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form y separately published work icon The Year of Living Dangerously single work   film/TV  
Adaptation of The Year of Living Dangerously Christopher Koch , 1978 single work novel
Issue Details: First known date: 1982... 1982 The Year of Living Dangerously
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

Set in Indonesia, The Year of Livingly Dangerously is based on the real events that occurred in the country in 1965. The story revolves around Guy Hamilton, who has arrived in Jakarta on his first overseas posting for the Australian Broadcasting Service. Having had no time to build relationships or contacts, he stumbles around the city, attempting to cover the political tensions that are daily increasing. He is eventually taken under the wing of a small but well-connected Chinese-Australian cameraman, Billy Kwan, who recognises great potential in Hamilton. Hamilton is groomed by Kwan, who then sets up exclusive interviews for him while also engineering a romance with Jill Bryant, the young assistant at the British Embassy. Bryant warns Hamilton that violence is about to break out between right-wing factions and the Communist Party of Indonesia, but he pursues the story anyway. Billy Kwan, disheartened by all the people he once believed in, decides to make a public protest against President Sukarno. When the situation eventually escalates into violence, Hamilton is caught between his career ambitions, his conscience, and his feelings for Jill Bryant.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Form: screenplay

Works about this Work

Abroad : Production Tracks and Narrative Trajectories in Films About Australians in Asia Allison Craven , 2018 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Screen in the 2000s 2018; (p. 99-117)
Examines two modern 'Asian-Australian' films that represent Australians abroad in Asia (including India and Cambodia), and compares them to earlier films of Australians overseas.
The Year of Living Dangerously Rewatched – Linda Hunt Is Unforgettable Luke Buckmaster , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 9 January 2015;

— Review of The Year of Living Dangerously David Williamson , Peter Weir , Christopher Koch , 1982 single work film/TV
Years of Living Dangerously : The Last Wave, The Plumber, Gallipoli, The Year of Living Dangerously Sue Mathews , 2014 single work interview
— Appears in: Peter Weir : Interviews 2014; (p. 85-104)
Interview conducted in 1985.
Towards a Politics and Art of the Land : Gothic Cinema of the Australian New Wave and Its Reception by American Film Critics Patrick West , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: M/C Journal , August vol. 17 no. 4 2014;

'Many films of the Australian New Wave (or Australian film renaissance) of the 1970s and 1980s can be defined as gothic, especially following Jonathan Rayner’s suggestion that “Instead of a genre, Australian Gothic represents a mode, a stance and an atmosphere, after the fashion of American Film Noir, with the appellation suggesting the inclusion of horrific and fantastic materials comparable to those of Gothic literature” (25). The American comparison is revealing. The 400 or so film productions of the Australian New Wave emerged, not in a vacuum, but in an increasingly connected and inter-mixed international space (Godden). Putatively discrete national cinemas weave in and out of each other on many levels. One such level concerns the reception critics give to films. This article will drill down to the level of the reception of two examples of Australian gothic film-making by two well-known American critics. Rayner’s comparison of Australian gothic with American film noir is useful; however, it begs the question of how American critics such as Pauline Kael and Andrew Sarris influentially shaped the reception of Australian gothic in America and in other locations (such as Australia itself) where their reviews found an audience either at the time or afterwards. The significance of the present article rests on the fact that, as William McClain observes, following in Rick Altman’s footsteps, “critics form one of the key material institutions that support generic formations” (54). This article nurtures the suggestion that knowing how Australian gothic cinema was shaped, in its infancy, in the increasingly important American market (a market of both commerce and ideas) might usefully inform revisionist studies of Australian cinema as a national mode.' (Introduction)

Master Class Greg Sheridan , 2013 single work autobiography
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian Magazine , 9-10 November 2013; (p. 30-31)
'Greg Sheridan on his long friendship with Christopher Koch - and the writer's bitter row over the film of his greatest novel.'
The Year of Living Dangerously Rewatched – Linda Hunt Is Unforgettable Luke Buckmaster , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 9 January 2015;

— Review of The Year of Living Dangerously David Williamson , Peter Weir , Christopher Koch , 1982 single work film/TV
Marlow in Jakarta : Conrad's Narrative Voice in 'The Year of Living Dangerously' Ted Billy , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of Evolutionary Psychology , March vol. 25 no. 1 2004; (p. 89-93)
Discusses literary influences of Conrad's Heart of Darkness.
Fear in Peter Weir's Australian Films : A Matter of Control Theodore F. Sheckels , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 23 no. 1 2009; (p. 75-80)
Many have noted the prevalence of the emotion of fear in Peter Weir's Australian films. In dealing with this fear, commentators have directed their focus at the world external to that which Weir's characters inhabit. The commentators have asked what is it 'out there' that these characters are so afraid of. As is wont of all good scholars they have attempted to discern an answer that unites Weir's oeuvre.
The Orphan Complex : An Australian Myth Travels to Asia Gabrielle Finnane , 1997 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australia and Asia : Cultural Transactions 1997; (p. 52-69)
'This essay is a redescription of Australian films set in or dealing in some way with Asia. If an imaginary 'Asia' is sometimes a feature of Australian films, it is only as a generic motif viewed entirely through a lens of internal preoccupations of Australian culture. [...] To my eyes Romper Stomper and The Good Woman of Bangkok have a long cultural genealogy (pp. 53, 54).
Tripping on the Light Fantastic : A Bit of a Look at Australian Film Adrian Mitchell , 1997 single work criticism
— Appears in: Sydney Studies in English , vol. 23 no. 1997;
'In the beginning is the word: there has to be a script. But even before a word is said there's light, and camera, and action. Films are before all else about light, and about what can be realised through light. That pre-eminence of light was acknowledged in the old-time movie theatres, in the custom, now regrettably lapsed, of having the projection illuminating the screen before the curtains were drawn open, so that the promised world of light could be glimpsed before revelation, symbolically seen through a veil which then parted — and behold, a new heaven and a new earth. Those who arrived late, after the houselights had gone down, followed their own little subdued pool of light, the usherette's torch, down the carpeted aisles.' (Author's abstract)
Forgetting Linda : Women Cross-Dressing in Recent Cinema Frances Bonner , 1998 single work criticism
— Appears in: Continuum : Journal of Media and Cultural Studies , vol. 12 no. 3 1998; (p. 267-277)


1984 nominated International Awards Writers Guild of America Award Best Drama Adapted from Another Medium
1983 nominated Australian Film Institute Awards Best Adapted Screenplay Best Screenplay, Adapted
Last amended 30 Aug 2017 11:03:51
  • c
    Southeast Asia, South and East Asia, Asia,
  • 1960s
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