Having risen from the Australian film renaissance of the late 1970s to international prominence, writer-director Peter Weir displayed in his films an ability to portray the imminent disruption of the rational world by irrational forces hovering just beyond mundane lives. His reputation as the most stylish of the new Australian directors of that time was built on his charting of that country's landscape and cultural oddities with a sense of wonder. Weir emerged onto the scene with two wildly divergent films, "The Cars That Ate Paris" (1974) and "Picnic at Hanging Rock" (1975) that were linked by the common theme of older values butting against newer values. The director soon stepped onto the international stage with two of his best films, "Gallipoli" (1981) and "The Year of Living Dangerously" (1982), both of which starred Mel Gibson. With the attention he received from both films, Weir transitioned to Hollywood filmmaking with "Witness" (1985), arguably one of the best romantic thrillers ever made. After directing that film's star, Harrison Ford, to a career-topping performance in "The Mosquito Coast" (1986), Weir drew from his boarding school days for the compelling, if emotionally manipulative "Dead Poet's Society" (1989). As his reputation for compelling dramatic work grew, Weir made less features over the years, amounting to about two per decade. He had great critical and financial successes with two later films, "The Truman Show" (1998) and "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World" (2003), which amounted to half his output since the late 1980s. Regardless of his limited contributions, Weir remained one of the most daring directors working in Hollywood.