Skip to main content

Nearly There?


I like the way New Zealanders play with names. A couple of years ago, our young neighbour jumped down the bank to visit after a long absence. “Where've you been?” I asked. “L’AshVegas”, he said. Down in Ashburton for the summer, at the freezing works. In the middle of the wide Canterbury Plains, without a neon in sight. Where gambling used to be done for meat packs—maybe still is. On Screentalk, Temuera Morrison talks about going from Rotovegas—Rotorua's a little more like Las Vegas than Ashburton—to Hollywood. There's Sam Cruickshank's Horiwood's blog, ("Hollywood's 1st Entertainment & Celebrity News Website Published by a Maori New Zealander"). Search for Wellywood at NZOnScreen, and there are at least three interesting examples. Down the hill is the Wellywood Backpackers. And here I am, Wellywood Woman. So what do I think of the proposed Wellywood sign, on the hill above Wellington airport?

“Wellywood” is really useful shorthand for this blog. It shows where I live. It explains what I write about. It places the blog alongside its big sister blog Women & Hollywood. It places Wellington's film-making alongside those other traditions that complement Hollywood and enhance the world's cinema: Nollywood, Bollywood. And Wellywood, like L’AshVegas, makes me smile. So I smile when I see the sign.

But is there something better than Wellywood? A large McCahon-ish I AM, great to meditate on during yet another wild ride onto the tarmac: Is there any victory over death? Or another text from one of his landscape paintings?

Colin McCahon Victory over death 2 1970
synthetic polymer paint on unstretched canvas 
2075 x 5977 mm

Or I am Scared I STAND UP? (Help! I have to stay put in my seat belt!)

Colin McCahon Scared 1976 
acrylic on paper 730 x1095 mm 

Or Te Whanganui-A-Tara, to remind us of tangata whenua issues that affect every New Zealand hillside? Or neons? A thin and flashing blue line and Tsunami Safe Zone, also in flashing blue? Or Stop Asset Sales in red, since Air New Zealand’s one of the state assets being sold? After a little thought, as an air traveller who is terrified during every rough arrival, I've decided I’d most like a rainbow neon sign that flashes Nearly There. So when we rock in at the end of a flight and I'm stuck in my seatbelt and frightened, I can look out the window and be reassured. Nearly There. Nearly There. Nearly There. But if the sign says Wellywood, that's OK. I'll get a smile, whew.

Comments

  1. thank you so much !

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great story ! Thank for sharing your experience with us. Indeed, it was so interesting that I enjoyed till the now. I also read about the neon sign..I am also very excited for watching it. It seems to be brilliant experience for you.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Safety in Paradise?

Children play in safety on the beach beyond my window. Some aren't safe at home, but they do not die in rocket attacks. Along our promenade, this year’s most sustained sirens wailed from motorbike cavalcades, as they escorted royalty to and from the airport. At school, our children may arrive hungry. But they're safe from abduction. The closest I’ve ever been to a war is my parents' silence about 'their' war, refuge women's stories about men returned from wars and Bruce Cunningham’s stories, after I met him selling Anzac poppies. (He was a Lancaster pilot in World War II and then a prisoner-of-war and I’m making a short doco about him.)

Yes, in many ways Wellington, New Zealand is paradise and I’m blessed to live here and to benefit from love and generosity from women and men, my beautiful sons now among those men. But in an interview with Matthew Hammett Knott earlier this year, I found myself saying–
We have to deal with serial violation, direct and subtle, on…

Women Directors of Feature Films in New Zealand

Last week, two lovely people questioned me about my work. I don't look back at it often, but returned to my PhD thesis and various statistics-oriented posts I'd almost forgotten, like this one and this one. And then remembered a survey that I wrote for Geoff Lealand, the New Zealand editor of the second edition of the Directory of World Cinema: Australia and New Zealand. When I looked at it again, I realised that even in the year since I wrote it lots has changed. (I think you can also tell that I don't enjoy writing 'academic', am much happier in real-time immediate responses). 

So here it is while some of it's still relevant and to accompany Matthew Hammett Knott's interview with me, for his Heroines of Cinema series (blush). 

If I were writing a survey today, I'd include all the short films New Zealand actresses write and direct and theirpotential as multihyphenates. I'd include Marama Killen's self-funded feature, Kaikahu Road. I'd add mor…

NZ Update #3: WIFT New Zealand

This is Part 3 of an NZ Update 4-part series. Part 1 was Gender Breakthrough in New Zealand Film Commission Funding. Part 2 was a letter to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Women, Paula Bennett, about the New Zealand Screen Production Grant. Part 4 is a not-quite-A-Z of New Zealand women directors and some writers.

So how has Women in Film & Television New Zealand (WIFTNZ) responded to the lack of gender parity between women and men who write and direct, in particular the lack of gender parity in allocation of taxpayer funding? For example, does it endorse Telefilm Canada's statement, referred to back in Part 1 and to some extent implicit in the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC)'s latest Annual Report?–
Based on industry recommendations that these two roles require immediate critical attention, gender parity amongst directors and screenwriters was identified as a priority (emphasis added).The simple answer: No-one Knows For Sure. And because of this, I believe it'…