“The Year of Living Dangerously” (1982)

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This is another film I’ve wanted to see for a while!  You’ll see a natural/young Mel before he became a celeb w/ extreme opinions.  Guy Hamilton (Mel Gibson) is an Australian/American foreign correspondant  assigned to cover political unrest in Indonesia under Sukarno in the mid-60s.  (The film was shot in the Philipinnes.)  Guy meets a small group of reporters from Western nations (all w/ varying ideas about Indonesia), as well as a very intelligent Australian/Chinese photographer, Billy Kwan (Linda Hunt).  Billy, who is a little person, takes a keen interest in Guy.  He shows the newbie around Jakarta and helps him get interviews (including one w/ the leader of the Communists).  Billy also serves as narrator for most of the film, and is the most interesting character in the story.  He knows Indonesia (jungles, slums, embassies, etc.), cares deeply about its common people (who face terrible poverty), and has connexs all over.  Some wonder is he’s a spy.           

 

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Billy introduces Guy to one of his closest friends- a beautiful/tough-minded Englishwoman who works at the British Embassy, Jill Bryant (Sigourney Weaver).  Billy slyly finds a way to bring Jill and Guy together, thinking they’d be good for each other.  (Mel and Sigourney have GREAT chemistry onscreen.)  Just as their romance gets going, all hell breaks loose!  Will Guy keep chasing the story OR run away w/ the woman he loves?    

 

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The title The Year of Living Dangerously is a quote which refers to a famous Italian phrase used by Sukarno: vivere pericoloso, meaning “living dangerously.”  -Wikipedia

 

Mel described his character Guy, saying, “He’s not a silver-tongued devil. He’s kind of immature and he has some rough edges and I guess you could say the same for me.”  -Wikipedia

 

When I first started out there were very few tall actors… Mel  Gibson got on a box, never had a problem.  He was just as sweet as can be.  He was just so secure about my height.  He just thought it was a lark, he thought it was funny.  –Sigourney Weaver

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