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Finn Taylor

Poet-cum-helmer doubles as prolific Hollywood scribe

Themes of redemption and rescue surround the work of Finn Taylor, who studied poetry with poet and author Richard Hugo and received the 1987 Robert Browning Award for Dramatic Monologue before turning to screenwriting.

Although his script for the 1994 “Pontiac Moon” got him a lot of work (and spawned a love match between Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen), Taylor was disappointed with the film.

That frustration drove him to make his directorial debut with “Dream With the Fishes.” A subversive buddy movie starring David Arquette, “Fishes” took an upbeat look at squirmy concepts like voyeurism and death. It premiered at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim and was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics.

Since then, he’s written the script for Universal Pictures’ “Chaos Theory,” a romance involving two insurance company risk assessors that may serve as his studio debut.

In the meantime, Taylor hopes to return to Sundance with “Cherish,” shot in and around his hometown of Oakland, Calif. The film blends elements of Albert Camus with Alfred Hitchcock in the story of an irresponsible young woman (Robin Tunney) who’s falsely convicted of killing a policeman and sentenced to house arrest. Her only human contact is her monitor (Tim Blake Nelson), but the limits of their relationship become fuzzy as he helps her find her way toward freedom.

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