A Decade of New Zealand Film

A Decade Of New Zealand Film

By: Nicholas Reid

John McIndoe Ltd. - Dunedin - Copyright 1986

240mm x 180mm 146 pages softcover

ISBN 0-868680-87-7

Over 60 feature films have been shot in New Zealand from the mid-1970's to the mid-1980's. Nicholas Reid lists all of them in A DECADE OF NEW ZEALAND FILM, with synopses and critical comments on each. From this comprehensive catalogue he selects 12 major films and discusses each in depth. The book is lavishly illustrated with striking black and white stills, and a colour section. The whole is introduced by an authoritative history of New Zealand cinema from its beginnings.

Not everyone will agree with Nicholas Reid's selection or his judgements, but no-one will question the value of his book. As the first comprehensive study and reference work on the subject, Nicholas Reid's contribution has made history.

Nicholas Reid has been commenting on New Zealand cinema since he was at university. He was film reviewer on the Auckland Star for ten years, and since then he has written regularly on film and video for a variety of national publications.

Table of Contents

Pt. 1 - Pioneers

1 - Free Radical: The Life and Work of Len Lye by Roger Horrocks
2 - A Rough Island Story: The Film Life of Rudall Charles Hayward by Sam Edwards & Stuart Murray
3 - John O'Shea: A Poetics of Documentary by Laurence Simmons
4 - Between the Personal and the Political: Feminist Fables in the Films of Gaylene Preston by Estella Tincknell
5 - Images of Dignity: The Films of Barry Barclay by Stuart Murray
6 - Lives of Their Own: Films by Merata Mita by Geraldene Peters
7 - Ricordi! Peter Wells, Memories of a Queer Land by David Gerstner

Pt. 2 - The New Wave

8 - Between the National and the International: The Films of Roger Donaldson by James Chapman
9 - Embodying the Commercial: Genre and Cultural Affect in the Films of Geoff Murphy by Jonathan Rayner
10 - "Kiwi as ...": Ian Mune and Filmmaking as Cultural Expression by Stan Jones
11 - The Man Alone: Bruno Lawrence's Screen Performances of the Kiwi Bloke by Andrew Spicer
12 - Working in Close-Up: Jennifer Ward-Lealand, Performance, and Collaborative Film Production by Barbara Cairns
13 - Crisis and Conflict: The Films of John Laing by Ian Conrich
14 - "Carry Me Back": Time and Place in the Films of John Reid by Bruce Babington

Pt. 3 - Visionaries and Fantasists

15 - Leon Narbey: Art, Politics, and the Personal by Helen Martin
16 - Making Strange: Journeys through the Unfamiliar in the Films of Vincent Ward by Stephanie Rains
17 - Dislocations of Home and Gender in the Films of Jane Campion by Eva Rueschmann
18 - Experiments with Desire: The Psychodynamics of Alison Maclean by Kirsten Moana Thompson
19 - Bringing It All Back Home: The Films of Peter Jackson by Barry Keith Grant
20 - The Nightmare within the Everyday: The Horrific Visions of David Blyth by Stacey Abbott


In 1987, the TVNZ documentary, 'Kaleidoscope: NZ Cinema, The Past Decade', was aired. It used this Nicholas Reid book as its inspiration for a 38 minute look at New Zealand films during its first decade since its "renaissance" in 1977. This program is now available free and online at NZONSCREEN. There are clips from most of the feature films of the time including: The Quiet Earth, Utu, Wild Horses, Smash Palace, Mr. Wrong, Heart of the Stag, Goodbye Pork Pie, Mauri, Vigil, Carry Me Back, Sylvia, Footrot Flats, Came A Hot Friday, Sleeping Dogs, Illustrious Energy and Queen City Rocker. ENJOY

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