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BOYD, Russell Stewart (1944- )

BOYD, Russell Stewart (1944- )

Russell Boyd

Russell Boyd

Russell Boyd is an outstanding cinematographer who was awarded an ‘Oscar’ for Cinematography at the Academy Awards in 2004 for his work on the film Master and Commander:the Far Side of the World. He first went to Manifold Heights State School before completing his secondary schooling as a day student at the Geelong College from 1956 to 1959. His father was a wool classer and buyer in Geelong.

Born in Australia, Boyd worked in films here for the first decade of his career. His many film and television associations have included films such as The Man from Hongkong (1975), Starstruck (1982), The Year of Living Dangerously, (1982), Phar Lap (1983), Mrs Soffel (1984), Burke and Wills (1985), and Crocodile Dundee(1986) and television series’ such as The Spoiler (1972) and A Town Like Alice (1981). Associated with Peter Weir on several early films, Boyd won the 1976 British Academy Award for Best Cinematography for Picnic at Hanging Rock (1985) and also shot Weir’s The Last Wave (1977), Gallipoli (1981), and The Year of Living Dangerously (1982).

In Picnic at Hanging Rock, Boyd’s film work helped to create the authenticity of a sacred aboriginal site, rendering the imposing rock formation both naturalistic and mystical. In Gallipoli, he captured the intense sunlight of the open outback in the first half of the film, while contrasting the entrapment of the narrow trenches in the second half. In The Year of Living Dangerously, Boyd contributed to the film’s mix of grim realism about third-world poverty and street violence with the magical images of shadow plays and lush vegetation. Beginning with Tender Mercies (1983), directed by Bruce Beresford. In the 1990s Boyd increasingly worked on American films, such as the comedies Dr. Dolittle (1998), Liar, Liar (1997), Tin Cup (1996), and White Men Can’t Jump (1992), which demanded little from his considerable compositional talents. However, in his work with Australian director Gillian Armstrong, he turned to more artistic productions: Oscar and Lucinda (1997), which gave ample opportunities for rendering a fabulous landscape, the earlier dramatic character study High Tide (1987), and the quirky Starstruck.

In 2011, Russell Boyd was inducted into the Old Geelong Collegians' Association (OGCA) Notables Gallery.

Sources: Herald Sun (Melb) 1 May 1986 p25;
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