John Hillcoat was born in 1961 in Queensland, Australia. He is a director and writer, known for The Road (2009), The Proposition (2005) and Lawless (2012).
Trade Mark (2)
Frequently casts Guy Pearce
Often uses music by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis
Directed music videos for Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Einstürzende Neubauten, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Manic Street Preachers, Bush, Placebo, Suede, Atari Teenage Riot, Depeche Mode, HIM, Alec Empire, Muse, AFI and more.
Frequently works with Nick Cave.
At a young age, his paintings were featured in the Art Gallery of Hamilton (Ontario, Canada).
Raised in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
Graduated from Melbourne's Swinburne Film School.
Personal Quotes (10)
Ned Kelly and His Gang was made in 1906, only three years after The Great Train Robbery. It was banned by Victorian-era censors for its 'romantic' portrayal of bushrangers, who might otherwise have become folk heroes and inspired class war. The western wasn't allowed to grow into a real genre in Australian cinema, although colonial-period dramas started re-surfacing in the '70s.
Shooting in the Outback was like being on another planet. It's much more harsh and extreme than the American desert. [on The Proposition]
[About violence in "The Proposition"] There was a conscious decision to try and be realistic, not gratuitous. I think it's actually becoming more gratuitous, violence in mainstream films. We could have gone the Mel Gibson route - in fact, the more lucrative route. And because we were trying to show the harsh reality what was happening on the frontier, you can't shy away from the fact that it was extremely violent.
[About his films] There is a connection in that all three deal in extreme environments and characters under extreme conflict. I have to say I am most happy with "The Proposition". I've got my reservations on all three but I'm most happy with this one.
When I actually read the book, what inspired me was how believably it put you in the here and now. Come apocalypse, it all becomes about your immediate day-to-day survival. And, refreshingly, the story didn't need to explain the big event. -- on "The Road"
What irritates me about sci-fi is that it got hijacked by video games and also became so high-concept it was all about ideas and gadgets and technology and nothing about the human experience. What I like is finding new angles on genres.
I think the extremes that have high stakes always tend to bring out the best and the worst in people. And that's what I find so fascinating. The dramatic conflicts that come out of tough choices and moral dilemmas. And when it comes to violence, there are really no clear winners, I believe.
[on the backwoods gangster film 'Lawless'] The real-life story of these guys, what they endured and the whole kind of idea of them believing their own myth - I thought that was fascinating.
I think there's a side of us that loves to see the high stakes involved and all that outrageous behavior. As long as they go down in a blaze of bullets, we're fine with it. Traditionally, that's how gangster films have worked: we go on a roller-coaster ride, and then we feel okay because they're punished for their sins.
Even America as a nation likes to think of itself of being invincible and I think, in recent times, realizes it isn't. The same goes with each of us in our own life. And I guess these characters that beat the odds through such extremes are really playing around with the whole idea of mortality.