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the chant of jimmie blacksmith

Australia / 1978 / 122 min / DCP / Drama

Director : Fred Schepisi

Script : Fred Schepisi adapté du roman de Thomas Keneally
Cinematography : Ian Baker
Editing : Brian Kavanagh
Music : Bruce Smeaton
Production : Fred Schepisi

Interprétation : Tommy Lewis, Angela Punch McGregor, Jack Thompson, Ray Barrett, Ruth Cracknell, Bryan Brown

In Competition, Cannes Film Festival 1978

Jimmie Blacksmith, a half-caste child of an Aboriginal mother and a white father, is raised to adulthood by the Reverend Neville and his wife Martha, hoping their influence will civilize him and provide him greater opportunities in early twentieth century Australia. With a letter of recommendation from his foster family, he goes out in search of work to establish himself, but is taken advantage of by multiple parties. Jimmie finds some stability working on the farm of the Newby family, who still treat him little better than other employers, and decides to marry a white girlfriend, Gilda Marshall, who is already very pregnant when she arrives to move in with him…


Fred Schepisi

Born in Melbourne in 1939, Fred Schepisi began his production career in the advertising world and served as head of the Film House for almost 20 years where he directed both commercials and documentaries. His first feature-length film was « The Devil’s Playground » (1976) which won 6 AFI awards including Best Film and established his reputation as a talented director writer and producer. The success of his second film, « The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith » (1978), selected to screen in competition in Cannes, took him to the U.S. where he directed « Barbarosa » (1981), « Iceman » (1983), « Plenty » (1985), and « Roxanne » (1987) before returning to Australia to co-write and direct « Evil Angels » (a.k.a. « A Cry in the Dark « ) (1988) with Meryl Streep and Sam Neill. Fred Schepisi also directed the screen adaptation of John Guare’s play « Six Degrees of Separation » (1993), starring Stockard Channing, Donald Sutherland and Will Smith. His other film credits include « The Russia House » (1990), « Mr. Baseball » (1992), « IQ » (1994), « Last Orders » (2001) and « It Runs in the Family » (2002). In 2004, he directed and co-produced for HBO the film adaptation of the best-selling novel by Richard Russo, « Empire Falls », with Paul Newman and Ed Harris. In 2011, he directed « The Eye of the Storm », based on the novel by acclaimed author Patrick White, and starring Charlotte Rampling and Geoffrey Rush, and in 2013, « Words and Pictures », with Juliette Binoche and Clive Owen. Fred Schepisi was awarded the Order of Australia for his service to the Australian film industry as a mentor, director, producer and screenwriter.


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