Shot over six weeks in a wintry looking Melbourne [September – November, 1990] -
Melbourne tends to defy the southern hemisphere's seasonal rules - Proof was made on a
budget of A$1.1 million, provided jointly by Film Victoria and the Australian Film
It is unusual in that writer/director Jocelyn Moorhouse - making her first feature -
finished the script without development finance, "because it's such a personal film I
didn't want to do a treatment or take it out into the world until I was happy with
"I think I achieved what I wanted with it,"
But when she did take it out into the world, namely to Film Victoria, she was
encouraged to take it to the AFC; she was well received there, too, and the financing was
"I think I achieved what I wanted with it," she says, "and I feel the
happiest I have felt about any of my work. With most of my shorts, I was less confident as
a director than as writer, but this time I'm very happy."
The film tells the story of Martin, blind since birth, and his concern for the truth -
and how to establish truth without sight. He takes photographs. But why would a blind man
"I became fascinated about a reality without visual
This was in fact the question that triggered Moorhouse, when in 1986 she first heard
about a blind photographer. "I've always been fascinated by blindness," she
says, "and I've also taken photographs all my life. So I became fascinated about
having a reality without visual knowledge."
Martin (Hugo Weaving) suspects his mother had lied to him as punishment in his
childhood, and for years he has waited to find someone he can trust to describe his
photos. A chance meeting with Andy (Russell Crowe), an amiable kitchen hand turns into
real friendship. But Martin's strange housekeeper Celia (Genevieve Picot), seeks revenge
when her amorous advances to Martin are rebuffed, and seducing Andy instead, she gets him
to lie to Martin.
"A rare mixture of pain and sexual presence." on
"Because it's such a personal film," says Moorhouse, "I was worried that
I wouldn't get that obsessive quality," but she feels that the casting, long and
deliberate, paid off, with Weaving "having a rare mixture of pain and sexual
Like his co-stars, Weaving is highly regarded in Australia, and his major credits
include the mini series, Bodyline, Dirtwater Dynasty and Bangkok Hilton. His feature film
roles include The Right Hand Man, which has yet to be released.
Picot has similarly strong tv credits, notably with roles in Inside Running and The
Petrov Affair, and the feature film Undercover.
Crowe, regarded as one of the brightest new Australian stars, made his feature debuts
in The Crossing and Blood Oath, both released in 1990.
"An intense, intelligent film about learning to
trust." Producer Lynda House
Producer Lynda House met Moorhouse at a screenwriters conference in 1989 and they
stayed in touch. By chance, some time later, House's boyfriend was scheduling &
budgeting the script, "and he raved about it...which is unlike him," says House.
Impressed by this reaction, House took the script; "and by page three I absolutely
wanted to do it."
She describes the film as "an intense, intelligent film about learning to