Not wanting to get political but one aspect of film making which I believe is important is the idea of film as cultural identity. When I look at the list of films made in New Zealand there are some that could have been made anywhere, but there are many that could only have been made here – they are our stories, our culture, our landscapes, our environment and our characters. And as someone interested in other cultures, a means of travelling without leaving home is via cinema – the list of films that I see at the NZ International Film Festival each year is a direct reflection on my interest in the culture of other nations. I didn’t watch eg Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon & then expect to be experiencing it in the streets of Beijing when I went there, but like all art forms film does reveal aspects of culture. So it got me thinking, if someone who had never been to New Zealand was to watch ten films in an attempt to experience some of our culture, what ten would I recommend? What ten would you recommend from your country?
The idea of globalization is often equated to Americanization, and with its all-pervasive marketing power one could easily misconstrue the motives & cultural impact of Hollywood… But it is every persons responsibility to decide what they see and hear and how they interpret it. So I am interested & I would appreciate if you were to comment as to what ten films I should see from your country?
Heres my selection of ten New Zealand films:
1984 Vigil by Vincent Ward – trailer
1987 Bad Taste by Sir Peter Jackson – trailer
1989 Kitchen Sink by Alison Maclean – watch it here
1993 The Piano by Jane Campion – trailer
1994 Once Were Warriors by Lee Tamahori – trailer
2000 The Price of Milk by Harry Sinclair – trailer
2002 Whale Rider by Niki Caro – trailer
2003 Perfect Strangers by Gaylene Preson – trailer
2005 World’s Fastest Indian by Roger Donaldson – trailer
2010 Boy by Taika Waititi – trailer