Half the Perfect World - Writers, Dreamers and Drifters on Hydra, 1955–1964

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Paul Genoni
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Re: Half the Perfect World - Writers, Dreamers and Drifters on Hydra, 1955–1964

Postby Paul Genoni » Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:03 am

vlcoats wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 6:24 pm
I too am looking forward to this movie (an understatement in the least)! In addition to seeing the story between the characters acted out, I hope it will be filmed on location. Now that we have been there, I would love to see a film of the places we have been. Please keep us posted on the progress regarding when it will be out, who will be in it, etc.

Hydra was wonderful. What a magic place. I can see why it was such an attraction to them all.

Vickie
Hi Vickie,

I am very pleased to hear that your enjoyed your time on Hydra. It would be hard not to!

I can confirm that filming will certainly be on location on Hydra. The Director Nadia Tass is a Greek-Australian so she knows the environment well. The timing is less certain. It has been suggested that filming might take place in the second half of 2021, but this depends on availability of the cast and other matters. Things don't move quickly in the movie world!

Best wishes

Paul
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vlcoats
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Re: Half the Perfect World - Writers, Dreamers and Drifters on Hydra, 1955–1964

Postby vlcoats » Wed Jun 26, 2019 5:49 pm

Paul,

How wonderful that it will be definitely be filmed in Hydra. I guess, how could it not? I will try to be patient. Not a forte of mine. ;-)

Thanks in advance for continuing to keep us posted on future progress!

Vickie
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B4real
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Re: Half the Perfect World - Writers, Dreamers and Drifters on Hydra, 1955–1964

Postby B4real » Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:21 am

Congratulations Paul and Tanya!
Just letting others know, this book is now on the Australian PM's shortlist in this year’s Prime Minister’s Literary Awards.

https://www.theage.com.au/entertainment ... 52qss.html

Story of artistic life on Greek island gets on PM's shortlist

By Jason Steger, Books Editor at The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald
September 12, 2019 — 7.07pm
A book that tells of the years Australian writers Charmian Clift and George Johnston spent on the Greek Island of Hydra has been shortlisted in this year’s Prime Minister’s Literary Awards.

Half the Perfect World, by Paul Genoni and Tanya Dalziell, chronicles the lives of the artists, writers and musicians – including Leonard Cohen – on the Aegean island in the late ’50s and early ’60s.

Genoni said Clift and Johnston were great Australian writers. "There had been biographies written about them and they wrote about the island themselves but we felt that there was lot more to be said about that period. It’s a story about when Australia intersected with the rest of the world in unexpected ways."

He said they were the first foreigners to buy a house on the island and many artists followed them: "Leonard Cohen lived there as well, before he was famous, and that was another attractive part of the story." Other Australians who spent time on the island included Sidney Nolan, Mungo MacCallum and Rodney Hall, who lived with the Johnstons for several month in 1964 and whose latest novel is on the shortlist for the PM's fiction prize.

Genoni said writing Half the Perfect World was greatly helped by discovering a cache of 1500 photographs taken on the island by James Burke, a Life magazine photographer who was an old friend of Johnston, and the writing of New Zealand journalist Redmond Wallis, which allowed the authors a first-hand account of life on the island.

Half the Perfect World has been optioned for film by Cascade Films. The script is being written by Andrew Knight and it will be directed Nadia Tass, who was "confident it would go ahead", according to Genoni.

Half the Perfect World was shortlisted in the PM's non-fiction category, along with Certain Light: A Memoir of Family, Loss and Hope, Cynthia Banham; Rusted Off: Why Country Australia is Fed Up, Gabrielle Chan; The Arsonist: A Mind on Fire, Chloe Hooper; and Axiomatic, Maria Tumarkin.
It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to B4real ~ me
Attitude is a self-fulfilling prophecy ~ me ...... The magic of art is the truth of its lies ~ me ...... Only left-handers are in their right mind!
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vlcoats
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Re: Half the Perfect World - Writers, Dreamers and Drifters on Hydra, 1955–1964

Postby vlcoats » Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:18 am

B4real wrote:Congratulations Paul and Tanya!
Just letting others know, this book is now on the Australian PM's shortlist in this year’s Prime Minister’s Literary Awards.
Sweet!! If anyone has this book on their mental list of "to read"s, you might want to move it to the top!
Vickie
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LisaLCFan
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Re: Half the Perfect World - Writers, Dreamers and Drifters on Hydra, 1955–1964

Postby LisaLCFan » Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:35 pm

I'll just add my commendations to this thread -- Half the Perfect World is a very interesting and engaging book, and I found it very hard to put down. The photos are amazing, really transporting one to Hydra of that time and into the lives and experiences of the expats who lived there.

While our dear Leonard has a very small role in the book, it was most interesting to learn about the others (all of whom had been complete strangers to me prior to reading the book). I have to admit that I was a bit surprised that the book is mostly about Charmian and George (which is not entirely clear from the title), and that the story is told primarily through and around them. However, that is not a criticism, merely an observation, and the many excerpts from the biographical writings of Charmian and George paint a very vivid picture of how they perceived their lives both in general and on Hydra, and which may also reflect the lives and perceptions of some of the others who drifted there in search of a perfect world (it was, as it turns out, a rather tragic world for some of them, Charmian and George in particular, not even half-perfect, from the sounds of it...).

Great book, though, and I, too, will look forward to the movie version.

By the way, for those of us who have seen the film "Marianne and Leonard", I thought that the two (the film and this book) complement each other rather well, at least with respect to the parts of the film that focus on Hydra in those early days.
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B4real
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Re: Half the Perfect World - Writers, Dreamers and Drifters on Hydra, 1955–1964

Postby B4real » Fri Oct 25, 2019 1:03 am

Well, they have won the award :D
Book of expat artist community on Hydra earns PM’s literary award

https://neoskosmos.com/en/149283/book-o ... ary-award/
The winners of this year’s Prime Minister’s Literary Awards non-fiction category, Paul Genoni and Tanya Dalziell, capture the essence of this period with their book Half the Perfect World: Writers, Dreamers and Drifters, 1955-64. The book, published by Monash University Publishing, tells the story of the expatriate community that settled on Hydra. Leonard Cohen was among the artists and writers drawn to the island as was Australian literary couple Charmian Clift and George Johnston.
It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to B4real ~ me
Attitude is a self-fulfilling prophecy ~ me ...... The magic of art is the truth of its lies ~ me ...... Only left-handers are in their right mind!
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B4real
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Re: Half the Perfect World - Writers, Dreamers and Drifters on Hydra, 1955–1964

Postby B4real » Fri Oct 25, 2019 11:41 pm

When Leonard Cohen turned up on the island of Hydra
On Evenings with David Astle

Love the photo!
Listen to a short interview on ABC radio Melbourne with winning co-author Paul Genoni -
https://www.abc.net.au/radio/melbourne/ ... a/11639460
Hydra was something of a bohemian colony back in the 50s and 60s with a community of artists inhabiting Greek island back in the 50s and 60s.
One such artist was Leonard Cohen who was a little known poet at the time, playing the odd folk standard on the island.
Paul Genoni, co-author of Writers and Drifters on Hydra, 1955-1964 joined David to illuminate what life on the island was like and the story of when Leonard met a Norwegian by the name of Marianne.

Paul Genoni and Tanya Dalziell were recently awarded the Prime Minister's Literary Award in the non-fiction category.

Duration: 4min 41sec
Broadcast: Thu 24 Oct 2019, 7:00pm
It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to B4real ~ me
Attitude is a self-fulfilling prophecy ~ me ...... The magic of art is the truth of its lies ~ me ...... Only left-handers are in their right mind!
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B4real
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Re: Half the Perfect World - Writers, Dreamers and Drifters on Hydra, 1955–1964

Postby B4real » Wed Oct 30, 2019 12:18 am

Filmmakers back on Hydra to make Johnston-Clift film

The latest launch of a George Johnston and Charmian Clift project pushed along by a serious literary prize.
https://www.artshub.com.au/news-article ... ilm-259112

No further info so far about making the film.
It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to B4real ~ me
Attitude is a self-fulfilling prophecy ~ me ...... The magic of art is the truth of its lies ~ me ...... Only left-handers are in their right mind!
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vlcoats
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Re: Half the Perfect World - Writers, Dreamers and Drifters on Hydra, 1955–1964

Postby vlcoats » Wed Oct 30, 2019 3:46 am

Yay!! I do hope this film progresses.
Vickie

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