The Nun and the Bandit - screener

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The Nun and the Bandit

Film by Paul Cox

Year: 1992, 92 mins
Code: PCO-Nun
ISBN: 978-1-921882-86-9

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Michael Shanley (Chris Haywood) and his brothers, Bert and Frank, are outlaws. Left without a mother and mistreated by their father, they've become a law unto themselves. One day, they drive into town and Michael, after a fruitless visit to their well-to-do Uncle George, convinces his brothers to help him kidnap their 14 year old second cousin and hold her for ransom.

The girl is being chaperoned by a visiting nun (Gosia Dobrowolska), who refuses to abandon her charge during the kidnapping.

Michael loses his sense of perspective and falls in love with the nun, unleashing a psychological tug of war between the two.

Good and evil confront one another in the isolation of the Australian bush, but the real battle, between the spirit and the flesh, takes on a dramatic twist, with the countryside becoming an important protagonist.

Director: Paul Cox
Producer: Paul Ammitzboll, Paul Cox
Writer: Paul Cox
: Nino Gaetano Martinetti

Cast: Gosia Dobrowolska, Chris Haywood

Born in Holland and settled in Melbourne since the mid-‘60s, Paul Cox is an auteur of international acclaim, having received numerous international awards.  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.

His films of the early and mid ‘80s – Lonely Hearts (1981), Man of Flowers (1983), and My First Wife (1984) – were highly acclaimed both locally and internationally. 
Man 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 won the Jury Prize at the 1988 Istanbul International Filmdays.
A Woman's Tale won the Grand Prix at the 1992 International Flanders Film Festival in Ghent and Exile screened in competition at the 1994 Berlin International Film Festival.

More recently, Cox's highly acclaimed feature Innocence (2000) won massive audience and critical acclaim, including Best Film and the People's Choice Award at the 2000 Montreal World Film Festival; and 5 Australian IF awards including Best Film, Independent Filmmaker of the Year for Paul Cox, and Best Actress for Julia Blake.

Cox’s career continues currently, with features such as Human Touch (2004) and Salvation (2008).

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.

Philip Tyndall, "Paul Cox - Filmmaker", Senses of Cinema

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