Propaganda is presented as a North Korean “educational video” about the evils of western capitalist societies. Crude-looking and blunt in its narration, it contains no winks to the audience hinting that it’s a forgery. Since reviewing it, in fact, I’ve learned that when director Slavko Martinov first presented the movie on YouTube, millions of viewers were convinced that it was real.Read More »
2011-2020DocumentaryNew ZealandPoliticsSlavko Martinov
2001-2010DocumentaryDramaNew ZealandVincent Ward
Vincent Ward weaves drama with documentary to unravel the extraordinary story of Puhi, the Tuhoe woman who welcomed the young filmmaker into her home in 1978. Ward made the observational film In Spring One Plants Alone about Puhi’s day-to-day life in the remote Urewera Ranges. By then almost 80, she was obsessively caring for her schizophrenic adult son Niki, whose violent fits terrified her. In this new cinema feature Ward sets out to unravel the mystery that has haunted him for 30 years: Who was Puhi?
And why was she so obsessed with this last remaining son?Read More »
Drama1981-1990Merata MitaNew Zealand
Official Selection, 2019 Venice Film Festival
RESTORED IN 2019 BY THE NEW ZEALAND FILM COMMISSION
There’s a lot of watching in Merata Mita’s landmark MAURI. It’s the 1950s and there’s a storm coming to a once-thriving Maori settlement. Rewi, holding on to an unsettled past, watches the woman he loves (and who loves him back) slip into the arms of a white man. Kara, the town’s elder matriarch, is stirred by the change in the air, of birthrights trembling and a land falling captive. And then there’s Awatea, a young girl standing watch from the circumference of this simmering circle, staring not out of tragedy but of awe, at a Maori life-force re-shuffling off the rippling coasts of the North Island.Read More »
2001-2010DocumentaryNew ZealandPietra Brettkelly
A glimpse into a world of luxury and wealth, where global power dynamics, art and commerce meet. Guo Pei dresses China’s new elite but dreams of conquering Paris, the capital of haute couture.Read More »
2011-2020ExperimentalGrayson CookeNew ZealandShort Film
“after – image” is an art-science project by Grayson Cooke, exploring material memory and forgetting. It features time-lapse macro-photography of photographic negatives being chemically destroyed.
This project was produced in consultation with scientist and artist Amanda Reichelt-Brushett and with sound by Matt Hill.Read More »
2001-2010ComedyDramaNew ZealandTaika Waititi
Set on the east coast of New Zealand in 1984, Boy, an 11-year-old kid and devout Michael Jackson fan, gets a chance to know his father, who has returned to find a bag of money he buried years ago.Read More »
2001-2010DramaGaylene PrestonNew ZealandThriller
When Melanie goes home from the pub with a handsome stranger, she’s captivated by his charm and attentiveness.
He sails her away to his ‘castle’- a rundown shack on a deserted island. But when seduction becomes deception and passion becomes possession, Melanie realizes that she has been kidnapped.
Torn between fear and desire, Melanie must escape – but her ardent admirer has other plans.Read More »
1981-1990ComedyCultNew ZealandPeter Jackson
Playful Puppetry, for Adults Only
The well-named Feebles are a raunchy troupe of show-biz puppets able to ooze, drool, sniff, retch and copulate in ways that would make the Muppets blush. Sprung from the febrile imagination of Peter Jackson, they run seriously amok in “Meet the Feebles,” a 1989 film padded out to feature length and destined to stand as an unfortunate footnote to Mr. Jackson’s career.Read More »
2001-2010DramaNew ZealandNiki Caro
Set at the East Coast town of Whāngārā, Whale Rider tells the tale of a young Māori girl, Pai (Keisha Castle-Hughes), who challenges tradition and embraces the past in order to find the strength to lead her people forward. Directed and written by Niki Caro, the film is based on Witi Ihimaera’s novel The Whale Rider. Coupling a specific sense of place and culture with a universal coming-of-age story, Whale Rider met with sizeable success worldwide, winning audience choice awards at Sundance and Toronto.Read More »