Australian cinematographer John Seale is the Oscar-winning eye behind the lens of some of Hollywood’s most memorable moments. This program celebrates the richness and diversity of his body of work, drawing from a career that spanned across six decades.
Born in Warwick, Queensland, Seale began his career as a camera assistant for the ABC before establishing himself as one of Australia’s most celebrated cinematographers, with films such as Brian Trenchard-Smith’s Ozploitation stunt-spectacular Deathcheaters 1976 and the Gold Coast neo-noir Goodbye Paradise 1983.
Making his Hollywood debut shooting the thriller Witness 1985 for fellow Australian Peter Weir Seale’s bold use of colour and creative lensing quickly caught the eye of major American filmmakers. Over the subsequent years, he found acclaim for his cinematographic work on Rain Man 1989, The Firm 1993 and The English Patient 1996 – for which he received the Academy Award for Best Cinematography.
His collaboration with George Miller on the groundbreaking blockbuster Mad Max: Fury Road 2015 was internationally celebrated for its innovative camerawork and aesthetic extravagance. Seale would make reunite one final time with Miller on the fantastical romance Three Thousand Years of Longing 2022 before announcing his retirement from filmmaking.
Eye of the Storm: The Cinematography of John Seale Retrospective
8 September – 4 October 2023
Gallery of Modern Art & Cinema A, Brisbane