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.
In our longest episode yet, we lovingly pull apart Geoff Murphy's 1983 kiwi western Utu - discussing the film's odd tonal shifts, arguing over performances, picking apart its politics, and pondering how so many messy parts could create a cohesive whole.
Since we laid out our hopes and expectations for the Goodbye Pork Pie remake back in our episode about that film, we thought we'd quickly check in to share our thoughts on how Pork Pie turned out. Is it a satisfying update for our modern age? Spoiler alert: no.
Our look at the 1977 mini-series The Governor comes to an end as Hayden and L.J. discuss the production of the show, the budget controversy and ensuing enquiry, and what the TV landscape looked like at the time, as well as the show's lasting importance and the logistical problems preventing it from being commercially screened or released.