That Eye, the Sky

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First edition (publ. McPhee Gribble)

That Eye, the Sky is a 1986 novel by award-winning Australian author Tim Winton. It follows a 13 year old boy ("Ort") coping with life in a small country town after his father has a serious car-related incident involving the smashing of two large bodies of steel. Ort struggles with understanding the world that surrounds him and he experiences life's challenges which helps him grow with atheism and knowledge. Ort is very worried about his family and thinks something is going to happen to them, he has a mind like no other 13-year-old teenager.

Film Version[edit]

That Eye, the Sky
Directed by John Ruane
Starring Jamie Croft
Lisa Harrow
Release date(s) 1994
Country Australia
Language English
Box office A$53,100 (Australia)[1]

The film adaptation was directed by John Ruane and released in 1994.

Ruane later said:

I think the mistake I made with That Eye, the Sky is not to have more humour in it, because the book had a lot of humour. But, unfortunately, with the novel being written in the first person, a lot of the humour comes from the little boy interpreting the events and the situations he finds himself in and that he observes. So we are party to his sense of humour via his inner thoughts. When you pull that away, you have to come up with an orthodox third person approach. I really wish we had come up with more humour.[2]

The film was made by the company of Fred Schepisi who later claimed the film was bad:

Because the director didn't know what he was doing or what side he was on. You've got to take a side. He went on an exploration. An exploration is all right but you've got to do it from a point of view.[3]

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