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Peter Weir Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (2)  | Trivia (14)  | Personal Quotes (8)

Overview (2)

Born in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Birth NamePeter Lindsay Weir

Mini Bio (1)

Peter Weir was born on August 21, 1944 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia as Peter Lindsay Weir. He is a director and writer, known for Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003), Witness (1985) and The Truman Show (1998). He has been married to Wendy Stites since 1966. They have two children.

Spouse (1)

Wendy Stites (1966 - present) ( 2 children)

Trade Mark (2)

His characters often interact with technology, especially television, in ways that harm them or surprise the viewer, e.g. the church big screen TV in The Mosquito Coast (1986); the living room TV and TV control center in The Truman Show (1998); radio playing in the barn in Witness (1985), and so on.
His films often revolve around the individual standing up to conformity.

Trivia (14)

His films very often deal with people, who find themselves in surroundings, where they do not fit in (e.g. a Philadelphia Cop among the Amish, in Witness (1985), or a progressive teacher on a strictly conservative school, in Dead Poets Society (1989)).
His films often feature a key scene involving a main character fiddling with their radio.
Famous for making well-known comedy and genre actors into credible dramatic actors such as Harrison Ford, Robin Williams and Jim Carrey.
He was a part of the movement dubbed the "Australian New Wave" by the press. They were a group of filmmakers and performers who emerged from Down Under at about the same time in the early 1980's and found work in other parts of the world. Other members included actors Mel Gibson and Judy Davis and directors George Miller and Gillian Armstrong.
Father of Ingrid Weir.
Directed 5 different actors in Oscar-nominated performances: Linda Hunt, Harrison Ford, Robin Williams, Rosie Perez and Ed Harris. Hunt won an Oscar for The Year of Living Dangerously (1982).
Interviewed in "Directors Close Up: Interviews with Directors Nominated for Best Film by the Directors Guild of America", ed. by Jeremy Kagan, Scarecrow Press, 2006.
He was awarded the A.M. (Member of the Order of Australia) in the 1982 Queen's Birthday Honours List for his services to the Film Industry.
He is an avid reader and three of his favorite books are Hope Against Hope by Nadezhda Mandel'shtam, My Century by Aleksander Wat and Freedom by Jonathan Franzen.
The White Ribbon (2009) is one of his favourite films.
Palm Beach, New South Wales, California [January 2009]
Holds a Law degree from the University of Sydney, one of the best-performing law schools in the world.
President of the 'Official Competition' jury at the 50th Venice International Film Festival in 1993.
As of 2018, he has directed three Oscar Best Picture nominees: Witness (1985), Dead Poets Society (1989) and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003). He was also nominated for Best Director for each film.

Personal Quotes (8)

(Referring to the restroom murder scene in Witness (1985): It was the most violent scene I've ever filmed. I still wonder if it was too violent, but I did want to have an outrage over the violence that occured in front of those innocent eyes [of the Amish boy character].
[on Harrison Ford] Harrison possesses magnetic qualities. He is capable of filling a room with his personality. If he'd been a plumber and came to fix your tap, he's a person you'd notice. We provoke each other. It's no cozy fireside chat.
[on Mel Gibson] Mel is the new Australian. He is going to be a very good star. He is quite different from the Australian everyone knows -- the kind Rod Taylor represents.
What I can't do is what I consider children's films, infantile subject matter. The caped-crusader-type stuff is not for me...When I began making films, they were just movies.'What's the new movie? What are you doing?' Now they're called 'adult dramas'. Sounds like a porno film because the majority of the marketplace is devoted to children.
[on Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)] You often do what you like yourself, and I like not knowing and not making sense. You can mix in certain sensitivities as a filmmaker. Hitchcock said whodunnits were the most difficult things because the ending is usually so disappointing. The butler did it? We had to create a style in which the audience didn't want that ending. What interested me was the fact that people disappear every day, seemingly into thin air sometimes, and they're never heard from again. It's a particular kind of suspense for those left behind. And it's very important in many cultures to bury the body and have a sense of closure when someone dies. We like closure. We want to go to the funeral. With disappearance, you never have that. Movies tie things up in an arbitrary length of time, but I have always liked things that aren't fully realised. I loved Sherlock Holmes as a kid, but I remember being disappointed when he'd come up with these simple explanations for these complex mysteries. I was always fascinated by the mystery itself, as opposed to the answer behind it.
[interview] I'm still amazed how you can put your pen down and think not a line can be changed... You've finally got it right. You pick it up ten days later, and it's all so bad.
I don't think I have any sort of master plan. I work intuitively.
Whenever I've written a script for an American studio or financier, or rewritten a script which already has accredited writers, I'll drop dialogue. Executives in the U.S. often find this puzzling because the story isn't explicable without the dialogue, and that's how they read a script - they read the dialogue and scan the descriptions, which are usually pretty basic. I tend to expand the descriptions and cut the dialogue.

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