The “Filmland Neuseeland” programme was presented at the Deutsches Filmmuseum in Frankfurt this October, as part of the cultural activities accompanying New Zealand’s Guest of Honour role at the Frankfurt Book Fair. Now the Film Archive would like to share this sample of our nation’s film history with New Zealand audiences.
In some ways it is not surprising for New Zealand films to be included in a book fair. New Zealand literature has had a huge influence on film production here; not only as a source of stories and themes, but also as a starting point for thinking about style and approach (the liking for naturalism and an interest in local details and ordinary people, for example).
The “Filmland Neuseeland” selection of screenings surveys New Zealand film, from the early silent period up to the turn of the 20th century. Through the mix of features and documentaries with short films we hope to illustrate the emergence of a distinctive style of film making and storytelling.
Films included in the “Filmland Neuseeland” series range from a 1910 Pathe Freres travelogue showing scenic shots of Milford Sound to Goodbye Pork Pie, Geoff Murphy’s 1981 Northland to Invercargill road movie, among many others. Runaway (John O’Shea, 1964) engages with the stereotypically New Zealand “Man Alone” theme, while War Stories Our Mothers Never Told Us (Gaylene Preston, 1995) looks at the impact of World War Two on New Zealand women.
The programme is a result of research carried out by Film Archive staff Lawrence McDonald, Diane Pivac and Frank Stark for the book, New Zealand Film: An Illustrated History (2011). The book is available for sale online at www.tepapastore.co.nz
“Filmland Neuseeland” screening schedule:
Thursday 6 December, 7pm - Runaway (John O’Shea, 1964), preceded by the short film Bowl Me Over (Lissa Mitchell, 1995)
Friday 7 December, 7pm - Forgotten Silver (Costa Botes & Peter Jackson, 1995), preceded by a selection of short films made by early pioneer film makers
Saturday 8 December, 7pm - War Stories Our Mothers Never Told Us (Gaylene Preston, 1995), preceded by Dead Letters (Paolo Rotondo, 2006)
Wednesday 12 December, 7pm - Ngati (Barry Barclay, 1987), preceded by the short film O Tamaiti (Sima Urale, 1996)
Thursday 13 December, 7pm - Sleeping Dogs (Roger Donaldson, 1977)
Friday 14 December, 7pm - Patu! (Merata Mita, 1983)
Saturday 15 December, 7pm - Goodbye Pork Pie (Geoff Murphy, 1981)
For more information on the films, visit the Film Archive’s website: www.filmarchive.org.nz