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NOYCE, PHILLIP – THE URBAN INTERVIEWS

Since the launch of Urban Cinefile in February 1997, Andrew L. Urban has recorded significant interviews with Phillip Noyce for each of seven significant films in his career. Collectively these archived interviews provide a detailed insight into Noyce as a filmmaker who straddles genres and themes with great focus.


... on the set of SALT with Angelina Jolie

SALT
2010 Stars Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber
On Angelina Jolie: “At the beginning of any relationship with an actor (on The Bone Collector) you say a lot. And as you learn to dance together – because it is a dance – and as you learn to trust each other, the words become fewer. So when we picked up again (on Salt) we were at the stage that a wink, a nod, or a raised finger was often more communicative than hundreds of words.”

THE QUIET AMERICAN
2003 Stars Michael Caine, Brendan Fraser
Walking through the terminal, Noyce turned on his mobile phone and a cloud of concern floated through his mind; “why did I have 27 messages? Somebody’s really sick or there’s another sort of emergency …” It didn’t help that the first one was from Miramax boss Harvey Weinstein. “Oh God, what’s happened now,” thought Noyce, who had been “in a bitter battle” with his movie’s distributor (and friend) over the release of The Quiet American both in public and in private.

THE RABBIT PROOF FENCE
2002 Stars Everlyn Sampi, Tianna Sansbury, Laura Monaghan, Kenneth Branagh
It’s a cool, early winter night in Los Angeles, around 3.30 am; Phillip Noyce is fast asleep. The phone rings. A woman’s voice: Hello, is that Phillip Noyce? Yes it is, who’re you? Woman: I’ve got a script that you’re perfect for. Lady, you know, the number of people that ring me and tell me they have the perfect script for me … happens more times a week than I’ve got fingers and toes. But usually, they ring my office, but you’ve rung in the middle of the night - at home.”


... on the set of RABBIT PROOF FENCE with Everlyn Sampi

THE BONE COLLECTOR
1999 Stars Denzel Washington, Angelina Jolie, Queen Latifah
… this is the story that describes the ultimate romance - the mind-copulation. The best relationships are in the mind, and ultimately the most sexual. Because as a quadraplegic who (during research I once asked the embarassing question what's you're sex life like? Said 'great. Never been better.' I said 'what do you mean?' you're paralysed from the neck down. He said 'do you think that sexual excitement starts with the genitals? No sir, it's starts right here in the brain. And it ends here, now that it's got nowhere else to go. My head has become (his words) 'a giant, swollen prick'.

HEATWAVE
1982, DVD release 2007 interview. Stars Judy Davis, Richard Moir, Chris Haywood, Bill Hunter
“I’d have no doubt shot it differently … told the story differently, today,” says Phillip Noyce. Maybe that’s because I’m more conservative. I might have made the connections between the conspirators more certain, rather than implied.”

THE SAINT
1997
Phil Noyce walks into the wood panelled bar at Sydney’s glorious Park Hyatt hotel for our interview, clutching a mobile, mouthing apologies as he excuses himself for a moment longer to make a call. He slumps into a corner chair and dials a Los Angeles number. It’s Monday in Sydney, but Sunday in LA, and he’s interrogating the party at the other end for the opening weekend figures. "Is that $16.8 or $16.2? ...they’re projecting? Sunday figures aren’t in yet ..."

NEWSFRONT
1978, DVD release 2001 interview
We are sharing breakfast to talk about the DVD release of the restored Newsfront, Noyce’s second feature (after Backroads) and perhaps his most seminal work as an Australian director. The reason this is symbolic is that the process of restoring the film was the process that preceded the arrival of DVD as a mainstream medium of force, and may well be recognized in due course as the trigger for the digital storage of other Australian classics.

Published June 6, 2013

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