Pictures DVD

Pictures - 1981

Pacific Films - 88 min.

DVD UPC/EAN # 9418212008270

Cast: Kevin J. Wilson, Peter Vere-Jones, Helen Moulder, Elizabeth Coulter, Terence Bayler, Matiu Mareikuira, Ken Blackburn.
Screenplay: Robert Lord, John O'Shea; Photography: Rory O'Shea; Editor: John Kiley; Music: Jan Preston; Producer: John O'Shea; Director: Michael Black.

Walter Burton's realistic photographs depicting poor treatment of Maori prisoners are rejected by late 19th century government officials. Walter is condemned to making a living from everyday studio work, the frustration of which is apparently quite sufficient to make him a drunk. His brother Alfred is happy to take the photos that the officials want and therefore gets the commissions. Alfred's photos are well received, but when Walter shows his own photos, toughs are sent around to smash up his plates. A passible film with some great photography in locations such as Dunedin, Oamaru and the Wanganui river.

Censor Rating: G - Review Rating: C+

Official MP4 Trailer


New PAL copies will cost about $30nz. No known sources for NTSC copies.

An R0 PAL DVD with no extras can be ordered from New Zealand resellers for under $15nz. It is presented in its original 4x3 aspect ratio with a mono soundtrack.

Aro Video of Wellington has rental copies for any New Zealand address

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Reviews at

Wellington Film Society Review

Time Out Review

New Zealand Film Commission Synopsis

New Zealand Film Archive Info and Reviews

Sequence Review

"The reassessment of national history is never an easy task, especially a history as clouded with noble self-deception as that of the colonisation of New Zealand. All credit then, to Pictures for tackling the subject, and for bringing to its reassessment a remarkable clarity and a considerable complexity of perspective" - (Nick Roddick, "Pictures", Monthly Film Bulletin, BFI, October 1982)

"Pictures is deliberately quiet, from the significant piano score of Jan Preston, to the effect created by the choice of a formal acting mode. The prim style proves apt. Michael Black's sensitivity in his direction of actors and actresses is a strong plus among the film's assets, along with an economical screenplay, a scrupulous choice of props, and settings. The problem remaining is in determining why the rest of the filmmaking skills do not work toward a united purpose" - (Gilbert Peterson, "Pictures lacks dramatic touch", The Dominion, June 6, 1983)


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NZ On Screen Videos & Comments

Information at the New Zealand Film Commission Website

Information at IMDB


1981 - Moscow Film Festival - Press Award for Humanism
1982 - Asian Film Festival (Kuala Lumpur) - Best Music (Jan Preston) and Editing (John Kiley).

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