b. April 16, 1940, Venlo, Limburg,
d. June 18, 2016, Melbourne, Australia.
in Holland and settled in Melbourne, Paul Cox is an auteur of
international acclaim. He is one of the most prolific makers of
films in Australia, with numerous features, shorts and documentaries
to his name. He is the recipient of many special tributes and
retrospectives at film festivals across the world, including a
major retrospective at the Lincoln Centre in New York in 1992,
and he is the subject of Alexander Bohr's 1997 documentary Ein
Fremder In Der Welt (A Stranger in the World).
migrated to Australia in the mid-'60s, had training in photography,
and taught photography for many years at Prahran Technical College.
His first films were short impressionistic pieces. In the mid
'70s he began making low-budget features, and has fiercely stuck
to the ideals of low-budget and artistic filmmaking.
his career, Cox has received numerous international awards. These
include Best Film at the 1982 Australian Film Industry Awards
for Lonely Hearts; Best Film & Best Director at the
1985 Houston Film Festival; Best Director at the 1984 Rio de Janeiro
Film Festival; and Best Director, Actor and Screenplay at the
1984 Australian Film Industry Awards for My First Wife.
of Flowers premiered in Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film
Festival in 1984, and went on to win Best Film at the 1984 Valladolid
Film Festival as well as Best Foreign Film at the 1991 Warsaw
Film Festival. Cactus premiered in Director's Fortnight
at the Cannes Film Festival in 1986 and Vincent, his docudrama
on the life and death of Vincent Van Gogh (narrated by John Hurt),
won the Jury Prize at the 1988 Istanbul International Filmdays.
Woman's Tale won the Grand Prix at the 1992 International
Flanders Film Festival in Ghent as well as being selected for
the 1992 Tokyo International Film Festival and Exile screened
in competition at the 1994 Berlin International Film Festival.
Cox's highly acclaimed feature Innocence (2000)
won massive audience and critical acclaim, including the Grand
Prix of the Americas (Best Film) and the People's Choice Award
at the 2000 Montreal World Film Festival; the FIPRESCI Critics
Award at the Taormina International Film Festival; Best Film at
both the Vlissengen and Saint-Tropez Film Festivals; third prize
in the Toronto International Film Festival's People's Choice Awards
and 5 Australian IF awards including Best Film, Independent Filmmaker
of the Year for Paul Cox, and Best Actress for Julia Blake. The
film was also awarded the Marquee Audience Favourite Award at
the CineVegas International Film Festival 2000.
He died in June 2016 after a 5-year battle with liver cancer.
Paul Cox is one of the most important
filmmakers to come out of Australia ... he is a filmmaker of incredible
energy, persistence and vision - all qualities which are crucial
to survive as a filmmaker. He is also uncompromising in fulfilling
his vision which is almost always achieved with comparatively
small budgets of about $1 million. As a director, he has an ongoing
screen relationship with many of Australia's greatest actors.
The themes in his films - isolation, faith, hope, love, survival
- remain the same and reoccur over and over, but above all else
his films are about human frailty ... The visual style of his
films is simple. Paul Cox films are not about and do not contain
special effects. They do not generally involve complicated production
set-ups. There are rarely crane shots - a simple tracking shot
is usually about as complex as it gets. It is worth recalling
the 540-degree opening shot Cactus (1986). As a director,
he is more concerned with story telling and capturing the performance
of his actors. Light is often a strong motivating element in any
Paul Cox film. His cinematography often uses strong shadows and
he is not afraid to include considerable darkness in the frame.
Many Paul Cox films also contain repeating motifs, such as the
use of grainy Super 8 footage of someone's point-of-view looking
up through the treetops towards the sky.
Tyndall, "Paul Cox - Filmmaker", Senses of Cinema
(see reference below)
Paul Cox - Early Work TRAILER
Lonely HeartsTRAILER (1981)
23 mins, 16mm)
(1966, 10 mins, 16mm)
(1968, 40 mins, 16mm)
(1969, 7 mins, 16mm)
(1969, 12 mins, 16mm)
(1970, 20 mins, 16mm)
(1970, 30 mins, 16mm, documentary)
(1971, 35 mins, 16mm)
(1972, 60 mins, 16mm)
Backstage (1974, 22 mins, 16mm, documentary)
(1975, 10 mins, 16mm)
All Alone My Dear (1975, 22 mins, 16mm)
(1976, 78 mins, 16mm)
Seeing (1977, 24 mins, 16mm)
Looking Out (1977, 90 mins, 35mm)
(1978, 10 mins, 16mm)
(1978, 100 mins, 35mm)
Child Called Michael (1979, 30 mins, 16mm, documentary)
of Nek Chand (1980, 22 mins, 16mm, documentary)
(1980, 53 mins, 16mm, documentary)
Hearts (1981, 95 mins, 35mm)
Flowers (1983, 91 mins, 35mm)
and Destiny (1984, 120 mins, 16mm, documentary)
Wife (1984, 97 mins, 35mm)
With Care (1985, 75 mins, 16mm)
Boy (1985, 53 mins, 16mm, Children's TV film)
(1986, 95 mins, 35mm)
Life of Trees (1986, 25 mins, 16mm, Children's TV film)
The Life and Death of Vincent Van Gogh (1987, 95 mins, 35mm)
(1988, 90 mins, 16mm, Children's TV film)
(1989, 95 mins, 35mm)
Braid (1990, 91 mins, 35mm)
Tale (1991, 93 mins, 35mm)
and the Bandit (1992, 92 mins, 35mm)
Me (1993, 29 mins, 35mm, part of TV series "Erotic Tales")
(1994, 96 mins, 35mm)
Revenge (1996, 90 mins, 35mm)
Dimension (1997, 43 mins, IMAX - 3D)
The Story of Father Damien (1998, 120 mins, Super 35mm)
(2000, 91 mins, 35mm)
of Vaslav Nijinsky (2001, 90 mins, 35mm)
Touch (2004, 102 mins, 35mm)
Kaluapapa Heavan (2007, 90 mins, documentary)
Salvation (2008, 98 mins, 35mm)
The Dinner Party (2012, 52 mins, documentary)
Force of Destiny (2015, 92 mins, feature)
A Woman's Tale TRAILER(1991)
Force of DestinyTRAILER (2015)
by Keith Connolly, Cinema Papers, no. 22, July-Aug 1979.
Hearts", by Kathe Boehringer, Filmnews, Nov-Dec 1982.
of Flowers", by Helen Greenwood, Cinema Papers, no.
44-5, April 1984.
Cox", interview with Debi Enker, Cinema Papers, no.
46, July 1984.
First Wife", by Ross Gibson, Filmnews, Aug-Sep 1984.
by Adrian Martin, Filmnews, September 1986.
Tale", by Alissa Tanskaya, Cinema Papers, no. 85,