FRANKLIN, RICHARD – OBITUARY
Richard Franklin’s death was reported by Sandy George in The Australian; this
is an edited version.
Richard Franklin was one of five directors interviewed last month (June 2007)
for Mark Hartley's documentary Not Quite Hollywood, about 1970s and 80s
Australian films. "I asked him how he would be considered by the Australian film
industry," said Hartley, "and he said `very begrudgingly they would probably say
I was a half-decent craftsman'. "He made commercial mainstream films for the
international market when it was not the climate for them, which is why he did
not get the recognition he deserved."
Franklin grew up in Melbourne and studied film in the US. He got to know Alfred
Hitchcock after inviting the master of suspense to give a lecture at the
Californian university where he was studying. "His films are so littered with
things Hitchcockian that they make Quentin Tarantino's homages to other
directors look lightweight," said Antony I. Ginnane, the Australian producer now
based in Los Angeles, who produced the Franklin-directed horror movie Patrick
(1978) and Franklin's steamy Fantasm (1976).
Franklin's first Australian feature was the comedy-western The True Story of
Eskimo Nell (1975). As with many of his films he was both producer and director.
His US titles include Psycho II (1983) and Cloak & Dagger (1984).
"He thought cinema was not necessarily nationalistic but lived in a world of its
own," said Ginnane. "Ironically he came back to Australia and did two movies
quite aggressively based on Australian material."
Hotel Sorrento (1995) and Brilliant Lies (1996) were adapted from plays by
Hannie Rayson and David Williamson respectively.
Published July 19, 2007
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Richard Franklin was working on his autobiography and a PhD at the time of his
death from prostate cancer on July 11, 2007, four days short of his 59th
Gia Carides and Ray Barrett in Brilliant Lies
Radha Mitchell in Visitors