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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 8, 2004

Photo: Director and screenwriter Nicholas Meyer. Click here for a high-resolution version of the image.

UI To Honor Writer-Director Nicholas Meyer

Director and screenwriter Nicholas Meyer, a 1968 graduate of the University of Iowa, will be an Ida Beam Distinguished Visiting Professor and be honored for his contributions to American film with a week of events at the university starting Sept. 27.

The week includes the Nicholas Meyer Film Festival, class visits, workshops and an appearance on WSUI radio's "Talk of Iowa Live from the Java House." Meyer will also screen several of his films, including his most recent, 2003's "The Human Stain," for which he adapted the screenplay from Philip Roth's novel.

Meyer is best known for his work with the Star Trek movie franchise. He directed and co-wrote "Stark Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," generally considered the best of the Star Trek movies. He also co-wrote the screenplay for "Stark Trek IV: The Voyage Home," and co-wrote and directed "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country."

Meyer was nominated for an Academy Award for best screenplay in 1976, for "The Seven Percent Solution," a Sherlock Holmes mystery. Meyer's other notable work was directing "The Day After," the 1983 made-for-TV movie that graphically dramatized life in a small Kansas town the day after a U.S./Soviet nuclear war. The movie provoked controversy for its grim and disturbing images of life after a nuclear attack. Nearly 100 million viewers watched, making it the most watched made-for-TV movie ever.

"Though primarily a story-oriented director, his style incorporates busy visuals and flowing camera movement," according to the Internet Movie Database at imdb.com. "Meyer also places a great deal of importance on the incidental music in his films, working closely with a composer to create themes to reinforce his vision of the story. He likes to maintain a sense of mystery in a story so that audiences will leave the film contemplating situations that are not fully explained."

Meyer, 58, was born in New York City and graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in theatre and film. While a student, he wrote more than 400 movie reviews for the Daily Iowan as the newspaper's film critic. Since graduating, he has written several best selling mystery novels, including "The Seven Percent Solution," which he later adapted as a screenplay. Other notable screenplays he has written or co-written include "Fatal Attraction," "The Prince of Egypt," and the acclaimed time travel story "Time After Time." He is currently working on a screenplay based on Michel Faber's novel, "The Crimson Petal & The White," and is writing a television pilot for ABC.

During his visit, Meyer will be a guest on WSUI Radio's "Talk of Iowa Live from the Java House" on Friday, Oct. 1. The show begins at 10 a.m. and can be heard at 910 AM.

Meyer will also meet with English, Film and Theatre students, and students in the UI Writers' Workshop. He will also visit the UI Libraries Special Collections Department in the Main Library, where he donated his papers several years ago and where they continue to be archived. The papers include scripts, drafts, storyboards and other material related to his films.

In conjunction with Meyer's appearance, the Nicholas Meyer Film Festival will be held through the week. Meyer will make post-screening remarks after four of them-"The Human Stain," "Vendetta," "Star Trek II" and "Star Trek VI." All films start at 8 p.m. in the Terrace Room in the Iowa Memorial Union unless otherwise noted. Admission is free. The schedule of films is as follows:

Monday, Sept. 27 - "The Seven Percent Solution"
Tuesday, Sept. 28 - "Time After Time"
Wednesday, Sept. 29 - "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan"
Thursday, Sept. 30 - "The Human Stain," Bijou Theatre (Illinois Room), IMU
Friday, Oct. 1 - "Vendetta"
Saturday, Oct. 2 - "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country"
Sunday, Oct. 3 - "Sommersby," 7 p.m.; "The Day After," 9 p.m.

Meyer's visit is sponsored by The Bijou Theatre, Department of Theatre Arts, UI Alumni Association, UI Foundation, Department of Cinema and Comparative Literature, UI Libraries, Writers' Workshop, Department of English and the Ida Beam Distinguished Visiting Professorships Program.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010, tom-snee@uiowa.edu.