Mark II

Mark II - 1986

Avalon, TVNZ - 72 min.

Cast: Nicholas Rogers, Mitchell Manual, Junior Amiga, Joanna Briant.
Screenplay: Mitchell Manuel, Mike Walker; Director of Photography: Peter Hudson; Editor: Paul Sutorius; Music: Rob Winch; Vocals: Annie Crummer; Producer: Dan McKirdy; Director: John Anderson.

Three Maori youths, bored with Auckland, head south in a restored Mark II Zephyr in search of something different. One of them is on the run from drug dealers, whom he had crossed. Various mini-adventures occurs as they make their way down the North Island, but it all comes to a head while visiting a cousin. Finally, they, the drug dealers and the police all come together, with the expected fights and arrests. Obviously targeted at a youth audience, this made for TV production is a bit aimless in its attempt to be a Polynesian GOODBYE PORK PIE.

Censor Rating: M - Review rating: C

Mark II
Official MP4 Clip


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Four Word Film Review

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Adolescent Film - by Chris Watson - Illusions #13

In Mark II, Freedom is the title of the theme song and as in many youth movies the car is the icon of mobility and freedom from responsibility. Then boredom, harassment and pessimism arrive. The boys become irascible with each other, as when the car is punctured on the Desert Road; they are harassed by the police on several occasions, and both Eddie and Rangi, the latter with justification, feel themselves trapped and lacking control. If unemployment is prolonged the individual invariably despairs. As Rangi is led off to jail in Auckland we see in his tears the depths of hopelessness.
In Mark II the background of the three boys is clearly part of the pattern supported by statistical analyses of employment by race and by age. Eddie is the only one to have a job. He appears to be a skilled lathe operator and receives a regular pay packet with which he buys the Mark II Zephyr of the title. Matthew on the other hand is unemployed after having finished his latest Access course and Kingi is on the run from drug heavies for whom he has presumably been working. He does claim to be a "part-time model" and he looks as though he could be. However, he, the writers (Mike Walker and Mitchell Manuel) and the director (John Anderson) are doubtless aware of the relative invisbility of the Maori in the advertising media and the remark is intended to be ironic.
On the other hand the few pakehas who do appear are rather more wealthy than their average. Matthew is picked up by a blond in a Mercedes convertible. Judy is a student "about to go to America to complete my degree" and her parents have a solid brick house with an extensive garden. The only prosperous Maori shown are Eddie's aunt's family who appear to own a sheep farm somewhere in the central North Island.
When Eddie and the bigoted pakeha, Chris, clash over the favours of Liberal student Judy, prejudice is spelt out in explicit dialogue: "You know what they want don't you -- you bloody slut!" In the fight that later ensues, Eddie loses his cool and has to be pried off Chris. He goes before the judge and is only saved the stiff sentence that we expect to be his lot by the intervention of Judy's father who pays for a lawyer.
It is the older friend, Rangi, part of the group's extended family, who clarifies the reality of the situation for Eddie: "Face the facts -- you're young, you've got a brown face and the odds are you'll end up in court... That's how it works."


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