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(Wednesday 31ST May 2006)

(please distribute far and wide)

Son of the legendary Errol Flynn turns 65 today, or he would have if he had returned from the Vietnam War.

Flynn arrived in Saigon in early ’66 after acting in a string of ‘B’ grade movies and few took him seriously. He was determined to become a serious photojournalist, but living beneath the giant shadow of his father was to become his great burden.

Sean Flynn came from an adventurous Australian dynasty. His grandfather, Theodore Flynn, was professor of Biology at Tasmania University and accompanied Douglas Mawson on his Antarctic expedition of 1912 as the ship’s scientist.
Sean’s father Errol had worked the frontier of Australia’s ‘Pacific Wild West’ in the Papuan and New Guinean colonies. All three Flynn’s were searchers – explorers with a lust for life. Theodore was caught between Catholicism and Darwinism, Errol between Dionysian excess and artistic questioning, while Sean found himself equally drawn to warfare and Eastern religion.

It was in Saigon, where Sean had been sent by PARIS MATCH on assignment (but in reality to help boost morale and change public sentiment about the war) that he teamed up with a small band of brothers. He moved in with photographer Tim Page in the now infamous ‘Frankie’s House’ (also a movie made by ABC in the late ‘90s based on the autobiography of Tim). The movie now has a cult following around the globe.

After nearly 5 years of covering war, including the Arab – Israeli Six Day War and the Communist Emergency in Borneo, and with his best friend, Tim Page (severely wounded in the head from an anti-tank mine) Sean thought his luck might also be running out. So following in his fathers footsteps, he set out to PNG and photographed the then little known Dani tribes people. While holidaying Bali he fell in love and turned to Eastern religion.

He went back to Saigon to clear out his flat at the same time as Kissinger and Nixon decided to start bombing Cambodia. Dana Stone, another photographer friend of Flynn and Page’s had also thought his luck was running out, but heard that Flynn was in Saigon and considering doing ‘just one more’. They met up in Phnom Penh.

On the morning of April 6th 1970, on bright red motorcycles, dubbing themselves “Queasy Riders” they headed off down Highway One looking for the mysterious Khmer Rouge and met a destiny that they may have been headed for all along. They were never seen again. Another 19 journalists and photographers met the same fate in 21 days.

In 1990 Tim page along with a crew from Granada television set out to discover their fate in a documentary called “Danger on the Edge of Town”. It produced answers, more questions and over time people have come forward with information about the terrible fate they suffered at the hands of the Khmer Rouge. It also led Page to establish the Indochina Media Memorial Foundation (www.immf.org), to honour the 135 photographers who died from both sides of the conflict. He also produced a book of their work with Horst Faas called “REQUIEM”, widely acknowledged as being the best book on the Vietnam War.

Page is now working with Sydney based producers on an updated version of their fate. With time passed and some wounds healed, Cambodians now feel safe to talk about the ‘long haired’ men that were passed from village to village to escape the carpet bombing of American B52’s.

Sean and Dana would be happy to know that their work is going on display in New York along with images by Tim Page at the Silverstein Gallery in Chelsea for the month of June.

Sean, a lost Australian son would also be quietly proud that he made his name not as a ‘B’ grade actor but as a very good photojournalist whose images are now held by the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

contact tim@timpage.com.au for more information and imagery.

by Tim Page at 2006-05-30 01:27:49 UTC (ed. Sep 24 2008 ) Brisbane , Australia | Bookmark | | Report spam→

What do you think of this book:
Inherited Risk: Errol Flynn and Sean Flynn in Hollywood and Vietnam.

And, any comments on the death of Dana Stone’s brother in Afghanistan?
Did you know him?

by Mikethehack | 30 May 2006 03:05 | Cloud Cuckoo Land, Holy See | | Report spam→
How time has passed

by Imants | 30 May 2006 03:05 | 7 Hills, Australia | | Report spam→
Time may have passed, but for those of us who lived in through that era (I was old enough to receive my draft card in the final year of the war), it is still quite a forceful memory indeed, and very much present. Tim, I salute you. I would love to see these photographs at the gallery, but I dont know if I will get back to NYC on time.

by Jon Anderson | 30 May 2006 08:05 | Back Home, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
I’ve just finished reading about Sean Flynn and Tim Page too, for that matter, in Michael Herr’s book ‘Dispatches’. True giants. I salute you too.

by [former member] | 30 May 2006 16:05 | On a wheel in a cage, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Seneca’s tribute, Quam bene vivas refert, non quam diu, is certainly true of not only Flynn and Stone, but of all of the men and women, all, who perished and continue to persih amid the diaspora of our broken thinking. I applaud Mr. Page for the ardor of his heart knocking for the life of his friends. If not that, for what reason do we continue? All the best for the Indochina Media Memorial Foundation project and all the attendant projects. Bob

by [former member] | 30 May 2006 16:05 (ed. May 30 2006) | Toronto (home sweet), Canada | | Report spam→

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Tim Page, Photojournalist/Professor Tim Page
Brisbane , Australia
Mikethehack, Freelance thril performer Mikethehack
Freelance thril performer
Way Up My Own Ass , United Kingdom
Imants, gecko hunter Imants
gecko hunter
" The Boneyard" , Australia
Jon Anderson, Photographer & Writer Jon Anderson
Photographer & Writer
Ocala Florida , United States


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