Vale Hunter Cordaiy

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Hunter strolling the Marche aux Fleurs, Nice. December 2012.

Hunter Cordaiy passed away in Nice, France, on the 13th of January, 2016.

Hunter was born in Sydney on 20 April 1950. In his 65 years he wrote 25 essays and over 200 film reviews, and contributed to many anthologies of films and directors. He interviewed the likes of Jane Campion, Ray Lawrence, Wim Wenders, Gillian Armstrong, John Sayles, Ian Pringle, Mike Leigh, Robert Connolly, Phillip Noyce, Rolf de Heer and Ana Kokkinos. He taught film studies and screenwriting at New England College (1976-80), University of New South Wales (1988-90, 2010-13), and University of Western Sydney (1990-2010).

From 2009 until his death, he was working on telling the story of cinema on the French Riviera. In February 2015, he finally fulfilled his lifelong dream of moving to Nice.

In February 2016, Hunter’s ashes were scattered by his family in a private memorial in Nice. Hunter now rests in the memorial garden at the Crématorium de Nice Côte-d’Azur.

 


 

I met Hunter in my first year of uni, 2006, when he took over our class for Screen Media. By the end of semester, I knew what my major would be. Little did I know, though, how much my tutor had yet to influence me.

Hunter and I remained in contact through the remainder of my degree; we enjoyed meetings in his office at UWS, where he would regale me with stories of his adventures in the screen trade in Europe and America. When I decided to take up Honours, Hunter was my first call for supervisor.

He was a generous supervisor, brutally honest but very fair, and highly congratulatory when he approved of my work. We both indulged our love of cinema and stylish writing. Following my Honours graduation, Hunter left UWS in mid 2010, just as I’d begun the PhD.

In late 2010, however, he was delighted to learn that I was moving to the Blue Mountains. Hunter and I became even closer, and before long he asked for my help with some of his documentary projects.

These projects remain ongoing; I will do what I can to ensure they are completed. I owe my friend that much.

Hunter’s family contacted me over the weekend to inform me of his passing. I was shocked. In spite of adversity, Hunter was always so vital and full of life, so giving and so kind.

I will miss you very much, my dear, dear friend. And in this case it’s actually true: we’ll always have Paris.

10 responses to “Vale Hunter Cordaiy”

  1. RIP Mr Hunter Cordaiy.

    I was in Hunter’s UWS Film Studies class in 2000. I was set to graduate as a Bachelor of Visual Arts that year but I had not handed in One of his assignments on time. So I had to graduate the following year after handing in that late assignment.

    That afternoon handing in the final assignment, I had no obvious direction for my career and my future was full of doubt. I guess Hunter could read it in my actions leading up until handing in that late assignment.

    “There’s a big hungry world out there, and you’ve got to be big and hungry”.

    Those were Hunter’s words to me that afternoon and have stuck with me ever since. They could be guiding me still today.

    I hoped to find Hunter doing well when I searched the internet today only to find out about Hunter’s passing from your blog article in remembrance. I’m thankful for the words Hunter left me with as they push me through this life.

    RIP Hunter Cordaiy

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  2. I was shocked to read this. Mr Cordaiy’s class was my favourite back. He was very passionate about films and screenwriting. When I was in his class, he never failed to share his real life experience, to inspire and guide us through our assignments. Being completely new to screenwriting, I enjoyed every bit.

    Rest in Peace, Mr Cordaiy…

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  3. I met Hunter Cordaiy while sitting on the edge of a street outside my hostel, people watching in Nice around April 2015. I’m from Melbourne and was just travelling there. I was smoking a cigarette in which he had said something about how I shouldn’t smoke. One of the most curiously interesting person I have met, he wasn’t the average person you get in conversation with on the street. I remember telling him my frustrations of wanting to be a Fashion Designer and I was saying that a part of me is hesitant because I feel I will lose my humanity if I fully decide to go down that path and only concentrate on that, in which he said “No! You will become humanity”. He was full of stories and it was fascinating listening to them, and then that was it. Just a conversation between two passing people.

    RIP Hunter Cordaiy

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  4. Hunter was my lecturer in film at UWS from 1997-99. A great guy that has influenced my life in many ways and I’ll never forget our discussions about film in his office or his lectures. RIP Hunter Cordaiy, your life will be remembered.

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  5. A local farm boy to the college where Hunter worked..I met Hunter in 1976 when he was taking a film class at NEC. He very kindly let me sit anonymously into the class, no fees asked for, I had no special interest in film before, but he awoke in me an aesthetic and political analysis of the moving image that has endured through my life. Both Hunter and his wife Sylvia were endlessly hospitable when I knocked on their door, giving without thought food and very convivial conversation, or could I say argument? Convivial argument, how he would have hated this new turn of events where argument is to be avoided.. The Cordaiy’s even had my ram Hegel in the garden for a while. I am sad to read he has died, he had a generosity of spirit and passion for the art of film which was effecting.

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  6. […] too true. I miss you, my […]

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  7. I remember Hunter vividly. He was my lecturer in “The Moving Image I and II. The years were 1993, 1994 and 1995. I was studying a Bachelor of Arts – Visual Arts, with a major in Painting and the only one on my year who also did a minor (Printmaking). I remember long talks about life and art in his little office at University Western Sydney ( Bankstown Campus). His door was always open, and he was never too busy not to engage with me. He was always up for a chat. His lectures and Tutorials were always so interesting. As I was a mature age student and the bulk of the students were just put of High School, most were very shy – and he always looked to me to start the conversation in the tutorials. I loved the way he engaged us and challenged us. Hunter even bought one of my paintings titled, if I remember correctly “Urban Blitz” and his then assistant commissioned me to paint her a similar picture as she liked it so much – which I did. I remember one of the assignments I did on Andy Warhol ( an essay) and recieved the highest mark. He was a big fan of Andy Warhol. I had a tape of our conversation about “Political Correctness in the Arts” which I was writing in 1995 – a dissertation for Art Theory. I remember interviewing him and we definitely had an interesting conversation. I wish I still had that tape. Unfortunately, I lent it to my brother and never got it back. How I fondly remember that time. I really looked up to Hunter. Never again have I met such an interesting person. I remember him mentioning quite a bit all things French. The people and the arts and culture. I am glad he got to spend the last few years of his (too short) life there. See you in the next life Hunter.

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    1. Lovely to hear from you Peter. I was a much later student of Hunter’s (c. 2006-08); his passion for teaching and students never waned, even as his hatred for the institutions grew! I think I remember seeing your wonderful artworks in his house in Leura.
      Hope you’re doing well.

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      1. HI Daniel, thanks for the reply. I understand he got to live out the last few years in France, fulfilling his life-long dream. Would have loved to see his place in Leura ( beautiful place for a beautiful man) and my artwork on his wall. Unfortunately lost touch after 1998. Hunter was unique, in that, few leave with us, such a lasting impression. I remember mentioning him to my mother and a close friend back in the mid ’90s (that whole period of university I remember with fondness. Perhaps it wouldn’t be so memorable if I had not known Hunter – and being a mature age student definitely helped. The life of one continues long after they are “gone” in another, as they say. Through our thoughts of them and words and deeds. I have so many stories, but alas no one to tell. If you’re interested in a chat feel free to give me a call. 0434 594 338

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