The exacting art and creative life of one of Australia’s pre-eminent film editors is celebrated in Axel Grigor’s feature documentary.
Enrolling in Australia’s first film course at the Swinburne University of Technology at the age of seventeen, Jill Bilcock was later invited by film director Fred Schepisi to join his company, The Film House. With no viable local film industry in the late 1960s and with cinemas preferring to screen international films, there was little opportunity then to see Australian films at the cinema. Places like The Film House tapped into the advertising sector and it was in this creative milieu that Bilcock began to forge a successful and independent path as an editor of commercials, music films and narrative dramas.
Hitting her stride in the 1980s and 90s working with filmmakers Richard Lowenstein, Baz Luhrmann, P.J. Hogan and Ana Kokkinos on iconic Australian films including Dogs in Space, Strictly Ballroom, Muriel’s Wedding and Head On, Bilcock’s boldly inventive style also engendered creative collaborations beyond the local scene with directors such as Shekhar Kapur (Elizabeth, Will) and Sam Mendes (Road to Perdition). Her third collaboration with Luhrmann, on 2001’s Moulin Rouge!, garnered Bilcock an Academy Award nomination. She has accrued a slew of BAFTA nominations as well as many accolades and awards closer to home over the last three decades despite not being afforded the visibility or profile routinely conferred on directors and actors.
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