invaluable first reference point for study of this under-examined
cinema. This book draws together diffuse references and readings into a
single volume and provides a reliable and suggestive basis for future
research in the field"
(Ian Craven, University of Glasgow)
"As an introductory overview the booklet is comprehensive"
(Chris Watson, New Zealand Journal of Media Studies)
recent years New Zealand has become a more visible national cinema. A
significant number of films have gained international exposure, however
these are small in comparison to the wealth of productions which
constitute the country's total output. The growth in literature
examining New Zealand film is an indication that it is now being taken
seriously, but with a cultural heritage that is still developing more
discussion is required. As a country on the edge of the world, New
Zealand is on cinema's map the territory that has been only partially
The early film history of New Zealand, as
evidenced by its rich and varied surviving cinematic heritage, is
unique and distinctive. It is a history of ingenuous, resourceful and
determined filmmakers who achieved much, despite very limited technical
and financial resources. The majority of New Zealand films have been
produced since the establishment of the New Zealand Film Commission, in
1978. A New Wave of filmmakers emerged then and key industry figures
such as directors Geoff Murphy, and Roger Donaldson (and later Lee
Tamahori), left for Hollywood after making a small but successful
number of New Zealand films.
In its breadth this
book considers productions from these 100 years and discusses New
Zealand cinema from 1896 to 1996. The first publication in the Kakapo
series Studies in New Zealand Culture this book establishes an
introduction to the key issues concerning a vibrant national cinema.
The authors had taught in 1995, at the British Film Institute, the
first course in Britain on New Zealand Cinema, and the ideas contained
in this book were discussed and developed during that twelve week
programme. The book is divided into seven sections - A History, Post
1977 Film - The New Wave, Open Spaces and the Road Movie, Women and
Film, Indigenous Cinema, Fantasy and Kiwi Gothic, and Recent
Developments and the Talent Drain. A detailed bibliography of books on
New Zealand cinema, related books on social history and culture, and a
compilation of recommended journal articles is included. Also included
is a comprehensive guide to all pre-1997 New Zealand feature films.