After a struggle with his health in the last few years, Albert Pyun, the director of the 1990’s Captain America movie, passed away this last weekend. Having been a visionary in his field, he leaves a long legacy for future filmmakers to look to for inspiration.
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Albert Pyun’s Career
Now world-famous, director Albert Pyun was born in 1953 in Hawaii on the 19th of May. He was raised by his family as a military child, as they lived on various bases worldwide. Throughout his life, he has moved away and returned to the Rainbow State of Hawaii several times, where he managed to obtain a few opportunities that kick-started his career.
He quickly built a career as a genre filmmaker, developing his signature film styles while working on low budgets, like an immersive form of dreamy lighting. His signature post-apocalyptic dilapidation depicts a destroyed world after an apocalypse and surreal and almost balletic action. He quickly found an enthusiastic following among film lovers of the genre.
Director Albert Pyun had an excellent and prolific career that spanned over four decades, creating a significant, sweeping body of works that included Cyborg, the four-part series Nemesis, the first feature-length live-action adaptation of Captain America in 1990, and one of the movies that raised him to stardom, The Sword and the Sorcerer. The film was an unlikely massive hit, grossing $40 million at the box office on a $4 million budget. However, this film was arguably the movie that launched his directorial career.
He got his first break as an intern on the production of Akira Kurosawa’s 1975 feature Derzu Uzula after one of the Japanese actors, Toshiro Mifune, saw one of his short films. After the project concluded, he followed the actor to work in production for one of his TV shows, receiving tutelage from Takao Saito, Kurosawa’s regular cinematographer.
After that stint in cinematography, he returned to his home in Hawaii to film commercials before moving to Los Angelis, where he started to make a name for himself as an incredibly resourceful producer, able to produce quick turnarounds. He then started funding his projects, such as Road to Hell, Bulletface and Invasion.
Albert Pyun’s Death
Tragically, it was reported that Albert Pyun passed away in Las Vegas, Nevada, last Saturday. The world-famous director was 69 years old when he passed after struggling with health issues for the previous few years. He was open with the public about his diagnosis of multiple sclerosis and dementia, and his wife and producer Cynthia Curnan often spoke about updates on his condition. During the last few months, she had been imploring fans to share their love, and personal messages with the director after his health began to decline severely.
Curnan took to social media to confirm her husband’s passing through Facebook, saying she saw it as a privilege to sit with him for his last moments. “I sat with him for his last breath that sounded like he was releasing the weight of the world.” In the social media post, she also shared that Albert had been working on two unfinished projects before his passing, which he had been hoping to turn into a six-part TV series because he was the type of person never to accept any failure.
Fans of the director continue to pour out their love for him and their condolences for his wife as she deals with this incredible loss. When someone has a prolific legacy, their light will forever shine throughout genre history.
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