Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Phillip Noyce

We are back from Hawaii, and now it's time to get back to all my researching.

I'm going to guess that Phillip Noyce is an actor. I seem to be having a lot of those lately. But I could be wrong.

Ah! Lord Wiki says I AM wrong. But I was in the correct general direction. Noyce is a film director. So, we're still in that industry.

Speaking of film and television.....

I sent my parents our Hawaii photos. There's a few of one of the Lost sets. It's a camping type area with bits of the crashed plane. In some of the photos, Tim and I are happily posing in front of the scene. My dad thought it was a real plane crash site! That cracked me up. Goodness. I'm not THAT callous.

Noyce didn't direct Lost, so I should probably stop blabbing about it, and our Hawaiian adventure.

He DID make some of Tim's favourite movies; Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger. Tim's a fan of Tom Clancy. He loves military thriller type things.

Noyce also made The Bone Collector. I hated that movie, because the beginning scared the shit out of me. Have any of you seen it? It's probably not that bad if you don't live in a big city, and you never catch a cab. But if you saw the movie while living a life as a New, that's not fun. The movie made me scared of taxis. And that would be fine, except there's also movies about bus and subway bombs. I think this may be why I prefer to walk as much as possible when visiting big cities.

Baby Phillip was born in Griffith, New South Wales. on 29 April 1950. His 60th birthday is coming up! I hope someone has something fun planned for him.

Where is Griffith? It sound familar to me. My memory is even worse than usual right now. I'll blame it on jet lag. I feel very disoriented, and I'm feeling that half my family is missing.

Maybe I'm being overdramatic.

I'm looking at Google Maps. Griffith is out west, near Wagga Wagga. Although it's really not that close. They're about three hours away from each other.

Lord Wiki says Griffith used to be known for drugs and organized crime. Now it's more known for good wine and food. I feel I've encountered it before. Maybe someone I met was from there? Or maybe it was on one of those map games I used to play. Yeah. That's probably it.

For school, Noyce went to Barker College in Sydney. Either the family moved, or he went to boarding school.

I just realized it's noon, and Jack hasn't shown his face yet. Is he still sleeping? I better go check.

Well, he was still asleep. I didn't have the heart to wake him, so I just gave him a cuddle. I probably SHOULD wake him, so we don't end up on a horrible schedule. I hate forcing people to wake up though. Plus, I don't think he's feeling so well. His throat was hurting last night. He probably needs to catch up on sleep. He's been exhausted the last few days. I'll keep checking on him though. I kind of just cuddle and kiss him. I say a few nice words in his ear. I figure if he's too tired, he'll just ignore me. If he's ready to wake up, he'll do so.

I'm not doing very well with my research today. I keep getting distracted. I haven't gotten my GROOVE back yet.

Let's see.....

Noyce attended the Australian Film Television and Radio School. Other alumni include Gilliam Armstrong, Jane Campion, and Rolf de Heer. That last sentence doesn't seem grammatically correct to me, but I'm too lazy to figure out how to say it correctly. Or maybe it already is correct. I'm not sure.

Noyce has been married twice, and has a daughter with his second wife.

Lord Wiki says Noyce has said that the movie he's most proud of is Rabbit Proof Fence. I haven't seen that yet, but I read the book.

I'm going to go check on my child again, and then I'll move onto IMDb.

Yikes. He's still asleep, and this time I actually did try to wake him more. He looked at me briefly, and then closed his eyes again. Poor kid.

I'm looking at Noyce's filmography. It looks like the earliest thing he did was as an actor in 1971. This was in Peter Weir's movie, Homesdale. I kind of remember writing about it. It's about people holidaying at a hunter lodge.

Then in 1973, Noyce directed two movie shorts. One was Castor and Pollux, and the other was That's Showbiz.

Jack finally woke up! He's a bit groggy.

I'm wondering how Noyce got his start in the film industry. I'm going back to talk to Lord Wiki. I don't think I listened to him well before. Anyway, he says Noyce started making films when he was eighteen. His friends starred in them. Those aren't on IMDb. I guess they don't qualify for some reason. I wonder what a movie needs to have in order to be on there. Maybe it has to be registered, or something?

Noyce went to that film school in 1973, so I'm guessing Castor and Pollux, and That's Showbiz were film school movies.

In 1975, Noyce worked as an assistant director for a feature length film. This was The Golden Cage. And in 1976, he was an assistant director for Let the Balloon Go.

In 1977, Noyce directed his own movie; Backroads. It was 60 minutes. I'm not sure if that would qualify as feature-length, or if that would be a short. The Australian Screen site has some information about the movie, and some scenes. It seems to be about a white man and aboriginal man going on an adventure together. It's a white-black relations type of thing.

In 1978, Noyce made Newsfront. It's about the people who made the movie newsreel things. Bill Hunter was in this, and he's also one of the guys who starred in Backroads.

I'm back to looking at the Australian Screen site. I should remember this site. It's probably a good resource for older Aussie movies....maybe newer ones too.

Here's a clip. Is that Bryan Brown getting in trouble?

The movie won the AFI award for best film, and Noyce received the best director award. Cool.

It looks like Noyce then took a break for four years. I wonder what he did during that time.

In 1982, he made Heatwave. Bill Hunter was in this one too, and so was Judy Davis. The Australian Screen website doesn't seem to have clips from this one.

In 1983, Noyce directed the miniseries The Dismissal. Guess who was one of the actors? Yes! Bill Hunter! Hunter played Rex Connor, the guy involved with the whole Middle East loans thing.

The miniseries won a Logie for best miniseries.

The Australian Screen site has clips from the movie.

Oh! I just noticed. Noyce was a co-director for this film. George Miller was the other director. I probably wrote about this movie when I researched him.

Those clips are pretty powerful.

In 1984, Noyce directed another miniseries, and Bill Hunter wasn't in it. This was The Cowra Breakout. This was the event where some Japanese prisoners of war escaped from their prison.

Here are some clips. The movie talks about how the Japanese saw it as incredibly shameful to be a prisoner. Death was preferred. I wonder if they still feel that way.

Wow. The last few lines in the third clip are intense.

In 1987, Noyce made Echoes of Paradise. It's about an Australian woman who goes to Thailand, and has a romance with a Thai guy.

I need to feed my cats. I shall be back....

Well, I ended up feeding us humans too.

In 1989, Noyce made Dead Calm. This is the movie with Nicole Kidman.

The IMDb trivia page says the movie is based on a novel, and that Orson Wells also made a movie based on it.

I'm back on the Australian Screen site to watch some clips.

There's a lot of suspense here.

So, did Billy Zane kill all those people? He was on an episode or two of Charmed. He played a reformed demon. I liked him in that. It was nice to see him playing someone who's not a total asshole.

Also in 1989, Noyce made an American movie called Blind Fury. John Locke is in it! It's about a blind Vietnam vet who is taught sword fighting. I guess it's kind of a swashbuckling film thing.

Here's the trailer. You can see John Locke at :52.

In 1992, Noyce did Patriot Games. Tim loves that movie. I'm not sure if he prefers this one, or Clear and Present Danger.

Thora Birch is in the movie. She was one of those child stars of the early 1990's. There was her and Maucalay Culkin, Anna Chlumsky, Christina Ricci, Anna Paquin, Elijah Wood, etc. It's pretty cool that some of their careers are still going fairly strong.

The IMDb trivia page has some interesting stuff.

The original trailer had the lines, There's never been a terrorist attack on American soil. But the line was not kept in the movie, because they felt it might seen like a dare. And not too long after the movie came out, the world trade center was bombed. A few years after that, we had the Oklahoma City attack.

Lord Wiki though says there had been earlier attacks. I guess it all depends on how you define terrorism.

In 1984, there was a bio-terror attack. I didn't know about this. Some Indian mystic group gave a bunch of people Salmonella poisoning. Yuck! I'm so scared of that sickness.

Patriot Games is about Irish terrorism. Here's the trailer. Harrison Ford kind of reminds me of Norman Bates at :45.

Darth Vader is the one who does the line about no terrorism on US soil. Speaking of Darth's a great video.

In 1993, Noyce made Sliver. This was that movie starring William Baldwin and Sharon Stone. It's based on an Ira Levin book. Back in my college days, I was really into the Levin stuff. I loved Rosemary's Baby. That movie is so awesome....incredibly suspenseful.

What else did Levin make? There was Boys From Brazil. I liked that. What else? Help me, Lord Wiki.

Oh! He did The Stepford Wives! That was a great story too.

Sliver is the one about voyeurism. A landlord has hidden cameras in an apartment building. If I was going to be guilty of any crime and/or vise, it would probably be that one. I'm very nosy. I'd love to be able to spy on people. Although I doubt I'd do it because I'd feel all guilty. And I don't think I'd want to see really private stuff. I wouldn't want to watch people having sex....with themselves, or others. I definitely wouldn't want to watch people on the toilet.

Maybe that's why most of us love the Internet so much. We get to see into the lives of others. And we don't have to feel that guilty because we're invited inside. People get to decide what they want to share, and what they want to keep private.

Here's the trailer for Sliver.

I saw the movie. I want to say I saw it with Tim, but we weren't even dating yet. I wonder who I did see it with.

In 1994, we had the sequel to Patriot Games; Clear and Present Danger. I saw one or both of the movies. I don't remember them much. I'm guessing I found them to be boring. Maybe? I think, for me, they're those movies where the highlight of the experience is the candy and popcorn.

In this movie, Harrison Ford fights Columbian drug lord people.

Here's the trailer.

In 1997, Noyce did a science fiction thriller called The Saint. I'm not sure if I've heard of this before. Val Kilmer is the star. It's an international thief type thing. I don't really like those types of movies. Maybe that's why I haven't heard of it.

Here's the trailer. Yeah. I don't think I'd like it.

In 1999, Noyce directed The Bone Collector. It's about a serial killer. I wonder if YouTube has the scary taxi scene. No. I can't find it. But here's the trailer. Lord Wiki is reminding me that there's not one Taxi scene. The killer uses his taxi as a way to get victims. You know, we talk about the dangers of hitchhiking. You're at risk of picking someone up, and you're also at risk when you accept a ride. But there's some risk in the whole cab thing as well. I'm getting myself all paranoid. That's why I need to avoid such movies! I need to think positively. Most cab drivers, and the passengers they pick up, are nice and harmless. Right?

In 2002, Noyce made Rabbit-Proof Fence. This is the story of young stolen Aboriginal girls trying to find their way back to their families. In the last movie, we had a cab driver who kidnapped people. In this movie we have a government doing the kidnapping.

The movie won an AFI for best film, but Noyce didn't get the best director award.

Here's the trailer. And here's some behind the scenes stuff. Mr. Noyce is there, doing his work.

It's a horrifying, yet fascinating clip. They're dealing with the scene when the children are kidnapped. The actors and some of the crew seem very traumatized by it. It makes me wonder....When a scene is done depicting real events, is some amount of post-traumatic-stress disorder experienced by the actors? I'd imagine there'd be some amount of it. I think we can feel some stress just by WATCHING it safely in our living rooms. I always find some amount of relief watching blooper reels featuring the villains, or hearing that the bad guy is a nice guy in real life. There's a sense of relief there...but less so when you know the story is based on real events.

This website has an article about Noyce and Rabbit-Proof Fence.

It's pretty funny. It says that Noyce was living in Los Angeles. An Australian called him at 3 am in the morning. When the phone rang, he was terrified that something bad had happened. Yeah. I HATE late night phone calls. I guess he relaxed when he heard the Aussie accent. It was just someone who hadn't bothered to figure out the whole time difference thing. That annoying someone was a screenwriter named Christine Olson. She wanted Noyce to make her movie.

Noyce was annoyed at being woken up, and angry to be harassed by a screenwriter. I'm sure film directors are often bothered by people who want their screenplays read. Yeah. And uh....if you're a film director, here's my screenplay. Please read it. Thanks.

The article is not really explaining how the screenwriter got Noyce to finally look at the script. But when he did, he was intrigued, and jumped onboard.

Noyce got all wrapped up into the American-film life. Rabbit-Proof Fence helped rekindle his connection to Australia. It also led him to ponder his own childhood. In Griffith, there was a nearby Aboriginal settlement. The black people were kept away with a bobwire fence. Noyce had given them little thought.

Oh shit. This is so damn sad. One of the kidnapped children was an infant named Annabelle. She was told she was white, and refuses to have anything to do with her Aboriginal family or heritage. Her sister, Doris Pilkington Garimara is the one who wrote the book.

I'm getting all confused here, but now I got it straight. I thought Annabelle was the sister of the girls kidnapped in the story. But she's not. She's the daughter of the main character (Molly), and was kidnapped later. The author is the daughter of Molly. She wrote her mother's story, and sent copies of it to Annabelle. Annabelle sent it back, without reading it. What's her deal? Even her children are reaching out...trying to connect with their aunt and grandmother. There were aspects of denial in Sally Morgan's book, but that was different. That was less about shame, and more about fear and anger towards white people. Oh. Well, who knows. Maybe that's the case here. There's a difference between being ashamed of your ethnicity, and wanting to hide it because you know those of your kind are mistreated.

Anyway, I hope Annabelle finds the strength to accept her family someday.

In 2002, Noyce also made the movie The Quiet American. Brendan Fraser was in it. It's a love triangle thing that takes place in 1950's Vietnam. Here's the trailer.

The IMDb trivia page says the movie's release was held up a year because of 9/11. They thought it would be seen as anti-American. I'm talking to Lord Wiki now....trying to figure out what the whole thing was about. He says it's about how America tried to manipulate things in Vietnam in order to illicit support of a war. I'm not sure if this is all true, or if it was just a movie thing. I'm leaning towards the former....unfortunately. Lord Wiki says that some militia was armed by the US, and they caused some terrorist attacks. People blamed the Communists for the attacks, and that motivated people into supporting the war.

It does remind me of 9/11. There's some who say that the American government CAUSED 9/11. I'm not going to go that far. But I do think the government manipulated the situation for their own political gain. Fear is a great instrument of control.

I just realized I'm really on Hawaii time here. I woke up most morning there between 5 and 6. This morning here, I woke up at 10. That would be 5 in Hawaii time. So, now it's almost 6 pm, and it feels like afternoon to me. It's almost dinner, but I feel I should be eating lunch.

I MISS Hawaii!!!! Tim was talking about retiring there. I'd love that. It's very doubtful we can retire to Australia....unless we become extremely wealthy. For a nice life in Hawaii, we just have to be reasonably wealthy. It would be perfect because we'd be between Australia and the mainland U.S.

The thing we all miss most though is our friends. So, they'll have to move to Hawaii too. They're flying back to Sydney right now. I was thinking about them today...well, actually lately I'm thinking about them almost constantly. It's kind of freaky that they're on a plane right now. It's like they're kind of timeless. For the past day or two, I keep wondering What time is it in Hawaii? And what are Tracey, Alex, and Tara doing? Now they have no time really. It's 1:50 PM on Tuesday in Hawaii, and 9 am on Wednesday in Sydney. But they're inbetween. International flying is creepy that way.

Back to Noyce.....

In 2004, he did a segment of a documentary called Bern-Vindo a Sau Paulo. It's about a city in Brazil. I wonder how Noyce got involved with that. Maybe he's a fan of Brazil.

In 2006, Noyce did a movie about Apartheid-era South Africa. This was Catch a Fire. Lord Wiki makes the movie sound really interesting. It's basically about a guy who's accused of terrorism. He's tortured, and his family is as well. This trauma leads to great anger, and the guy BECOMES a terrorist. The world is crazy that way.

Noyce has a movie that's supposed to come out in July. It's with Angelina Jolie, who he worked with on The Bone Collector. This new movie is called Salt. It's about a CIA agent accused of being a Russian Spy. That doesn't sound interesting to me.

Here's the trailer.

Well, actually it looks sort of okay.

I think Tim would like it.

I wonder if she is a spy.

Noyce has seven other movies in development, but you have to be an IMDbPro member to learn about least from IMDb.

I'll look elsewhere for some clues.

We have Above Suspicion which is about an FBI agent convicted of murder. It's kind of in the similar vein as Salt. They both involve government officials accused of crime.

Oh! Dirt Music!!! That's another one. I read that book. Although I may have overdone my excitement. I was confusing it with The Riders. I liked that Tim Winton book more. But Dirt Music is good too.

This old blog entry says that Heath Ledger was supposed to be in it. I wonder if they've found a replacement yet.

Noyce is going to do another South African thing. This is Mixed Blood, which is supposed to star Samuel Jackson.

He's also going to do a remake of the Errol Flynn movie, Captain Blood. That might be cool. I wonder who will star in it.

I'm going to read the IMDb trivia page about Noyce now.

He moved to Sydney when he was twelve. So he did spend a fair amount of his youth in Griffith.

IMDb disagrees with Lord Wiki. They say Noyce has been married three times, and has three kids.

I was about to quit because I wasn't finding anything interesting. But guess what. There's an Andrew Denton interview with Noyce. That's cool. Those interviews are usually interesting.

It seems to that Noyce is trying to be all noble. He says he didn't WANT to leave Australia to do American films, but he feels he had to because there wasn't enough Aussie film money to go around. He says, No, but I thought, there's so many of us Schepsi's and Weir's and Armstrong's and Beresford's and so on, that some of us have got to leave, or the blood is going to be about the colour of this carpet as we fight for the little funds that are available. Well, that was generous of him to leave....I guess.

Noyce talks about how directing a blockbuster movie is extremely stressful, but also fun.

He and author Tom Clancy didn't get along very well. I think that would be hard. Would it be worse for the writer, or director? I mean it would be horrible if you didn't like the director who was making the movie based on your book. But if I was a movie director, it would really hurt my feelings if the author didn't like me. Maybe it's how Tom Cruise felt when Anne Rice was all against him being cast as Lestat.

When Noyce first met Clancy, he went with his daughter to Clancy's home. Clancy was wearing all this military stuff, and was teaching Harrison Ford how to shoot a gun. Noyce fell asleep during the session, and Clancy didn't like this.

Noyce says he did like Harrison Ford though. He talks about how American film is so controlled by the A-list actors. Noyce says, They're the ones that decide what gets made or not. The whole of the town is set up for their benefit, monetarily and artistically. Yep. They're the center of the universe, and it's us who puts them there.

Now they're talking about Sliver. There was tension on that set because Baldwin and Stone didn't like each other. It also seems that Stone didn't like Noyce. Hostile work environments are awful.

Noyce allowed his daughter to see the film when she was eleven. That seems a bit young to watch that sort of movie. Maybe she was really mature though. Well, it seems she was actually. She offered her father very valuable and honest advice. Don't let anyone see that movie until you have a deal on your next film.

Denton asks Noyce about Rabbit Proof Fence, and why some people were so against the movie. Noyce says: Well, I think that the film...the whole notion of the stolen generation challenges our image of ourselves, the Paul Hogan image of Australians. The idea that we could have practised these policies that amounted to a form of genocide goes against our notions of ourselves. It was a challenge to the way we thought of ourselves. And I think that's why it was important to make the film, to offer that challenge.

Some folks want to cling to the idea that they, their family, their country, their religion, etc. are perfect. They can't stand for their delusion to be challenged. They get that love-it-or-leave-it attitude. Nothings perfect, and denying the bad stuff doesn't really help anyone. It's better to face the past, and try to make things right. I'm feeling awfully didactic right now. Although I think my blog is often like that. Maybe it's just that I'm feeling repetitive. I think I've said this all before.

On that note.....I'm done.

I'm going to go check my email.


  1. I did like the movie trailer...although, I think it'll be disappointing because good trailers seem to give all the good scenes away!

  2. Tim,

    I really don't get the deal with trailers giving everything away. Although they're good for people like me who rarely see movies. That way I can FEEL like I've watched the whole thing!

    I love ya!