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Amiel Courtin-Wilson is an Australian artist and filmmaker. He is the director of five features, and over twenty shorts.
His first film, Chasing Buddha (2000), a documentary portrait of his Buddhist nun aunt, was produced at the age of 19 and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Since then, he has made Bastardy (2008), a documentary about troubled indigenous actor Jack Charles, and Hail (2011), a fictional feature inspired by the life of its star, Daniel P. Jones, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival.
Courtin-Wilson’s work—in both documentary and fiction forms—is characterised by its combination of realist drama with trance-like poetical interludes, as well as a clear-eyed and empathetic authorial interest in lives lived on the edge. Hail begins as a kind of straightforward narrative about the difficulties of post-prison life, but it eventually dissolves into a violent swirl of impressionistic imagery and harsh soundscapes. Its centerpiece image is a mordantly beautiful shot of a dead horse hurtling through the atmosphere toward the earth’s surface.
His latest film, Ruin (2013), co-directed with Michael Cody, is a fictional narrative about two lovers on the run, set and filmed in Cambodia.
The interview took place in the wine bar Tasmanian Quartermasters in Hobart, with the assistance of the Dark Mofo festival.
– James Robert Douglas