Never Repeats takes a trip back in time to post-WWII Auckland, a decidedly unglamorous place to live, unless you're Constance Elsworthy (Donogh Rees). A stylish and ambitious debut, Bruce Morrison's Constance is both a tribute to, and subversion of, the great Hollywood melodramas. Hayden and L.J. gather round their microphones to talk about the complex nature of the central character, the film's design, and whether it lives up to its ambitions.
What do you get when you make a movie based on a popular TV series, shuffle the main characters into supporting roles, and convince Patrick McGoohan to star in it? You end up with Peter Sharp's Trespasses, a psychological thriller about a young woman (Emma Piper) who runs off to join a commune to the consternation of her puritanical father (McGoohan). Spun-off from the TV cop drama Mortimer's Patch and co-written by Maurice Gee, it has all the ingredients of a fascinating film. So why does it remain obscure?
In the second of a two-part special, Hayden and L.J. sit down with director David Blyth (Angel Mine, Death Warmed Up) for an in-depth discussion of his career. In this episode we talk about his work on '90s TV shows like White Fang and Fresh-up in the Deep End, his documentaries about BDSM (Bound for Pleasure) and masking (Transfigured Nights), his controversial return to feature film-making with Wound, and his ongoing series of interviews with war veterans Memories of Service.
In the first of a two-part special, Hayden and L.J. sit down with director David Blyth (Angel Mine, Death Warmed Up) for an in-depth discussion of his career. In this episode we talk about the making of his controversial first feature Angel Mine, working on the TV soap Close to Home, getting A Woman of Good Character off the ground, meeting Alejandro Jodorowsky, being fired from The Horror Show, directing on the first season of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and much, much more.
The second feature (sort of) from director David Blyth is a marked departure from his debut Angel Mine - swapping suburban Auckland ennui for madness and isolation on a mid-1800s Canterbury sheep farm. The tale of a young English woman (Sarah Peirse) who takes up a servant position in rural New Zealand, It's Lizzie To Those Close was originally shot and screened as a television drama under the name A Woman Of Good Character, until producer Grahame McLean decided to expand it to feature-length several years later. Hayden and L.J. sit down to dissect both versions of the film and discuss how seemingly minor changes can completely alter the tone of a work.
Racism ho! Ever the gluttons for punishment, Hayden and L.J. sit down to watch big-budget pirate epic Savage Islands, an attempt to turn the story of real-life slaver and rapist Bully Hayes into an Indiana Jones-style adventure romp. What could possibly go wrong?
High on a volcanic plateau, a writer is interviewing a volcanologist in order to write a biography. In the valley below, a mis-matched group of travellers (recently escaped from quarantine) attempt to reach civilisation. These are the two strands that intertwine to make Strata, Geoff Steven's 1983 follow-up to Skin Deep. A bold attempt to emulate some of the qualities of Eastern European cinema, will Strata turn out to be as much of a hidden gem as Steven's earlier work?
The 1981 Springbok rugby tour is one of the defining moments of recent New Zealand history, and Merata Mita's Patu!, a document of the anti-tour protests, is a crucial snapshot of that moment. Hayden and L.J. look back at one of the great New Zealand documentaries and discuss technique, impact, and controversy. And to make it a Merata Mita double-feature they also watch Bastion Point: Day 507, an early short she co-directed with Gerd Pohlmann and Leon Narbey about the forced eviction of occupying protesters at Bastion Point in Auckland.
We wrap up our discussion of Geoff Murphy's Utu this week by taking a look at the historical incidents that inspired the film, as well as exploring the production process, and breaking down the differences between the three different cuts.