Paul Cox

Active - 1976 - 2015  |   Born - Apr 16, 1940   |   Died - Jun 1, 2016   |   Genres - Drama, Romance

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Biography by Hal Erickson

The son of a Dutch film producer, Paul Cox was evacuated to England during WWII. After attending art school, Cox established himself as a first-rate still photographer. He traveled to Australia in 1963 to attend Melbourne University; two years later he established permanent residency in Melbourne, where he opened a photography studio. In 1965, he wrote and directed the first of several short films, Matuta. Eleven years later, he graduated to features as the director, writer, and co-editor of Illuminations (1976). His highly individualized efforts have explored the more disturbing and problematic aspects of human relationships (or, more often, lack of relationships). One of his most uncomfortable films -- and one of his best -- was My First Wife (1984), the chronicle of a marital breakup. In that film, as in many others, Cox's leading lady was Wendy Hughes, the quintessential "Paul Cox performer." Cox has won several industry and festival awards, while his Lonely Hearts (1981) earned the Australian Academy Award for Best Picture of 1982. In 1999, the director employed an international cast including Sam Neill, Derek Jacobi, Peter O'Toole, and Kris Kristofferson to make Father Damien, the story of the real-life priest who risked his health and his life to help those suffering from leprosy. His last film, Force of Destiny, was released in 2015. Cox died in 2016, at age 76.

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