New Zealand Film 1912-1996

New Zealand Film 1912 - 1996

By: Helen Martin and Sam Edwards

Oxford University Press - Copyright 1997

280mm x 210mm 220 pages softcover

ISBN 0195583361

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 Simple.

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.


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