Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: When A City Falls

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    This really isn’t good enough, Auckland.

    YMMV, but it's not good enough that too many damn good documentaries are lucky if they do the Film Festival circuit and eventually wash up on DVD. (And, as depressingly usual, if they screen on television at all Maori is your best bet - Patu, Hoop Dreams and When We Were Kings immediately come to mind. Along with more good foreign "arthouse" movies than you shake an arty-farty stick at.)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    So why was there a grand total of five of us in the theatre

    Uh, zero publicity about the screening?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Hannah,

    Because people go to the movies for escapist entertainment?
    FWIW we actually went out Saturday evening to the movies - the first time for ages, since our kids were both away for the night. We didn't go to see this movie because it seemed like it falls into the "Once were Warriors" category - something you _should_ see, but don't expect to enjoy. It didn't seem to fit with our tone of it being a special date type evening.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2009 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    Uh, zero publicity about the screening?

    Poorly timed publicity, perhaps. Media7 and Campbell Live covered it weeks ago, and while Gerard talked to Kim Hill on Saturday, listeners may have had other things on their minds.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18969 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I can't afford to go to the movies. I haven't been to any this year. It's an outrageous luxury that isn't even luxurious.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8592 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Media7 and Campbell Live covered it weeks ago

    Did you say when and where the screening was? Must have missed that.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    YMMV, but it’s not good enough that too many damn good documentaries are lucky if they do the Film Festival circuit and eventually wash up on DVD.

    Oh, quite. But here's one, and important one, that actually got nationwide theatrical release. That seems worth supporting in itself.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18969 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    I can't afford to go to the movies. I haven't been to any this year.

    +1

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    Did you say when and where the screening was? Must have missed that.

    Yes, but who can remember anything for four weeks these days?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18969 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Quite. Marketing a film doesn't usually consist of favourable one-off stories a month earlier.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Hannah,

    We didn’t go to see this movie because it seemed like it falls into the “Once were Warriors” category – something you _should_ see, but don’t expect to enjoy. It didn’t seem to fit with our tone of it being a special date type evening.

    Ah... My partner and I are considering going to see it on our anniversary on Thursday. Which would be kind of appropriate, because our first 'leaving the house' date? Was a screening of Once Were Warriors.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4369 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Ah… My partner and I are considering going to see it on our anniversary on Thursday. Which would be kind of appropriate, because our first ‘leaving the house’ date? Was a screening of Once Were Warriors

    Good lord.

    But you’ll be okay, I think. You’ll cry, but you’ll be okay.

    Warning: the film was mixed down at Park Road Post, which has the most awesome sound facility in the Southern hemisphere. You may find the actual noise of the earthquakes disturbing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18969 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    Calder is right to say that the visits at the end of the film to look at reconstruction efforts in San Francisco, New Orleans and Portland (which suffered only the trauma of conventional urban decay) "seem jarring, not just because they are so fleeting. They make room for some high-sounding platitudes that are so conspicuously absent from the film as a whole."

    The "clunky" bits were a deliberate attempt to raise the audience's eyes from what had happened to what could be, so people -- particularly in Christchurch -- would walk out of the movie feeling stronger and uplifted not traumatised by reliving some of the hardest days of our lives.

    Gerard and my partner Greg and others worked together in March or April to reset the theme of the film for that reason: it had to add to our city's recovery not just redocument trauma. At that time it was an incredibly uplifting idea to be even tangentially involved with: every day people here were slowly finding out about
    what they had lost as well as going through their own personal journeys through the mire; good news was hard to find and clung on to and polished when it was found. That is why the future became so important; the idea of reinvention not just rebuilding.

    I read the reviews and think "yeah that's a valid quibble" but that's an intellectual exercise; not really relevant to living through it all. I'll be one of those old bats who harks back to the Blitz; it wasn't the best of times, but it was a tranformative time and showed what sort of person I and the people around me are at core.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2608 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Hebe,

    The “clunky” bits were a deliberate attempt to raise the audience’s eyes from what had happened to what could be, so people – particularly in Christchurch – would walk out of the movie feeling stronger and uplifted not traumatised by reliving some of the hardest days of our lives.

    Yes, and I know that was a very important element of the film, but I think it could have been achieved better. Maybe just via one compelling figure saying it, rather than the detour off to three other places.

    I read the reviews and think “yeah that’s a valid quibble” but that’s an intellectual exercise; not really relevant to living through it all. I’ll be one of those old bats who harks back to the Blitz; it wasn’t the best of times, but it was a tranformative time and showed what sort of person I and the people around me are at core.

    Very nicely put.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18969 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Ah... My partner and I are considering going to see it on our anniversary on Thursday. Which would be kind of appropriate, because our first 'leaving the house' date? Was a screening of Once Were Warriors

    I reluctantly went to the premiere (yep I wuz scared) and it was very worthwhile. I came out up, not down, so I don't think it's daft as an anniversary date at all. I'm with Russell on the noise of the earthquakes: I did the mature thing, having been warned that the bits of earthquake noise were very realistic, and put earplugs in for the first bit. I think I just shut out everything apart from dialogue because everyone says the music is great, but I don't remember any of it. I didn't have the crap sleep I expected that night either.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2608 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Russell Brown,

    You may find the actual noise of the earthquakes disturbing.

    Just as well I've already had a run at that then, because yes, that noise provokes a really visceral reaction.

    But you’ll be okay, I think. You’ll cry, but you’ll be okay.

    Yeah, we've met, haven't we? That is, indeed, My Thing. On the weekend we're doing the walk into the Square and the Red Zone bus tour. Which might seem a bit mad all at once, but we had to wait until after our son had finished exams, and the election was over. And I'll get through it because I have something to look forward to. Yes, I am going to Wellington again next month...

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4369 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Is there any idea when it will be out on DVD/available to expats? For obvious reasons I very much want to see it, but there's no way I'll be in NZ while it's on theatrical release.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    tThis really isn't good enough, Auckland

    They know how it ends?
    Maybe but I will being making the effort to see this.
    We had to make a few deliveries around the city a couple of weeks ago, it is heart breaking to see what has gone and the damage to the infrastructure

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 543 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    That seems worth supporting in itself.

    It does - and I'm probably going to have to haul arse and see it some time this week (before heading off to Taupo for a family wedding).

    I'd also like to encourage people to go completely crazy and not only go see O Le Tulafale (The Orator) (if you haven't already - why not?) but buy the DVD, which is due out just in time for discerning Christmas shopping. (Also consider buying Roseanne Liang's wonderful My Wedding and Other Secrets__ -- this year's local rom-com that didn't suck a duck.)

    If you want theatres and distributors to commit to films like this, you've got to show them the money (to coin a phrase)! :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    Have a look at the Facebook page for When A City Falls. News like that is on there; from memory next year.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2608 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Hebe,

    I read the reviews and think “yeah that’s a valid quibble” but that’s an intellectual exercise; not really relevant to living through it all.

    Completely get where you're coming from, Hebe - but I'd argue that it's more than an intellectual exercise to say that when we forget our history (or wrap it up in distortions, sentimental myths or flat out disaster-porn) we don't honour it. I'd like to think this movie will be around long after we're all dead and gone; and the respect we pay those who've gone before us is to do our very best to see them - and each other - with a clear eye.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Terry Baucher,

    I'd also like to encourage people to go completely crazy and not only go see O Le Tulafale (The Orator) (if you haven't already - why not?) but buy the DVD, which is due out just in time for discerning Christmas shopping. (Also consider buying Roseanne Liang's wonderful My Wedding and Other Secrets__ -- this year's local rom-com that didn't suck a duck.)

    Yes, both are excellent films, particularly The Orator which uses film very well to tell its story.

    Devonport • Since Nov 2008 • 88 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Attachment

    Speaking of ovoids (see below)…
    the attached pic is of the Richmond Bowling Club (in my street) which was to have been the site of Chchch’s first PA Great Blend event…
    a sad sight now (photo taken yesterday)…

    Which would be kind of appropriate, because our first ‘leaving the house’ date? Was a screening of Once Were Warriors.

    Can’t make an omelette with out breaking eggs, eh?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5060 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Terry Baucher,

    Yes, both are excellent films, particularly The Orator which uses film very well to tell its story.

    If Leon Narbey is capable of shooting an ugly or dull frame, he's hidden the evidence very well. The production values on The Orator just prove that a big budget is no substitute for craft and creativity born out of limitations.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Yes, I'd like to add my encouragement to go and see the Orator - one of the best films I've seen this year

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2175 posts Report Reply

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