Australian Screen

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Proof (1991)

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clip 'Never lie to me' education content clip 2

Original classification rating: M. This clip chosen to be G

Clip description

Martin (Hugo Weaving) and new friend Andy (Russell Crowe) look at the pictures Martin took the previous night, when they took an injured cat to the vet. Martin asks Andy to describe each picture in less than ten words. He then labels the picture, for ‘proof’. Martin asks Andy to become his regular describer, but cautions him that he must never lie to him. Andy can’t imagine why he would ever need to.

Curator’s notes

One of the distinguishing characteristics of Proof is that the script is not afraid to show its intelligence. This is more unusual than it might seem in Australian cinema, where there’s sometimes a horror of being seen as overly intellectual. Proof is powered by lots of ideas and questions, but they’re well embedded in the fabric of the story. The film considers the politics of photography in connection with the politics of relationships, starting from the question of whether trust is possible without some mode of verification. If Martin can never see what’s in front of him, how can he believe that it exists – one of the oldest questions of philosophy. Taking a picture doesn’t solve his problem, unless he can find a person who will describe and never lie. Proof is partly about the impossibility of a life with that much need for verification.

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australianscreen is produced by the National Film and Sound Archive. By using the website you agree to comply with the terms and conditions described elsewhere on this site. The NFSA may amend the 'Conditions of Use’ from time to time without notice.

All materials on the site, including but not limited to text, video clips, audio clips, designs, logos, illustrations and still images, are protected by the Copyright Laws of Australia and international conventions.

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  • You may embed the clip for non-commercial educational purposes including for use on a school intranet site or a school resource catalogue.
  • The National Film and Sound Archive’s permission must be sought to amend any information in the materials, unless otherwise stated in notices throughout the Site.

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