New Zealand

  • Merata Mita – Mauri (1988)

    Official Selection, 2019 Venice Film Festival


    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 »

  • Pietra Brettkelly – Yellow is Forbidden (2018)

    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 »

  • Grayson Cooke – after – image (2012)

    “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 »

  • Taika Waititi – Boy (2010)

    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 »

  • Gaylene Preston – Perfect Strangers (2003)

    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 »

  • Peter Jackson – Meet the Feebles (1989)

    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 »

  • Niki Caro – Whale Rider (2002)

    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 »

  • Geoff Murphy – UTU (1983)

    Utu is the Maori word for “Retribution,” which sums up the chief motivating factor of this New Zealand-produced drama. Set in the 1870s, the film details the exigencies of British Colonial rule. A Maori scout, Te Wheke (Anzac Wallace), stumbles across a native village that has been destroyed in a British raid. Since it is the scout’s own village, he deserts the British army, the better to seek “utu.” Leading a vigilante force consisting of his fellow Maoris, Te Wheke kills as many British settlers as he can get his hands on. The feverish conviction of his crusade is in stark contrast to the attitudes of the British, who seem more concerned with material possessions than with human beings. Popular down under star Bruno Lawrence is cast as a vengeance-driven settler who makes it his personal mission in life to end Te Wheke’s reign of terror.Read More »

  • Florian Habicht – Woodenhead (2003)

    A truly unsettling, visually inventive, stylistically thrilling and quite marvellous diamond in the rough. Woodenhead takes the traditional fairy tale and reprocesses it through the minds of filmmakers like Canadian master of the peculiar Guy Maddin and animators of the arcane, the Quay Brothers. Incredibly, all of the dialogue and location sound for Woodenhead was completed first and the images shot to fit a crazed reversal of accepted practice.Read More »

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