The Nostradamus Kid

Last updated

The Nostradamus Kid
The Nostradamus Kid.jpg
Directed by Bob Ellis
Produced byTerry Jennings
Written by Bob Ellis
Starring Noah Taylor
Miranda Otto
Music by Chris Neal
CinematographyGeoff Burton
Edited byHenry Dangar
Distributed byBeyond (Australia)
Release date
  • October 1992 (1992-10)
Running time
120 minutes
CountryAustralia
LanguageEnglish
BudgetA$4 million (est.) [1]
Box officeA$242,800 (Australia)

The Nostradamus Kid is a 1992 Australian feature film written and directed by Bob Ellis.

Contents

The film is about the religious and sexual coming of age of a 1950s and 1960s Seventh-day Adventist boy. Ken Elkin (Noah Taylor) is a "randy young man" who is told that the world is about to end. In a race against time, there's only one goal he wants to accomplish—bedding the love of his life, who just happens to be the local pastor's daughter.

It was nominated for two AFI Awards: Best Screenplay, Original & Best Achievement in Costume Design.

Production

The project had been around for a number of years since David Puttnam suggested Bob Ellis turn his upbringing into a film and hired him to write it in 1979. [2] Ellis:

It was quite an amazing experience, written against his impatience in 11 days in a shed that I rented two houses up, written out of memory and written with a great deal of anguish because I realised what a fool I'd been all my life and I was continuing to be the same kind of fool in the same kind of ways. [3]

It was originally announced that it would be made in the early 1980s with Paul Cox as director, Patric Juillet and Jane Ballantyne as producer, and Robert Menzies and Sarah Walker in the lead roles. [4] Later on John Duigan, Carl Schultz and Chris McGill were attached as directors. Phillip Adams, who was to produce with Puttnam, said "we couldn't raise the dough. It was obliterated during the 10BA rush because it wasn't expensive enough." [5] Ellis then became a director and wanted to make it himself. He eventually succeeded in raising the money through the FFC. [6]

Another actor was originally cast in the lead role but the FFC had reservations and suggested Ellis look further. He ended up casting Noah Taylor. "He was much less the sort of soft wimp that I'd assumed, and it was one of the happiest experiences I've ever had, working with him and those wonderful young actors," says Ellis. [3]

The original cut was 148 minutes but Ellis got it down to 122 minutes. He then reduced it to under two hours, but thought losing those last two minutes hurt the film. [3]

Reception

According to Ozmovies:

The Nostradamus Kid opened to decidedly mixed reviews, with some appreciating the film’s idiosyncratic, eccentric tone - befitting a priapic Seventh Day Adventist fearing the apocalypse - and others finding it a tedious bore with more than dubiously suspect sexual politics. [7]

Box office

The Nostradamus Kid grossed $242,800 at the box office in Australia. [8] Ellis:

It ended up opening in October when all the kids who might have otherwise gone to see it were studying for exams and so on. So it didn't quite break out. It was dogged at every turn by The Piano (1993), which I both detest and resent because it is a conscienceless piece of American betrayal of a story that wasn't very good in the first place. [3]

Home media

The Nostradamus Kid was released on Region 4 PAL DVD by Beyond Home Entertainment in 2010. The DVD includes no extra features.

DVD nameDiscsRegion 4 (Australia)DVD special features
The Nostradamus Kid1YesNone

See also

Related Research Articles

Noah Taylor Australian actor and musician

Noah George Taylor is a British-born Australian actor. He is best known for his roles as teenage David Helfgott in Shine, Locke in the HBO series Game of Thrones, Darby Sabini in the BBC One series Peaky Blinders, Mr. Bucket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Danny in the Australian cult film He Died with a Felafel in His Hand. Taylor also starred as Adolf Hitler in Max and Preacher.

Robert James Ellis was an Australian writer, journalist, filmmaker, and political commentator. He was a student at the University of Sydney at the same time as other notable Australians including Clive James, Germaine Greer, Les Murray, John Bell, Ken Horler, Robert Hughes and Mungo McCallum. He lived in Sydney with the author and screenwriter Anne Brooksbank; they had three children.

<i>BMX Bandits</i> (film) 1983 Australian crime comedy action film

BMX Bandits is a 1983 Australian crime comedy action film directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith and starring Nicole Kidman.

<i>Alvin Purple</i> 1972 Australian film directed by Tim Burstall

Alvin Purple is a 1973 Australian sex comedy film starring Graeme Blundell, written by Alan Hopgood and directed by Tim Burstall. The score and title theme were composed by Australian singer-songwriter Brian Cadd.

<i>Dingo</i> (film)

Dingo is a 1991 Australian film directed by Rolf de Heer and written by Marc Rosenberg. They had previously worked together on Incident at Raven's Gate.

<i>Fatty Finn</i> (film)

Fatty Finn is a 1980 Australian film, directed by Maurice Murphy and starring Ben Oxenbould with Rebecca Rigg. It is based on the 1930s cartoon-strip character, Fatty Finn, created by Syd Nicholls and is loosely based on the 1927 silent film, The Kid Stakes.

<i>Newsfront</i>

Newsfront is a 1978 Australian drama film starring Bill Hunter, Wendy Hughes, Chris Haywood and Bryan Brown, directed by Phillip Noyce. The screenplay is written by David Elfick, Bob Ellis, Philippe Mora, and Phillip Noyce. The original music score is composed by William Motzing. This film was shot on location in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Incorporating much actual newsreel footage, the film is shot in both black and white and colour.

<i>Goodbye Paradise</i>

Goodbye Paradise is a 1983 Australian film directed by Carl Schultz. The plot centres on Queensland's Gold Coast in the early 1980s, when a disgraced former cop, Michael Stacey writes a book exposing police corruption, does an investigation resulting in 2 murders, exposes a religious cult and watches the army begin a military coup.

Lonely Hearts is a 1982 Australian film directed by Paul Cox which won the 1982 AFI Award for Best Film and was nominated in four other categories.

<i>Pure Shit</i>

Pure Shit is a 1975 Australian drama film directed by Bert Deling.

Warm Nights on a Slow Moving Train is a 1988 Australian film directed by Bob Ellis and starring Wendy Hughes, Colin Friels, and Norman Kaye. Nominated at the AFI Awards in the Best Achievement in Cinematography category.

<i>Turtle Beach</i> (film) 1992 Australian film

Turtle Beach, also known as The Killing Beach, is a 1992 Australian film directed by Stephen Wallace and starring Greta Scacchi and Joan Chen. The screenplay was written by Ann Turner, based on the novel of the same name by Blanche d'Alpuget. It caused controversy in Malaysia, where the government took exception to scenes of Malays executing refugees.

<i>Exile</i> (1994 film) 1994 film

Exile is a 1994 Australian drama film directed by Paul Cox. It was entered into the 44th Berlin International Film Festival. The film was shot entirely on location in Tasmania.

...Maybe This Time is a 1980 Australian feature film starring Bill Hunter, Mike Preston, Ken Shorter and Judy Morris. It was the first feature directed by Chris McGill.

<i>3 to Go</i>

3 to Go is a portmanteau Australian film consisting of three stories, each presenting a young Australian at a moment of decision about their future. The film was first shown on commercial television in March 1971 and episodes screened individually in cinemas as supporting shorts. One of the stories, Michael, written and directed by Peter Weir, went on to receive an Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts award.

Australia After Dark is a 1975 documentary directed by John D. Lamond. It was his first feature.

The ABC of Love and Sex: Australia Style is a 1978 Australian documentary film that was released on 3 March 1978.

The Nun and the Bandit is an Australian film directed by Paul Cox.

Deadly is a 1991 Australian film directed by Esben Storm.

Sensitive New Age Killer is a 2001 Australian film directed by Mark Savage. The film was co-written by director Mark Savage and DOP David Richardson.

References

  1. Andrew L. Urban, "Bob Ellis' The Nostradamus Kid", Cinema Papers, January 1992 p12-17
  2. Richard Brennan, "Bob Ellis", Cinema Papers, Cinema Papers, Oct-Nov 1980 p386
  3. 1 2 3 4 Interview with Bob Ellis, 13 August 1996 Archived 24 August 2013 at the Wayback Machine accessed 14 October 2012
  4. David Stratton, The Avocado Plantation: Boom and Bust in the Australian Film Industry, Pan MacMillan, 1990 p124
  5. Helen Barlow, "The Australian Film Finance Corporation", Cinema Papers, August 1991 p39
  6. "The World According To Ellis". Filmnews . 23 (7). New South Wales, Australia. 1 October 1993. p. 8. Retrieved 5 May 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  7. 'The Nostradamus Kid' at Ozmovies, accessed 26 October 2017.
  8. Film Victoria - Australian Films at the Australian Box Office