The Hands of Bresson

Sundry observations on the art of cinema and world film culture

John Hillcoat, The Road

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In life and art, John Hillcoat takes the road less traveled. Born in Queensland, Australia and raised in the United States, Hillcoat got a crash course in mid-sixties American music and culture from his parents, who took him to folk festivals where Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, and old-time blues musicians left a distinct impression. “As a young kid, I was thrown into the sixties in America, which was an unbelievable period, and my parents were very swept up in the civil rights movement,” he recalls. “I remember going on marches and seeing the profound upheaval of that time.” Hillcoat returned Down Under as a teen and, having soaked up the influence of Southern writers like Flannery O’Connor and William Faulkner, as well as Canadian author Michael Ondaatje (The Collected Works of Billy the Kid remains a touchstone), began making short films. While bouncing around Melbourne in the late ’70s, he met Birthday Party front man Nick Cave, who became a close friend and, many years later, an important collaborator on Hillcoat’s critically acclaimed Aussie western The Proposition (2005), which the rock singer wrote and scored. “He watches more films than anyone I know,” says Hillcoat, explaining their natural affinity. “Whereas in my free time I’m listening to music, so there’s another connection I think works.”

Click here to read my interview with John Hillcoat at Filmmaker.


Written by eyemaster

November 30, 2009 at 1:48 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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