Oscar-nominated filmmaker Morgan Spurlock passes away at 53

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, director of the groundbreaking documentary 'Super Size Me', has died after a private battle with cancer. He was 53, reported Deadline.

ANI | Updated: 25-05-2024 19:01 IST | Created: 25-05-2024 19:01 IST
Oscar-nominated filmmaker Morgan Spurlock passes away at 53
Morgan Spurlock (Image source/X) . Image Credit: ANI
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Oscar-nominated filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, director of the the documentary 'Super Size Me', has died after a private battle with cancer. He was 53, reported Deadline. Spurlock "passed away peacefully in New York surrounded by family and friends", according to a family statement that noted the cause was complications of cancer.

"It was a sad day, as we said goodbye to my brother Morgan," said Craig Spurlock, one of the filmmaker's older brothers. They collaborated on several documentary projects, including Morgan Spurlock Inside Man and 7 Deadly Sins. "Morgan gave so much through his art, ideas, and generosity. The world has lost a true creative genius and a special man. I am so proud to have worked together with him." Spurlock willingly ate nothing but McDonald's food for 30 days for his breakout film, Super Size Me, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 20 years ago. The experiment was designed to analyse the health impact of a fast food diet. He placed himself on video, Michael Moore-style, to document how his weight ballooned and he suffered near-fatal liver damage from eating Quarter Pounder combination meals, French fries, flapjacks, breakfast sausages, and the like while sipping soft drinks.

As per Deadline, the film earned more than 20 million dollars worldwide, a huge sum for a documentary, and set Spurlock on a path to becoming one of the most successful figures in nonfiction film. But his career derailed during the MeToo movement in 2017 when Spurlock wrote a blog post confessing to a history of sexual misconduct. He resigned from Warrior Poets, the production company he had founded in 2004. Spurlock's filmography includes Mansome, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, and Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden? He usually appeared on film in his documentaries, a friendly figure with a handlebar moustache framing a welcoming smile. His affability obscured important examinations of consumerism, advertising, masculinity, and the war on terror. In a break from his often comic investigative documentaries, he filmed One Direction: This Is Us, a 2013 music-driven documentary about the growth of the British boy band.

"Spurlock fearlessly challenged modern conventions utilizing humor and wit to shed light on societal issues," the family said in its statement. "His films inspired critical thinking and encouraged viewers to question the status quo. Over thirteen years, through his production company Warrior Poets, Spurlock found additional success producing and directing nearly 70 documentary films and television series." The statement continued, "He deeply valued the creative contributions of the talented people who worked on his projects, developing a cadre of freelance production professionals who came back time and again. A great lover of modern artists, Spurlock compiled an extensive art collection, which decorated the walls of his home and the Warrior Poets office in SoHo, New York."

Spurlock is survived by two sons, Laken and Kallen; his mother Phyllis; his father Ben; brothers Craig and Barry; and former spouses Alexandra Jamieson and Sara Bernstein, the mothers of his children. The family said memorial service arrangements will be announced in the near future. They added, "In Morgan's honour, please consider a generous donation to the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge in New York City," reported Deadline. (ANI)

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