Charles Alexandre Rockwell

Associate Arts Professor

Photo of Associate Arts Professor Charles Alexandre Rockwell

A skilled and celebrated filmmaker, Alexandre Rockwell is perhaps best known for his works In the Soup and 13 Moons. Alex's characters are as intricate as they are flawed. He abstains from the shotgun pop of mainstream film and uses classical techniques and sheer creativity to tell his stories.

It is fair to say that Alex has filmmaking in his blood. His father ran a film laboratory in Cambridge MA. His grandfather, the Russian-born animator Alexandre Alexeieff, and his grandmother, American artist, Claire Parker, met and married in France. They spent their lives making animated films together and famously originated Pinscreen Animation. Alex went to Paris to train in filmmaking with his grandfather during his late teens. He later attended the Cinemateque Francais where he formally studied the craft. He also apprenticed at Harvard University's Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts. Later he returned to lecture there as a visiting artist.

Alex managed to establish himself by the 1980s. He already had several short films under his belt and his work was shown at Boston's Institute for Contemporary Art and New York City's Association of Independent Video and Film. This led to his first feature film, Lenz, which was shown at the 1982 Berlin Film Festival. He followed up with the release of Hero, which won a Special Jury Prize at the 1984 U.S. Film Festival. In 1986, he married Yale graduate and Flashdance star, Jennifer Beals who starred in many of his films. In 1989, Alex wrote a role in his feature Sons for legendary film director Sam Fuller. He and Sam would go on to collaborate on a number of screenplays together.

Alex received praise at The Sundance Film Festival for his Grand Prize award-winning In The Soup. The movie featured Steve Buscemi, Seymour Cassel, Stanley Tucci, Sam Rockwell and his then wife Jennifer Beals. The success of In The Soup solidified Alex as an iconoclast of the independent New York film movement of the nineties.

His next film, Somebody to Love, starred many of his regular collaborators with the addition of Rosie Perez, Harvey Keitel and Anthony Quinn, and was met with critical acclaim and was premiered at the Venice Film Festival.

In the ensemble-directing film Four Rooms, Alex directed 'The Wrong Man,' one of 4 stories, along with Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriquez and Allison Anders.

Alex’s next feature, Louis & Frank, was made for French producer Marin Karmitz and starred Tony Curtis, Aidan Quinn, and Steve Buscemi.

In 2002, Alex wrote, produced, and directed micro feature 13 Moons. 13 Moons marked a return to pure independent film. The comedy featured a strong ensemble cast including Steve Buscemi, Peter Dinklage, Peter Stormare, and Karyn Parsons. (Rockwell married Parsons (best known for her work as "Hilary Banks" on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" (1990-1996) on Valentine’s Day, 2003. Together they have two children Lana (9) and Nico (5) and live in Greenpoint, Brooklyn).

Rockwell became an adjunct professor for Tisch Grad Film from in 2007 to 2010 and was hired to teach full time in 2011.

Since coming to NYU Alex completed the feature Pete Smalls Is Dead, starring Peter Dinklage, Tim Roth, and Steve Buscemi. Alex used many of his former Grad Students in key positions to make the film and it has gone on to premiere at the Rome International Film Festival and is currently being distributed world wide by W2 Media.

Alex continues to write and direct and is presently rewriting a script for Quentin Tarrantino’s production company Vision Romantica and is editing a currently untitled feature shot in Los Angeles in 2011.


Writing & Directing II: Spring Narrative
Dircting IV/Master Class
Directing Projects
Independent Study