Peter Weir is, without doubt, one of the most important Australian film directors of all time. His films have had a major impact, both in terms of the Australian film industry ("Picnic at Hanging Rock", "The Cars That Ate Paris", and "Gallipoli") and as the work of an innovative auteur working within the confines of the Hollywood system ("Witness", "Dead Poets Society", "Fearless", and "The Truman Show"). This fully revised and updated edition of Jonathan Rayner's acclaimed study takes an in-depth look at the career of a filmmaker who has, over the course of 30 years, put together a substantial and much-loved body of work. Rayner illustrates how Peter Weir brings a consistent vision to his films, no matter how disparate their subject matter - and how he uses his 'outsider' status in the American film industry to his advantage. The release of Weir's new movie, a sea-faring epic starring Russell Crowe, in "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World" (2003), will likely heighten his status as a great director still further.
Jonathon Rayner teaches in the Department of English Literature at the University of Sheffield. He is also the author of Contemporary Australian Cinema, (2000).