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'Wellywood Goes 1930s For The Day'

'Wellywood Goes 1930s For The Day'

Words and images - Ethan Tucker

'The Capital's Depression Days Never Looked So Good'

Part of Wellington's business district was quarantined on Sunday and transformed into a rain-slicked city avenue straight out of the 1930s, decked out with gleaming classic cars, chaps with natty spats and Errol Flynn moustaches, and girls resplendent in Louise Brooks curls and fox-fur coats.

The legions of film crews and road wardens indicated a major production, but surely Peter Jackson couldn't be shooting yet more scenes for King Kong? The Lambton Quay end of Hunter Street, a cavernous shortcut to Willis Street for the city's bus traffic, had been cordoned off and surrounded by giant screens to block out extraneous views of 21st-century Wellington.

It turned out that the cruising Dusenbergs and Hudsons, the well-permed Afghan hound and the suspiciously modern-attired male model were all on the payroll of a major Korean cellphone consortium, which was making its 1930s-themed cellphone commercial in Wellington to take advantage of the architecture and the film expertise of the local industry.

While the commercial apparently won't be playing on New Zealand screens, at least it gave dozens of Wellingtonians an excuse to dress up in pre-war finery and gain a small measure of fame on the other side of the world.


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