Man of Flowers

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Man of Flowers
Man of Flowers VideoCover.jpeg
Directed by Paul Cox
Produced byJane Ballantyne
Written byPaul Cox
Bob Ellis
Starring Norman Kaye
Alyson Best
Chris Haywood
Sarah Walker
Cinematography Yuri Sokol
Edited byTim Lewis
Distributed by International Spectrafilm
Palace Academy Home Video
Roadshow Entertainment
Release date
Running time
91 minutes
BudgetA$240,000 [1]
Box office$396,041 (Australia)

Man of Flowers is a 1983 Australian film about an eccentric, reclusive, middle-aged man, Charles Bremer, who enjoys the beauty of art, flowers, music and watching pretty women undress. Werner Herzog has a cameo role as Bremer's father in flashbacks. The film was directed by Paul Cox and was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival. [2]



Charles Bremer (Norman Kaye) is a wealthy, reclusive man. He finds erotic satisfaction in the beauty of art, flowers, and a young woman (Alyson Best), who undresses for him. During the undressings he listens to operatic music such as Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor . [3] Throughout the film, he reads letters he has sent to his mother. His mother had long since died, and the letters, it is later revealed, are addressed to himself.


Norman Kaye Charles Bremer
Alyson Best Lisa
Chris Haywood David
Sarah Walker Jane
Julia Blake Art Teacher
Bob Ellis Psychiatrist
Barry Dickins Postman
Patrick Cook Coppershop Man
Victoria Eagger Angela
Werner Herzog The Father
Hilary Kelly Mother
James Stratford Young Charles
Eileen Joyce Aunt
Marianne Baillieu Aunt
Lirit Bilu Florist
Juliet Bacskai Florist
Dawn Klingberg Cleaning lady
Tony Llewellyn-Jones Church warden


The idea for the film came out of a discussion between Paul Cox and Chris Haywood where they decided to make a low budget erotic film, along with Haywood's then-girlfriend Alyson Best. Bob Ellis was brought on to work on the script. (Ellis says he spent nine hours on it because Cox didn't want to spend any more time. [4] ) The movie was shot over three weeks. [1]


The film was an art house hit around the world. It grossed $396,041 at the box office in Australia, [5] which is equivalent to $1,045,548 in 2009 dollars.


Winner Australian Film Institute - Best Actor in Lead RoleNorman Kaye
Winner Valladolid International Film Festival - Golden Spike AwardPaul Cox
NominatedAustralian Film Institute - Best Achievement in CinematographyYuri Sokol
NominatedAustralian Film Institute - Best DirectorPaul Cox
NominatedAustralian Film Institute - Best FilmJane Ballantyne
NominatedAustralian Film Institute - Best Original ScreenplayPaul Cox, Bob Ellis

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  1. 1 2 David Stratton, The Avocado Plantation: Boom and Bust in the Australian Film Industry, Pan MacMillan, 1990 p124-125
  2. "Festival de Cannes: Man of Flowers". Retrieved 24 June 2009.
  4. Interview with Bob Ellis, 13 August 1996. Retrieved 14 October 2012
  5. "Film Victoria - Australian Films at the Australian Box Office" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2010.