Vale – J. Michael Riva

J Michael Riva - 1948-2012

Oscar nominated film production designer J Michael Riva has passed away. Riva came into film production design as an art director on 1976’s Ilsa, Haren Keeper Of The Oil Sheiks, and worked his way through the industry before being called up by Steven Spielberg to design the sets for The Color Purple. For that film, Riva was nominated for an Academy Award. The same year he sparked the imagination of youngsters everywhere by designing the massive sets for The Goonies, and his mainstream career came of age. Following that breakout year in ’85, Riva would go on to work on films such as Lethal Weapon, Tango & Cash, A Few Good Men, Congo, Hard Rain, 2000’s Charlie’s Angels, Stealth, Spider-Man 3, Iron Man and Iron Man 2. Two films he was working on at the time of his death will be released posthumously – Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, and the upcoming reboot, The Amazing Spider-Man.

Mr Riva passed away from a stroke, on June 7th, aged 63. We tip our hat to J Michael Riva today.


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Never blessed with a body worthy of a porn star, nor being the heir to a wealthy industrialists fortune, nor suffering the tragedy of having his parents murdered outside a Gotham theater, Rodney is, contrary to popular opinion, neither Ron Jeremy, JD Rockefeller, or Batman. As a serious appreciator of film since 1996, Rodney's love affair with the medium has continued with his online blog, Fernby Films, a facility allowing him to communicate with fellow cineasts in their mutual love of all things movie.

Vale – J. Michael Riva

by Rodney Twelftree
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