Landed in Sydney today. Here to promote Golden Age and to make a keynote presentation at the upcoming Digital World event in Melbourne for the XMedia Labs. I seem to be getting a lot of attention in Australia. Probably because I have worked with so many Australians in the few films I have made in the West. Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush, Heath Ledger, Abbie Cornish. My editor in both Elizabeth and in Golden Age is Jill Bilcock, another Aussie, as was David Hircshfelder, the composer for Elizabeth. What is it about me and Australians ? Is it just because we were all once colonized ? Though I have to say that Australia still seems to celebrate it’s Colonial past ! While we in India see it much more as a sad part of our history.
Maybe Australians have the same need to go out and explore the world I do, and that defines our common sense of adventure. That I certainly share with many Australians that I have worked with. They look at life and work as an adventure and that defines even the way they approach their craft.
Perhaps it comes from a feeling of being cut off from the rest of the world. I remember in India, there used to be a rule that no Indian could go out of India more than once every two years, and if you did have to do so, then you would have to take special permission from the Reserve Bank of India. There used to be something called the ‘P form’ that u would have to get from the RBI to be allowed to leave the shores of India. It was worth it’s weight in Gold !
So going abroad was the most precious thing you could do at that time. In India you felt completely cut off from the rest of the world. Those were the days without the internet and even without TV. Even making a call overseas could take upto 3 days by the time you could get through.
So much has changed in India since, but sometimes I still cannot get used to it. I stiil have to ask if my Indian credit card is valid for so many things, and I look forward to the time that the Rupee will be accepted as hard currency everywhere.
The first time I left the shores of India to go out and study, I was allowed to take out a maximum of $ 20 US. And there used to be lines at the airport of people claiming their $ 20 after they had got their boarding passes.
Perhaps the Australians felt just as cut off ?
Or maybe it is because both India and Australia were part of the same continent before the tectonic plates shifted and we separated to crash into Asia.