Illuminations (film)

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Directed by Paul Cox
Produced by Tibor Markus
Written by Paul Cox
Starring Gabriella Trsek
Cinematography Paul Cox
Brian Gracey
Edited by Paul Cox
Russell Hurley
Release date
7 May 1976
Running time
74 mins
Country Australia
Language English
Budget A$31,000 [1]

Illuminations is a 1976 Australian film directed by Paul Cox. It was Cox's first full-length feature film although he had made numerous shorts beforehand.

Paulus Henrique Benedictus Cox as Paul Cox, was a Dutch-Australian filmmaker, who has been recognized as "Australia's most prolific film auteur". "Cox's delicate films have been pockmarked with life's uncertainty. Loneliness within relationships is a staple of the Cox oeuvre, too". David Wenham states, "There is no one like Cox.... He is unique, and we need him, and people like him.... He is completely an auteur, because everything you see on the screen, and hear, has got Paul's fingerprints all over it."



A couple living together have a tense relationship. The woman's father dies and she becomes preoccupied with death. She almost drowns in the bath but then recovers her enthusiasm for life.


Norman James Kaye was an Australian actor and musician. He was best known for his roles in the films of director Paul Cox.

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Sheila Mary Florance was an Australian theatre, radio, film and television actress. She was best known for her performance as elderly, alcoholic convict Lizzie Birdsworth in the television series Prisoner. Born in Melbourne, she married an Englishman in 1934 and sailed to London. She spent World War II in England; her first husband died in action following the 1944 Normandy landings.

Elke Cordelia Neidhardt AM was a German Australian actress and opera and theatre director. She appeared in theatre, television and feature films in Germany, Austria, France and Australia, and directed operas in Zurich, Amsterdam, Aix-en-Provence, Salzburg, Vienna, Cologne and Australia. She is best known in Australia for directing operas with Opera Australia, and most particularly for directing the first full modern Australian production of Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle, in Adelaide in 2004.


The film was inspired by a dream Paul Cox had in the early 1970s about being trapped in a coffin, seeing people who he had known all his life. [2]

$16,000 of the budget came through the Film, Radio and Television Board of the Australia Council, with the rest from private investment. It was released through Melbourne Co-operatives but never recovered its cost. [1] [3]

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  1. 1 2 David Stratton, The Last New Wave: The Australian Film Revival, Angus & Robertson, 1980 p196
  2. Tom Ryan, "Making Silence Speak: Interview with Paul Cox", Cinema Papers, July 1977 p18
  3. Andrew Pike and Ross Cooper, Australian Film 1900–1977: A Guide to Feature Film Production, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1998, p 299