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Showing posts from 2008

Apron Strings & Mamma Mia

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I was excited: two films made by women and about motherhood, showing at the Embassy Theatre, just down the road. Apron Strings, a New Zealand film written by Shuchi Kothari and Dianne Taylor and directed by Sima Urale (with mothers who cook for a living) and Mamma Mia (with a mother wearing a carpenter's apron).

That was my second photograph. With a mother crossing the road and people sitting at the celebrated Deluxe cafe next door to the Embassy. And yes, it's the same Embassy Theatre where The Return of the King had its premiere in the era when Wellington became known as Wellywood because Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh made the Lord of the Rings trilogy here.
I've been trying to find out why Apron Strings is the first New Zealand film written and directed by women since Gaylene Preston's Perfect Strangers (2003).
Does the New Zealand Film Commission, the state agency that develops and supports our film-makers and feature films prefer to support men who want to make fea…

From the edge of the harbour, Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Aotearoa, also known as Wellington, and Wellywood

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Movies didn't help. Though I experienced some wonderful moments among the afternoon audiences. (I arrived late for Nights in Rodanthe and thought the woman along the row and I were the only viewers-- until the credits rolled, and from out there in the darkness I heard sobs and many many sniffs; and noses being blown.) 

Architecture books and atlases in bed at night didn't help. Even the quince and then the apple blossom-- Even finding tomato volunteers that had survived the winter tucked up against the compost heap-- Even the return of the bumblebees and each day a solitary honey bee among the blossom and flowering sage and borage and calendula-- Even sowing marbled round beans that someone's soldier uncle smuggled back to New Zealand in the toe of his sock at the end of the Second World War--
Nothing helped. After two years working on my PhD I was desperate. 
Yes, I could have partied for a week or two. Got over it. But I wanted my daily life to be as Virginia Woolf describe…