New Zealand Film 1912-1996 is an important new reference work
that provides the first comprehensive overview of New Zealand
feature films. Starting in 1912 with the fictional narratives of
George Melies, it surveys the development of a remarkable film
industry that gained distinct momentum from the late 1970s
onwards and includes such international successes as THE PIANO
and ONCE WERE WARRIORS.
The book gives a succinct summary of every New Zealand feature
film. The films are arranged chronologically, and each entry is
accompanied by at least one still or related image. Each film's
production information, crew and cast credits are systematically
recorded, followed by a brief synopsis and critical comment.
Information on the film's history and critical and popular
reception is also included where appropriate.
Classic films such as SLEEPING DOGS, GOODBYE PORK PIE and SMASH
PALACE, which helped secure the place of cinema as a vital part
of New Zealand's popular culture, are surveyed. The book captures
the diversity of New Zealand film: the fascination of silents
like THE TE KOOTI TRAIL, the visual sophistication of THE
NAVIGATOR and DESPERATE REMEDIES, the humour of CAME A HOT FRIDAY
and FOOTROT FLATS, the suspense of TRIAL RUN, MR WRONG and
HEAVENLY CREATURES. The book celebrates the talent of directors
such as Vincent Ward, Jane Campion, Geoff Murphy, Gaylene Preston
and Merata Mita and of actors such as Sam Neill, Bruno Lawrence,
Kerry Fox, Temuera Morrison, Lisa Harrow, Jennifer Ward-Lealand,
Annette Kellerman and Billy T. James.
Helen Martin is a freelance writer with wide experience as a
teacher of film and television studies. She was film and video
reviewer for the New Zealand Listener for six years. She
currently edits The Big Picture, the journal of the Moving Image
Centre and writes a film column for The Internet Plain and
Sam Edwards is founding chairperson of the Department of Film and
Television Studies at the University of Waikato. He has conducted
extensive research into the early history of New Zealand film and
is also a film columnist and critic.