Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Director Roulette: Peter Weir

Birth: 21 August 1944

First Film (as director): The Cars That Ate Paris [1974]

Last Film (as director): The Way Back [2010]

Notable Projects: Picnic at Hanging Rock [1975], Gallipoli [1981], Dead Poets Society [1989], The Truman Show [1998], Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World [2003]

Genres: drama, satire

Common Themes: forbidden love, culture clashes, violence versus pacifism, conformity versus non-conformity

Directing Techniques: dreamlike compositions sometimes bordering on the surreal, distorted sounds, slow motion, and un-naturalistic light exposure

Interesting Facts: He’s a private man – not exactly a prolific director – about 15 feature films in his 35-year career. He’s worked with and help further launch careers of actors that had previously been unable to show their full range (Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, Robin Williams, Jim Carrey)

My Comments: Weir borders on and almost never fully reaches, a comic pitch in his films – which makes him hard to pigeon hole as solely being a dramatic director – the closest I can think of director wise is Terry Gilliam – who shares a similar style and seems to tackle things in the same fashion – but Weir uses “less” where Gilliam uses “more”.

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