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Showing posts from August, 2011

Gaylene Preston Retrospective @Te Papa, Labour Weekend

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Gaylene Preston’s so embedded in our New Zealand communities that we sometimes forget that as well as being one of our most prolific and distinguished producer/directors, and a legendary supporter of other filmmakers, she also has global significance as a feminist filmmaker. This Labour Weekend we get a spring-time opportunity to celebrate Gaylene’s life and work, at her retrospective at Te Papa Tongarewa, the Museum of New Zealand.

The retrospective will feature a selection of films, including Home by Christmas and War Stories Our Mothers Never Told Us, which foreground the director’s auteurist preoccupations, including the interrogation of documentary form, the interplay of the personal story and the political film, and the use of film to create oral history. Here’s the programme:

Saturday 22 October

EARTHQUAKE! FUND RAISER FOR CHRISTCHURCH
Gaylene Preston has been making feature films and documentaries with a distinctive New Zealand flavour and a strong social message for more th…

A Drama Queen Sings, Briefly

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Lisa Gornick’s seduced me again-- When I saw this drawing, I thought There’s Me! Thin and Alone and Exposed and Worried about my Voice and my Song! There’s the outcome of This-Harshest-Winter-Ever at Our Place!

And then I laughed. Settle Down, Drama Queen! There are Freesias on the Kitchen Table! Put down your Tiny Violin! & Step Up!

Lisa's drawing’s inspired me to round up this week’s news about New Zealand’s women directors. They're pretty special.

First, Kathy Dudding. At the New Zealand Film Archive there’s a series of evenings commemorating her death a year ago and celebrating her life and work. Wednesday’s, which I missed, was called Bathe in The Light of the Pale Blue Moon. Still to come, this evening and tomorrow, screenings of Asylum Pieces, Kathy's final film, which I found very moving.


Then, Gaylene Preston. Mary Wiles at Canterbury University, who published a lovely interview with Gaylene a while back, has organised a retrospective, originally for the C…

ORIENTAL BAY – WINTER 2011 – NIGHT

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South Pacific Pictures (SPP) produces television drama series (The Almighty Johnsons, Outrageous Fortune, Go Girls, Nothing Trivial, Being Eve, Mercy Peak, Shortland Street) telefeatures (Stolen, Spies & Lies) and feature films (including Whale Rider, Sione’s Wedding, My Wedding and Other Secrets). And I loved it when I saw that half those selected for SPP's Emerging Writers Lab were women. Warm congratulations to them: Lucy Zee, Rosetta Allan, Hannah Banks, Shoshana McCallum, Miriam Smith. Who knows what projects these writers will be involved in, and as media converge, does it matter as much as it used to? But chances are, because SPP makes movies as well as television, some of the women in the lab will go on to write features. And that excites me.

I'm even more excited to know that about half of the Emerging Writers Lab applicants were women: (86 out of 175). This is a record to celebrate. Somehow, SPP’s established a culture where women writers are welcome, and flouri…