"Owl Song" a heroic journey about an extraordinary woman making it,
against all the odds. It wrestles with universal themes about
the nature of success, the power of dreams, the quality of life and the responsibilities
A story containing a triumphant ending with a bittersweet
twist, the screenplay reveals three main stories, each with
a clear narrative question. The present-tense story set in
1967 poses the question: can and should Peggy's friends save
her if it means severely compromising her quality of life?
The second narrative question is: will Peggy succeed in her
career? (This story covers the period from 1937 to the 1967).
The third story covers a similar period and asks: will Peggy
establish a successful relationship that is tied so closely to smothering her success?
question faced by the protagonists in the top story,
Yehudi and Anais is a universally engaging one. They
face a dilemma, namely, what would you do if your closest
friend was dying; yet to save her could mean condemning her
to a future of total dependence, incapacitation and loss of
the very faculties that sustain her life as an artist? It
is a question of conscience built around the compelling scenario
of a life-threatening brain tumour.
in a fascinating and definitive part of the twentieth-century,
the issues in Peggy's life are as alive and relevant today
as they were then. The milieu of a bohemian artistic world
of Europe and America in the 1940-60's is totally absorbing
as was the struggle for independence, artistic freedom and
the definition of an artistic identity beyond national borders.
the tradition of "La Vie en Rose", "Hilary
and Jackie" and "Shine" the screenplay reads as an inspirational and powerful dramatisation
of an extraordinary artist's life. While the soundtrack and
visuals will emphasise this intensity, this is a character-driven
story with a heart-wrenching countdown toward Peggy's possible
mins COL 35mm
Lucas and John Wregg
Whitehead, Avril MacRory, Sue Milliken
most celebrated woman composer of her time is dying.
When she slips into a coma her closest friends, Yehudi
Menuhin and Anais Nin, are divided about what to do.
Owl Song is the true story of Peggy Glanville-Hicks, a precocious young antipoedian who defies the conservative social conventions of the early 20th century by daring to follow her dream of becoming a great composer. A brilliant, witty, pipe-smoking, dynamic woman and musical pioneer who forged a formidable career in Europe and North America in the mid-twentieth century; amongst her many achievements Peggy was the first woman to be commissioned to write an opera in the USA. Married to the emotionally complex, elegant and talented English composer Stanley Bate, their close-knit group of friends included world-famous impresario Yehudi Menuhin and literary intrigue Anais Nin.
Tragically in 1967 at the height of her career, Peggy is struck down blind, diagnosed with a brain tumour and given five days to live. But the doctors won't operate because the risky and costly procedure had an extremely limited chance to save her life, and would by all accounts leave her permanently incapacitated. Being abroad, her close-knit group of friends are left with the responsibility to decide what is best for her. Is it more humane to let her die, or should they do whatever they can to save her life, even if she may not fully recover her faculties?
Eventually the doctors operate...
With the powerful idea that life can triumph over death because the gift of imagination is irrepressible, Owl Song is a bittersweet tale with an emotionally rich and dramatic storyline that weaves together themes of ambition, love, loss, friendship, music and sex into a compelling narrative about an inspirational woman who at the height of her career was heralded as the most important female composer in the world.
O'Sullivan, Kevin Lucas
Widower, One Night The Moon, Australian Cinematographer of the Year)
(Nanny McPhee, Bright Young Things, An Ideal Husband)
Aviator, Gangs of New York, Shakespeare in Love)
Beast, Little Fish, Basic Instinct 2)
Richard Mills OAM
Director/Conductor Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Pre-eminent Conductor and Programmer of the work of Peggy Glanville-Hicks)
Director Hamburg Opera, Guest
Conductor Royal Opera Covent Garden)
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Proof Fence, The Quiet American, Beyond Thunderdome)
Professor and Head of Film Acting and Directing NYU (U.S.A)
Dan Hubbard, John Hubbard (U.K)
Ann Robinson, Mullinars Casting
Sarah Trevis (U.K) , Jerry Wolff (U.S.A)
Weston, Linda Aronson, Lesley Megahey
with the Assistance of Film Victoria, the South Australian
Film Corporation and Screen Australia through the AFC GDI scheme.
2009 MusicArtsDance films Pty Ltd (Australia)