New Zealand’s national indigenous channel, Maori Television, is launching a nine-week season of homegrown movies, CLASSIC KIWI CINEMA, on Sunday April 29 at 9.00 PM.
The vintage films screening in the advertisement-free Sunday Feature slot, Kitiata Ratapu, include:
SLEEPING DOGS (1977) – Sunday April 29 at 9.00 PM. Director Roger Donaldson’s first feature film – starring Sam Neill – is also notable for being the first feature-length 35 mm film produced entirely in New Zealand. It follows Smith (Neill) as New Zealand plunges into a police state after industrial disputes flare into violence.
THE LAST TATTOO (1994) – Sunday May 6 at 9.00 PM. A wartime romantic thriller set in 1943, when 100,000 US Marines were shipped to New Zealand to defend the country against Japanese invasion. A Marine captain (Tony Goldwyn) falls in love with a nurse (Kerry Fox) while investigating a murder.
VIGIL (1984) – Sunday May 13 at 9.00 PM. Director Vincent Ward’s debut feature was the first New Zealand film selected to screen in competition at Cannes. In a remote valley, a farmer is killed as his young daughter watches. In his wake comes a hunter who begins a relationship with the girl’s mother.
DESPERATE REMEDIES (1993) – Sunday May 20 at 9.00 PM. Written and directed by Peter Wells and Stewart Main, and set in 19th century New Zealand, this lush romance follows the saga of a broken-hearted woman struggling to protect her sister and her fortune from the ravages of ill-conceived love. Stars Jennifer Ward-Lealand, the late Kevin Smith, Lisa Chappell, Cliff Curtis and Michael Hurst.
PICTURES (1981) – Sunday May 27 at 9.00 PM. The story of brothers and rivals, both photographers of colonial New Zealand. Walter takes pictures of rebel Maori taken prisoner by colonial soldiers while Alfred’s images obscure and romanticise the plight of the Maori.
LEAVE ALL FAIR (1985) – Sunday June 3 at 9.00 PM. More moving cinema from filmmaker John O’Shea. Filmed in France, this is the story of John Middleton-Murry, the husband of New Zealand writer Katherine Mansfield.
MAGIK & ROSE (1999) – Sunday June 10 at 9.00 PM. Fledgling filmmaker Vanessa Alexander’s debut feature lifts the covers off the sleepy town of Hokitika. A dodgy city fortune-teller and a small town wife find out they both want the impossible: a child.
TOY LOVE (2003) – Sunday June 17 at 9.00 PM. The third feature film from Kiwi writer/director Harry Sinclair is a comedy about sex and infidelity. Love is a game for Ben (Dean O’Gorman) who lies and cheats on his girlfriend Emily (Marissa Stott) with the greatest of ease.
SMASH PALACE (1981) – Sunday June 24 at 9.00 PM. Another Roger Donaldson masterpiece and starring the late Bruno Lawrence who also co-wrote the movie. After the break-up of his marriage, a racing car driver (Lawrence) sets out to get back his daughter (Greer Robson) – at any cost.
Maori Television’s New Zealand movie season, CLASSIC KIWI CINEMA, screens in the Sunday Feature slot, Kiriata Ratapu, at 9.00 PM for nine weeks from Sunday April 29.