Monday, 16 June 2008

Where is Noah Taylor?

Where is Noah Taylor? No, not the Desperate Housewives character played by Bob Gunton, oh to unfortunately share the same name with a a character from a mass produced television sitcom. Especially if you were born well before it, or perhaps; oh how lucky, how possibly either way.

Some might not really concern themselves with this question but I for one have always enjoyed Noah Taylor's contribution to Australian cinema and beyond, and like many smart Australians he got out of here just in time. Noah was a benchmark of angst ridden, awkward Australian behavior and unlike many of his contemporaries accidentally fell into the world of acting purely for lack of anything better to do. Well, that probably isn't entirely true, Noah was what I call a product of our local theater scene made good. Most people probably know Noah from his roles in such films as "The Year My Voice Broke" and "Flirting", then probably by "Shine" (Internationally) and now as an actor who like Steve Buscemi is picking up many interesting smaller roles, possibly sadder for his bank balance but better for our cultural stimuli as Noah whether by choice or by chance manages to work with a whole lot more interesting directors then some actor who I loathe gets to work with in a life-time. I'd like to next see Noah in a Peter Greenaway film, and if ever it were to materialize, and Peter decided on bringing another artist to his attention, and possibly drawing even closer The Draughtsmen Contract with new media, it would be Aubrey Beardsley who I'd like to see portrayed by Noah Taylor.

Noah is currently working on Lezione 21 directed by Italian director Alessandro Baricco. The film stars John Hurt, a staple great actor in a time of grim pickings. So, Noah moved from Australia because work became as with great actors, grim or slim, either or, pickings.

The plot line for Lezione 21 is "A student takes a bizarre trip through the Italian Alps after being inspired by a professor's lecture on Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" from his Ninth Symphony." So, yes, Noah has backed into another "precursor" type role, that is a young someone introduced to a classical world perhaps in the same way he did his character in "Shine" and let's not forget his role as the young Adolf Hitler. Except I like to think that Noah's gift for picking up the incidental is his greatest charm, and I personally think he runs rings around Russell Crowe and other Australian talent who, yes, are only worthy of their Clint Eastwood like edges, blah, blah, blah. Some actors produce the best creepy dangerous quality and they are only people like Gary Oldman, Willem Defoe and yes, Jack Nicholson. Everyone else are just, well, squinting.

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