Cracker by Damian Christie

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Cracker: About a Boy

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  • Sacha,

    I only saw Eagle vs Shark recently (I think it was on TV?), and I found it boring and tedious.

    Phew, not just me then. I'm looking forward to Boy though, expecting some reminders of childhood living a way up the coast. Nostalgia humoured.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    And he plundered his own successful film Two Cars One Night. Shot for shot he reprised it in parts.

    Yeah, what Robyn said. And by 'plundered', I think you might mean about three lines, starting with "Do you know why I pulled you over miss."

    But that's cool, not everyone will like it, I just wanted to add my voice to those who did. And yeah, I thought Eagle vs Shark was enjoyable enough, but I wouldn't rave about it, not like Boy.

    @Stewart: You must see 2 cars 1 night. In fact, you must see it now. here it is.

    As for the comments about the darkness of NZ cinema, I think that can be true, but it's also a little bit of a cliche. NZ has an equally bad record of shit comedy throughout the same period. Send a Gorilla, Chicken, anything by Grant La Hood and almost everything Harry Sinclair touched during the 90s/00s... Boy is a relief not because of the contrast with all that NZ-gothic stuff, but because we finally produced a comedy that was actually good.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    More on nostalgia and short films. Haven't seen this for ages. Part two on YouTube also. That sound track ain't bad, speaking of chickens.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    If it's any consolation, Danielle, (and it won't be) my mother had that problem with Eagle vs Shark, and she loved Boy.

    I'm with your mother too, Emma. I wanted to like Eagle vs Shark but just couldn't and didn't, but loved Boy. (And, I may add, so apparently did the rest of the capacity audience at the Penthouse cinema in Brooklyn).

    I really enjoyed this movie, even if you take it at one of it's shallower levels about being a kid in NZ in the eighties (as I was),

    I was a kid growing up in Opotiki around that time, and it felt distinctly like a documentary to me. Agree with Damian about it being pitch perfect.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 821 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    NZ has an equally bad record of shit comedy throughout the same period.

    Yes, but not much of a record on good comedy. It's a pity, a lack, which seems to be slowly changing. One of the best things about Outrageous Fortune is the humour. Oh, and the rude sex.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    I was a kid growing up in Opotiki around that time, and it felt distinctly like a documentary to me. Agree with Damian about it being pitch perfect.

    Ha! Another one. We're everywhere, so look out...

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    Sione's Wedding

    And prior to that, probably Footrot Flats: The Movie was the biggest-grossing comedy. I don't think NZ film's comedy record has been that dismal: the first three Peter Jackson movies were comedies, Came a Hot Friday back in the 80s, even Goodbye Pork Pie can be taken as a comedy. And that was huge at the time. That whole Blerta/Geoff Murphy vein was very comedy based.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 656 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    being called an egg rang pretty true

    We did that on the dreaded Shore, too. What was up with the 'egg' thing in the 80s, I wonder?

    (I love Kitchen Sink. Yay.)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    Not disagreeing (although mayyyyybe with your definition of Jackson's oeuvre as 'comedy' even though it is quite funny), but aside from those examples, the fact that we had a couple of good comedies back in the 80s, quarter of a century ago, doesn't exactly salvage everything that's come since. The past decade has been particularly bad.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I loved Kitchen Sink and it's still one of the best short films I've seen. Yes to the soundtrack, and great sound-editing too - was when I first noticed what an impact that has on the overall product. And Theresa Healey was a bonus.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    The past decade has been particularly bad.

    Won't argue with that. I thought the 90s/early 00s was really bad for comedy -- those ones like Chicken, Toy Love, I'll Make You Happy, Via Satellite. The Film Commission was trying too hard.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 656 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    And Theresa Healey was a bonus.

    Bloody Shortland Street. Ruined my favourite actress for me. Well, sort of. Still watched it. When I arrived in Wellington in 1989 was briefly in a flat with TH and another soon to be famous actress who also ended up on the Street*.

    That's my name dropping done for the next decade. Oh wait, Taika's uncle was... Shuddup already!!!

    *Note the Capital. It's important.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Footrot Flats: The Movie was a comedy? I found it mostly melancholy. The comic strip was certainly funny at times, but I don't think it translated to film so well. I enjoyed it, but it wasn't really that funny.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    the past decade has been particularly bad.

    You are forgetting about Black Sheep and Second Hand Wedding, which were a giggle or two. The problem is to do with distribution, publicity budgets + the fact that all our major film distributors/exhibitors are overseas owned, with no particular loyalty to local film. I'm Not Harry Jensen (2010) is a New Zealand-made, well-formed and effective little thriller but it has already disappeared without a trace. In 2008, for example, NZ films earned a miserly 1.6% of the total NZ box office.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2537 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia,

    We've had some great short films. And they sort of get lost in the system. I loved Possum by Brad McCann but there I go again, I love the angst ... the unease.

    Honestly I do like comedy too but to focus a comedy around a plotline which is about coming to terms with the death of a mother seems like a bad recipe to me.

    There was a full house at 2 pm when we went to see it and lots of teenagers who laughed and went ahhhh. So that was great - if it's the beginning of cinema of ease, bring it on.

    I'd just like a grown up NZ feature about a Maori community without the stereotypes of Boy or the violence of OWW. That's not up to Taika but there must be so many stories out there.

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 559 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    You are forgetting about Black Sheep and Second Hand Wedding, which were a giggle or two. The problem is to do with distribution, publicity budgets + the fact that all our major film distributors/exhibitors are overseas owned, with no particular loyalty to local film.

    But both those films did really good box office here and got a lot of media attention. The Topp Twins film also. Right now, you're seeing Home By Christmas -- not a comedy -- get more media coverage, especially vital television like Close-Up, than any comparable international film. I don't think promotion and publicity is much of a problem anymore. Remember how much Under the Mountain got? And The Vintner's Luck? That the latter tanked wasn't to do with no one knowing about it.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 656 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    a plotline which is about coming to terms with the death of a mother

    <fingers in ears> spoiler

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    OWW

    not even,

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    I'd just like a grown up NZ feature about a Maori community without the stereotypes of Boy

    You saw them as stereotypes, I saw them as manifestations of people I knew growing up. "There's such and such". "Oh look at that Humber 80. Such and such had one of those. Oh yeah, me".

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Tessa Houghton,

    I thought it was lovely, felt like home, but I also agree with someone back down the road that a bit less Alamein and more of the kids would have improved it (for me). I didn't dislike Waititi as Alamein, but I felt his character and his dialogue were sometimes jarringly unnaturalistic cf. the kids, and it disrupted the flow, for me.

    Does anyone know where the insult 'egg' came from? I know it's in Macbeth, and possibly more Shakespeare - but how the hell did we end up with it? It fascinates me.

    Wellington • Since Aug 2009 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    You are forgetting about Black Sheep and Second Hand Wedding

    I haven't seen the latter, but don't know anyone who raved about it - in fact just yesterday a couple of friends were saying just the opposite. Black Sheep wasn't exactly funny either. Nor was it the abortion Kombi Nation was, for instance, but I don't think you could hold it up as a decisive retort to my hypothesis.

    @Cecilia - Like @recordari, I didn't see stereotypes, certainly not such that they grated. The kids' dialogue seemed particularly natural to me, but then again I wasn't a Maori kid living on the East Coast in the 80s. I find, for instance, the characters of Jethro and Munter in Outrageous Fortune far more unconvincingly stereotypical - although I still really enjoy that show.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker,

    @Ben:

    Waipiro Bay

    a truly amazing place. only been there twice for a couple of days each. won't ever forget it though. hope to go back again a few times too...

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 645 posts Report Reply

  • ChrisW,

    Waipiro Bay
    a truly amazing place. only been there twice for a couple of days each. won't ever forget it though. hope to go back again a few times too...

    Indeed amazing - but a significantly different coast, different environment, different iwi from that the focus of 'Boy'.

    Still, one of the great factoids sort-of on-topic - downtown Waipiro Bay was the site of Robert Kerridge's first picture theatre, cinema if you like.

    Gisborne • Since Apr 2009 • 851 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker,

    site of Robert Kerridge's first picture theatre

    yeah, the guy at place where we stayed told us a bit of the history. the cinema thing being just one of a whole lot of amazing facts about the place that seem so unlikely when you go there now.

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 645 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia,

    You saw them as stereotypes, I saw them as manifestations of people I knew growing up.

    I suppose I'm forgetting the 80's setting when y'all grew up. I grew up in the 50s so I've got a different perspective.

    Eleven year old boys are not quite so cute and innocent now?????? I think Alamein Jnr's sweetness is a stereotype with little bits of brotown and of Waititi's former film Two Cars. You can make one sweet little film about such a boy but if you repeat it in a less subtle way you are possibly feeding into some sort of legend rather than reality.

    I'm confusing myself now.

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 559 posts Report Reply

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