Said to be inspired by the French New Wave and
Claude Lelouch Claude Barruck Joseph Lelouch (; born 30 October 1937) is a French film director A film director controls a film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art The visual arts are art ...

Claude Lelouch
's 1966 double Oscar-winner ''
A Man and a Woman ''A Man and a Woman'' (french: Un homme et une femme) is a 1966 French film written and directed by Claude Lelouch and starring Anouk Aimée and Jean-Louis Trintignant. Written by Lelouch and Pierre Uytterhoeven, the film is about a young widow a ...

A Man and a Woman
'', the romance focuses on a journalist
Stana Katic Stana Katic (; sr-Cyrl, Cтaнa Катић, Stana Katić, ; born ) is a Canadian-American actress and producer. She played Kate Beckett on the American Broadcasting Company, ABC television romantic crime series ''Castle (TV series), Castle'' (2 ...

Stana Katic
(''
Castle A castle is a type of fortification, fortified structure built during the Middle Ages predominantly by the nobility or royalty and by Military order (monastic society), military orders. Scholars debate the scope of the word ''castle'', but u ...
'') in Paris on assignment, who runs into a lover (Mark Polish) from her past. Presumably enraptured by reconciliation, the pair flee Paris and travel "by train, car, and motorcycle as their love affair takes them across France from Normandy to St. Tropez." In 2013, Michael directed American adventure drama, ''
Big Sur Big Sur is a rugged and mountainous section of the Central Coast of California California is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Departme ...
'', an adaptation of the 1962 novel of the same name by
Jack Kerouac Jean-Louis Lebris de Kérouac (; March 12, 1922 – October 21, 1969), known as Jack Kerouac, was an American novelist and poet of French Canadians, French Canadian ancestry, who, alongside William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, was a pioneer o ...

Jack Kerouac
. The story is based on the time Kerouac spent in Big Sur, California and his three brief sojourns to friend
Lawrence Ferlinghetti Lawrence Monsanto Ferlinghetti (March 24, 1919 – February 22, 2021) was an American poet, painter, social activist, and co-founder of City Lights Booksellers & Publishers. The author of poetry, translations, fiction, theatre, art criticism, and ...

Lawrence Ferlinghetti
's cabin in Bixby Canyon. The film debuted on January 23, 2013 at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, where it received generally positive reviews. In 2014, it was announced that Mark would write, direct, and star in ''
Headlock A grappling hold, commonly referred to simply as a hold that in Japanese language, Japanese is referred to as ''katame-waza'' ( "grappling technique"), is any specific grappling, wrestling, judo, or other martial art grip that is applied to an op ...
''. The film also stars
Dianna Agron Dianna Elise Agron ( ; born April 30, 1986) is an American actress, singer, dancer, and director. After primarily dancing and starring in small musical theatre productions in her youth, Agron made her screen debut in 2006, and in 2007 she playe ...
and
Andy Garcia Andy may refer to: People *Andy (given name) Andy, also spelled Andi, Andie or Andee, is predominantly a diminutive A diminutive is a root word that has been modified to convey a slighter degree of its root meaning, to convey the smallness of ...

Andy Garcia
.


Personal life

In July 2011, Michael began dating actress
Kate Bosworth Catherine Anne Bosworth (born January 2, 1983) is an American actress and model. Following minor roles in the films '' The Horse Whisperer'' (1998) and ''Remember the Titans ''Remember the Titans'' is a 2000 American Biographical film, biogra ...
, and on August 31, 2013, the couple married in
Philipsburg, Montana Philipsburg is a town in and the county seat A county seat is an administrative centerAn administrative centre is a seat of regional administration or local government, or a county town, or the place where the central administration of a Townsh ...
. They separated on August 2021.


Filmography

*'' Hellraiser: Bloodline'' (1996) – Twin Cenobite No. 1 (Michael) – Twin Cenobite No. 2 (Mark) (acting only) *'' Twin Falls Idaho'' (1999) (Michael – director, cowriter, actor. Mark – cowriter, actor) *'' Jackpot'' (2001) (Michael – director, cowriter. Mark – cowriter) *'' The Good Thief'' (2002) (Mark - actor, Michael - actor) *''
Northfork ''Northfork'' is a 2003 film directed by Michael Polish and written by Michael and Mark Polish. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 21, 2003 and later received a limited release in the United States on July 11, 2003. The film st ...
'' (2003) (Michael – director, cowriter. Mark – cowriter, actor) *''
The Astronaut Farmer ''The Astronaut Farmer'' is a 2006 American drama film directed by Michael Polish, who co-wrote the screenplay with his brother Mark Polish, Mark. The film stars Billy Bob Thornton, Virginia Madsen, Bruce Dern, and Max Thieriot. The plot is about a ...
'' (2006) (Michael – director, cowriter. Mark – cowriter, actor) *'' The Smell of Success'' (2009) (Michael – director, cowriter. Mark – cowriter, actor) *''
Stay Cool ''Stay Cool'' is an American comedy film directed by Michael Polish (credited as Ted Smith), and written by Mark Polish. The film stars Winona Ryder, Mark Polish, Hilary Duff, Sean Astin, Josh Holloway, Jon Cryer, and Chevy Chase. The film premier ...
'' (2009) (Michael – director. Mark - writer) *'' For Lovers Only'' (2010, online; 2011, film festival release) (Michael – coproducer, director. Mark – coproducer, writer, actor) *''
Big Sur Big Sur is a rugged and mountainous section of the Central Coast of California California is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Departme ...
'' (2013) (Michael – coproducer, director, writer) *''
Amnesiac Amnesia is a deficit in memory caused by brain damage or disease,Gazzaniga, M., Ivry, R., & Mangun, G. (2009) Cognitive Neuroscience: The biology of the mind. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. but it can also be caused temporarily by the use o ...
'' (2014) (Michael – director) *'' 90 Minutes in Heaven'' (2015) (Michael – coproducer, director, writer) *''Hot Bot'' (2016) (Michael – director, cowriter. Mark – writer) *''Nona'' (2017) (Michael – director, writer) *'' Against the Clock'' (2019) (Mark – director, writer, actor) *''One of the Good Ones'' (2019) (Michael – executive producer) https://oneofthegoodonesfilm.com *''
Force of Nature Forces of nature are literally natural phenomena Nature, in the broadest sense, is the natural, physical, material world or universe The universe ( la, universus) is all of space and time and their contents, including planets, stars ...
'' (2020) (Michael – director)


Bibliography

*'' The Declaration of Independent Filmmaking: An Insider's Guide to Making Movies Outside of Hollywood, with Jonathan Sheldon.
Mariner Books Mariner Books, an imprint of HMH Books, was established in 1997 as a publisher of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry in paperback. Mariner is also the publisher of the Harvest imprint backlist, formerly published by Harcourt (publisher), Harcourt B ...
2005,


References


External links

* * {{DEFAULTSORT:Polish, M 1970 births Film producers from California Screenwriters from California Independent Spirit Award winners
Living people Related categories * :Year of birth missing (living people) / :Year of birth unknown * :Date of birth missing (living people) / :Date of birth unknown * :Place of birth missing (living people) / :Place of birth unknown * :Year of death mi ...
Sibling duos Sibling filmmakers Twin people from the United States People from El Centro, California American film directors of Mexican descent Film directors from California