June 16, 2019

Bellbird will be in cinemas in August.

Hamish Bennett’s feature debut takes place in the heart of a small New Zealand town, where a community comes together after a tragic death.

Ross (Marshall Napier) has farmed the land all his life, just as his father and grandfather did before him. A largely silent man, Ross farms the land alongside his far more exuberant wife Beth (Annie Whittle), who is an eager participant in the local choir and a friend to many. When Beth suddenly dies, Ross is crushed but incapable of displaying his emotions. His son Bruce (Cohen Holloway) moves back in and tries to help, but is not suited to the farming life and also has great difficulties in expressing himself. Around them, their friends realise the difficulties, and pitch in to help.”

Geoff Murphy 10.38 – 12.18

December 4, 2018

Film director Geoff Murphy has died.

Filmmaker Geoff Murphy has died aged 80. One of the pioneers of the modern New Zealand film industry, he’s perhaps best remembered for the highly successful Utu and the road movie with a special place in New Zealanders’ affections, Goodbye Pork Pie. . . 

Goodbye Pork Pie was the first film I saw that was distinctively  a New Zealand film with places I recognised and people who sounded like people I knew.


Greyfriars Bobby

November 30, 2018

Celebrating St Andrew’s Day with one of my favourite childhood films – Greyfriars Bobby:

Kiwi legend

February 1, 2013

This mockumentary premiered at Tropfest NZ, the New Zealand contingent of the largest short film festival and wont he won the Viewer’s Choice Award.

It was produced by Tess Novak and features a star studded cast of Kiwi legends – Melanie Lynskey, Valerie Adams, Colin Meads, Dai Henwood, Steve Wrigley, Denise L’Estrange-Corbet, Beauden Barrett and Kane Barrett.


September 15, 2012

The invention of the vibrator is an unlikely subject for a romantic comedy and one for which the potential for getting it wrong is high.

But Hysteria gets it right, treating the subject without smut and with subtlety, humour and  a sub-plot about social reform and women’s rights.

The film is set in London towards the end of the 18th century. It opens with young Dr Mortimer Granville losing yet another job when his belief in germs and the need for cleanliness conflicts with his superior’s conviction the old ways – including bleeding with leeches – are better.

He finds a new job with Dr Robert Dalrymple a specialist in women’s medicine, in particular the treatment of  hysteria, an all encompassing term for a wide variety of physical, mental and emotional complaints. There he meets Dalrymple’s daughters, the gentle and biddable Emily and the feisty Charlotte.

Meanwhile his friend and benefactor Edmund St. John Smythe is embracing the new development of electricity and toying with some inventions.

If you want a couple of hours of escapism with lots of laughs I can recommend Hysteria which is based on a true story.

Don’t rush off when the credits roll, you’ll learn something if you stay to watch to the end.

Porcelain Unicorn

March 16, 2012

British film director Sir Ridley Scott launched a global film making contest for aspiring directors. It’s titled “Tell It Your Way”.

The film could be no longer than three minutes, contain only 6 lines of narrative & be a compelling story.

There were more than 600 entries.

The winner was “Porcelain Unicorn” from American director Keegan Wilcox.

When A City Falls

November 29, 2011

Those of us haven’t lived through the Canterbury earthquakes can’t fully understand what it’s like, but this film, When A CIty Falls, will help.

Hat tip: Raymond Huber

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