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Showing posts from June, 2010

After the Waterfall—

above: Antony Starr as John After The Waterfall is the only New Zealand feature in the New Zealand International Film Festival that a woman—Simone Horrocks—has written and directed. It premiered in Beijing earlier this month , as part of the 5th New Zealand Film Festival in the People’s Republic of China. Here's Simone speaking at the premiere. Simone first attracted international attention when she was a semi-finalist for the prestigious Sundance Institute/NHK Filmmaker's Award in 2001. She has written and directed several short films, notably Spindrift , winner of the Best Panorama Short Film award at the Berlin Film Festival, and New Dawn , commissioned by the Edinburgh Film Festival to mark the launch of UK Film Four's Lab. I knew almost nothing about her. So I peppered her with emailed questions. And was truly delighted with her generous responses.

Will "The Hobbit" be crowd funded?

Maria McKay, artist, writer and now classics student, is one of my dearest friends. Thanks to the lovely Gail Wright, long ago I interviewed Maria for Art New Zealand and we’ve enjoyed each other ever since. We’ve pooled our last coins to buy bread. We’ve filmed a matakite (shaman) on Gavrinis, wondered at a menhir on a roof in southern France, walked many times on Warrington beach. I filmed her among the gannets at Doctors Point. She photographed me when I was in love. Although her life had changed by then, I included her work on my very first website , almost a decade ago. Her bath is my old bath. You know the kind of thing. And I’ve missed her in cyberspace. Not her world. Until today. Suddenly she arrived on Facebook, eager to crowd fund The Hobbit . It looks like Maria has picked up that Sir Peter’s away trying to get The Hobbit greenlit (and to buy MGM for New Zealand?) and that there are problems. She wants to see The Hobbit onscreen asap, and has offered to help with fundi

New Zealand International Film Festival—Some statistics

I really really didn’t want to do this. I’m sick of counting. Hated it when an interviewer recently called me an ‘academic’. (My on-paper-that-lasts-500-years PhD certificate now in a battered file box, next to a fading Fiona Clark photo of me in Ruatoki, wearing a big black hat and shades, eating a feijoa, back in 1980.) But my tax return was done. And the washing. And the dishes. It was too wet to mow the lawn. Too cold to weed or prune. And anyway I was a bit crook. Though I made it to the Sunday market for this week’s pumpkin, eggs, tomatoes, limes, apples, onions. Enjoyed the big electronic sign that said “SEA SIDE ONLY” (some big run along Oriental Bay): appreciated the direct message, as I consider going to live in Berlin. So I read the papers (nice Kerre Woodham piece on illegal downloads in the Herald on Sunday ). And did those things that I said I’d do. And refrained from doing the things I agreed not to do (often a bit more difficult). And wished I hadn’t finished T Jeffe

The Insatiable Moon: Feeling Joyous About Humanity

I've enjoyed Mike Riddell's The Insatiable Moon blog (see sidebar) for a long time. The whole nine yards—as he calls it—is a fascinating tale that illustrates so much about New Zealand filmmaking as well as about the movie itself. It's a case study from the 'new' and democratised global filmmaking that Development 's a part of, too, but much more tightly focussed than this blog. I'd love to read it as a book. Maybe with the DVD? Mike adapted The Insatiable Moon from his own novel. The story of self-proclaimed Second Son of God Arthur (played by Rawiri Paratene from Whale Rider ) it will premiere in Auckland on 17 July, as part of the 15-centre New Zealand International Film Festival. It will also be shown in Dunedin. I'm disappointed that it won't come to Wellington with the festival. Because I'm longing to see it and will now have to wait for the general release, and because it seems likely to be a fine companion to Kathy Dudding's essa

DUET for MERATA MITA 1942-2010

Years and years ago, before Cushla Parekowhai and I met and wrote scripts together as Not Amused (we love to laugh), Cushla interviewed Merata Mita for Illusions and wrote about Merata’s Mana Waka for a major art catalogue. So when Merata died I thought of Cushla immediately. Texted her. We talked at length, wrote in our separate cities. Here’s our duet: me first, a little tentatively, and then Cushla with the grand finale. Please feel free to add your canto, in the comments. There’s so much to celebrate about Merata Mita’s life. ‘Extraordinary’ is the word I’ve heard most often this week, as people express their sorrow that Merata died so soon, and search for words to explain what she meant to them. She was (alphabetically because her many roles seemed to integrate so seamlessly into a whole) an activist, a film director, a generous friend and partner, a grandmother, a globally-oriented mentor, a mother of six, a performer, a philosopher, a producer, a television presenter