Born on July 9, 1939, in New York City, Neil Hollander is widely regarded as a unique phenomenon in American literature and cinematography, mainly due to the impact he created in the filmmaking industry.
Born in a small family in Brooklyn, Hollander was inspired by the street art we was seeing in his neighborhood. That inspired an interest in him for all artistic expressions. He followed that urge and following his graduation from high school Hollander enrolled at the RISD school of arts in his hometown. After completing his studies at the New York University of Arts, he started to recognise his artistic sensibility to the rational social criticism and modernist doubt in the power of reason. By the end of the eighties is when Hollander started to mature in his artistic expressions. That time correspondences the with the period when so-called artists of the New Wave in New York urban area more or less began to get familiar with the life and work of this author. Being one of the last surviving members of that golden era, he founded and created his “Hollander Film” studio back in 1989. With this he offered another, and in those time it can be said a unique, opportunity to other filmmakers to learn and get familiar with other free-minded trends in the world of film.
Hollander marked his appearance in the world of film with his first documentary entitled “The Last Sailors: The Final Days of Working Sail” from 1984. With this project Hollander announces that he is an author that can be labeled as equally interested in both socio-political framework and the complex relationships of conscious and subconscious desires that make up the human experience of the same. However, not until he made his second film Neil Hollander revealed his true artistic expression of those interests. “Riding the Rails” which he did in 1988 can be considered as one of the most important films in the history of West American cinematography. Also, this film marks the era of making fully artistic narrative films in global terms. The meditation and isolation in a bureaucratic system completely renounces the descriptive-narrative form and uses contemporary artistic expression in an attempt to describe an abstract feeling. Although Hollander is not a draftsman, most of his films display him as an author and person who knows how to choose his associates, because after Riding the Rails follow extremely conscious art films, respectively part of the classics of American cinematography.
Riding the Rails, his film from 1990, gives us a simple idea of the future in which people tend to self-destroyed themselves. This film is displayed in a reverse chronological aesthetically rich frame. Probably the most famous project of Hollander, H for Hunger from 2009 is his attempt to bring upfront the question of human starvation in 21st century. This film is also presented in narrative form where the main role was reserved for Henry Rollins. The directing, music and art displayed in it is so playful, like a story that follows its own trail to the least memorable element. One of the most striking projects of alienation in the modern metropolis middle of the last century has been made with films like Goldlust (2014), then the Burma saga Under the Radar: Burma (2010) which has the most expressive examples of the modernist approach to the oeuvre of the RISD School. It should also be noted projects like Burma: A Human Tragedy (2011), an experimental "picture book" based on motives of the political crisis in Myanmar and is among the most versatile work Hollander has created so far.
Since the mid-nineties, Neil Hollander has devoted himself to producing and directing feature films. He remains to write books and has so far published several books like: The Great Zoo Break, Elusive Dove, The Yachtsman's Emergency Handbook: The Complete Survival Manual and Cook is the Captain among others.