Thursday, February 21, 2008

That Aborigine Guy

I am absent-minded. Abstracted, distracted, and altogether harebrained. Here’s an example from this morning (I never have to look far for an example). I was leaving the grocery store when my cell phone rang. It was my daughter asking when I would pick her up from her friend’s house. “I’m on my way,” I said, “I’ll be there in two minutes, so be ready.” Five minutes later, after I pulled into my own driveway and shut off the car, I realized that I forgot my daughter. I had driven right by the friend’s house, which is a half-mile from the store. This is my life.

This morning, though, I had a good excuse. I was thinking about Peter Weir’s The Last Wave, which my wife and I watched last night. The movie was released in 1977. It’s about a lawyer defending a group of Aborigines in a murder trial. But this is not "Law & Order Down Under." The trial is almost peripheral. The lawyer, played by Richard Chamberlain, is having bad dreams. Apocalyptic dreams. And maybe prophetic dreams. The movie is spooky. It's not a horror movie; there’s no blood, and no overt violence, just some violent weather. It is haunting, though, and thoughtful. Watch it and see if you don’t forget a few things the next day.

The main Aborigine character is played by David Gulpilil, better know as That Aborigine Guy. He has a great presence, which has only gotten better with age. He’s been in Crocodile Dundee, Rabbit-Proof Fence, The Tracker, and other movies and TV shows.

Peter Weir is not the most prolific director. Since The Last Wave, he’s written and directed ten movies. I’ve seen at least seven of them, and they’re all good (Mosquito Coast, Dead Poet's Society, and The Truman Show to name three). I was quite excited when I read a while back that he was attached as the director of an upcoming production of William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition, my favorite Gibson novel. Weir directing Pattern Recognition is a fantasy combo. Unfortunately, it might only be fantasy. I’ve since read conflicting reports as to whether Weir is still on the project. Here’s hoping!


Andrew said...

I'm assuming that Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is one that you've seen. That is one of my favorites.

IMDB still shows Weir as the director, but Gibson said the following in this blog post:

"I *do* believe, though, that Peter Weir will not be going forward with Pattern Recognition. That is one utterly solid little factoid of film news, alas."

Don said...

Yes, Master and Commander was another good one! I saw that Gibson post, but I also saw some newer items in Variety that implied he was still on it. I choose to keep hope alive.

Dave H said...

Pattern Recognition i my favorite Gibson novel too. I read a review stating his newest, Spook COuntry, is also not set in a cyberpunk future. I hope to read it soon!

Don said...

Yeah, Spook Country is also set in the high-tech present. It's a fun read, though I didn't like it as much as Pattern Recognition. I can lend it to you, if you want.

Rob S. said...

Looking at IMDB, I realize I've been conflating Peter Weir's and Alan Parker's careers all my life. How bout that.

Oh, and both Gibson books are a treat. Sooner or later, I'll have to read his earlier stuff.

Andrew said...

If Gibson follows his usual pattern, we should expect a third book with characters from each of the earlier two. He did this with Neuromancer, Count Zero, and Mona Lisa Overdrive, then again with Virtual Light, Idoru, and All Tomorrow's Parties.

Daniel G. said...

This one sounds pretty trippy. I'll have to check it out sometime. I like that Weir is able to do such varied films.