The Truman Show

David Thomas and I wrote an article about this for Screen Education. As we sold the copyright to ATOM, I cannot republish the whole article here, but I'll show the first and last paragraphs.

Peter Weir's directorial filmography is something of a curiosity. Having been at the helm of some fifteen features in just over three decades does not make him an overly prolific director, and his films cover a such a broad range of styles and subjects that we might be stretching things a bit to claim him as an instantly recognisable contemporary auteur. However, we can assert that there is an almost intangible quality to his releases in the 1980s and 1990s - something about his peculiarly gentle and eccentric heroes, and indeed the actors who bring them to the screen - that is both compelling and insightful in a way that does in fact seem to be solely the province of Weir's films. The subject of what follows is certainly no exception. ...

The Truman Show illustrates with frightening clarity that one of the presumed boundaries of television entertainment, what we might call the distinction between subject and object, appears to have shifted significantly. Ironically, it is the viewer of reality television who is left in the position of Truman, unsure if we are still in the game. As the update of the latest housemate activities plays on a mobile telephone, far away from any lounge room TV set, it seems as though the suggestion in Weir's film is commensurate with our own experience of programs like Big Brother: we are no longer simply watching television.

The Truman Show (Peter Weir, 1998)

reviews | Garry Gillard | New: 28 February, 2017 | Now: 28 February, 2017