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Director Bryan Singer donates $5 million to USC's film school

February 07, 2013|By Nicole Sperling
  • Director Bryan Singer works on the set of 2006's "Superman Returns."
Director Bryan Singer works on the set of 2006's "Superman Returns." (David James / Warner Bros. )

Director Bryan Singer has donated $5 million to his alma mater USC's School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) and its critical studies division. Now titled the Bryan Singer Division of Critical Studies, the unit from which Singer graduated in 1989 with a bachelor's degree, it examines all forms of moving image media from an analytical and historical perspective.

“We are thrilled and extremely grateful for Bryan’s generosity and vision in naming SCA’s Division of Critical Studies,” said SCA Dean Elizabeth M. Daley in a statement. “His gift is not only a fitting recognition of the division’s importance for the next generation of scholars and media makers, but validation of critical studies as a unique path to understanding and mastering the art and practice of cinema.”

Singer said his contribution to the USC division is a fitting homecoming of sorts.

“In a way, I began my career in the Division of Critical Studies at USC,” said the director. “Watching great films and learning how to think about film from the faculty transformed me as an artist and as a person.  I am honored to give back to the division and the school, which gave me so much.”

Singer first landed in the spotlight in 1995 when his thriller "The Usual Suspects" grossed $23 million and earned Oscars for actor Kevin Spacey and screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie. The New York-born director followed up his critical hit with "Apt Pupil" before turning to the superhero genre with the "X-Men" series and "Superman Returns." He is set to direct a new entry in the mutant movie franchise, "X-Men: Days of Future Past."

His latest movie, "Jack the Giant Slayer," which hits theaters on March 1, is a fantastical retelling of the Jack and the Beanstalk fairy tale. It stars Nicholas Hoult, Ewan McGregor and Stanley Tucci. 


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