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            Philippe Mora

            Biografie

            Philippe Mora is a highly talented artist and film-maker with an impressive resume to boast of. He was born in Paris in 1949 to Georges and Mirka Mora, who moved to Melbourne, Australia in 1951. There the elder Moras became very important local artistic and cultural figures. Georges was an art dealer who in 1967 had founded the commercial art gallery Tolarno Galleries.

            In 1967, the young Philippe moved to London to make his mark in both the art and filmmaking industries. He made the acquaintance of an artist from Sydney named Martin Sharp, who encouraged Philippe to move into The Pheasantry, an artists colony located in Kings Road, Chelsea. One of his flatmates during this time was none other than music legend Eric Clapton.

            He became quite successful as an artist, with his work displayed in showings; among his work is providing art for "The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics".

            He began to move into film work in 1973, having met film producers David Puttnam and Sandy Lieberson. His earliest efforts were the documentaries "Swastika" about the rise of Hitler and "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" about the Depression. In the mid-70's, he moved back to Australia, where with a friend he would start "Cinema Papers", a leading film magazine Down Under.

            His collaboration with American actor Dennis Hopper was what really got him noticed. "Mad Dog Morgan" is a very effective based-on-fact story about the outlaw Daniel "Mad Dog" Morgan, who became what he was through circumstance. It was the first Australian made film to get a wide American release. Producers at United Artists were impressed at the amount of bloodletting in the film, and several years later, Mora was directing for them the enjoyably gruesome and silly monster movie "The Beast Within".

            Some of Mora's subsequent pictures were also genre pictures, including both the 2nd and 3rd entries in the "Howling" series, and he would also be responsible for the offbeat and interesting alien encounter film "Communion", starring Christopher Walken, and based upon the supposed real life experiences of author Whitley Strieber. Some years after that, he would return to the same sort of material with the documentary "According to Occam's Razor".

            Having done an impressive job of balancing more personal and artistic endeavors with more commercial ones, Philippe Mora has definitely left his mark in both art and film. He has continued to work, writing for "Art Monthly Australia" and contributing a wonderful interview to the "Not Quite Hollywood" documentary on the birth and evolution of exploitation cinema in Australia.

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