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Paul Greengrass

Directors in the Oscar race

For a director famous for his shaky-camera style, Brit helmer Greengrass had a rock-solid year. The success of “The Bourne Ultimatum” has firmly put the former docu director in the top echelons of Hollywood’s action-thriller directors.

“Making films is like making souffles: So many things can and do go wrong,” says Greengrass, who insists a helmer must maintain his vision. “The most important thing is that if the souffle doesn’t come up, at least make sure you are the cook.”

Greengrass is poised to cook up a storm with his next pic, “Imperial Life in the Emerald City,” along with “Bourne” thesp Matt Damon, about the controversial U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad in the immediate aftermath of Saddam Hussein’s fall.

“Film shouldn’t be disenfranchised from the national conversation,” says Greengrass, who has covered other politically sensitive subject matters as the 9/11 attacks in “United 93” and the conflict in Northern Ireland with Berlin fest winner “Bloody Sunday.” “It is never too soon for cinema to engage with events that shape our lives.”

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