Notes & Queries by David Herkt

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Notes & Queries: Kiwi Queer Screen (Part One) - From 'Hudson & Halls' to 'Squeeze'

9 Responses

  • nzlemming,

    Looking forward to part 2, David.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2937 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    Interesting... I arrived in NZ in 1981 at 12 years of age.. Our family watched Hudson and Halls, enjoyed the bawdy humour (I'm sure a good portion of it went over my head, but I "got" some of it) , and generally understood that while nothing was admitted publicly... it was more than just likely they were gay... On the other-hand, I've never heard of "Squeeze" until today...

    It's amazing what can be so open and what stays hidden for so long...

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 893 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Auckland punk provided the movie’s soundtrack: Toy Love, The Features, and the Marching Girls. The movie’s title derived from the Toy Love song of the same name which provided its title-theme. The selection of music is indicative of Squeeze’s continuing cultural relevancy for it is precisely this music that is now seen as a valued legacy of the era. It adds considerably to the raw urban feel of the film.

    The title and the soundtrack were why my friends and I went to see it in Christchurch. It depicted something we knew existed but hitherto had no way of seeing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Squeeze was entirely shot in real city locations – Auckland streets, inner-city flats and houses

    Party at Brooklyn apartments!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Jose Barbosa,

    I enjoyed Squeeze when I watched it recently and I'm sort of obsessed by it. It's flawed in many ways, but it mostly works. Most notable is the way Turner and Co shot Auckland. I've never seen Auckland look like that on screen, figures emerging from the night into neon illumination. This is obviously the result of a small budget, but it looks great.

    Robert Shannon is fantastic in it as well. It's hard to tear your eyes off him.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 64 posts Report Reply

  • David Herkt,

    Yes, the Squeeze locations... Well-spotted with regard to Brooklyn, Russell. It also includes scenes shot at 27 Birdwood Crescent (bedroom & lounge). The scenes shot at Backstage are also interesting because there are very very few photographs of that club in existence. Stan Gordon, who owned the club along with Lew Pryme, lost his whole photographic archive in a fire and it was a time when cameras were seldom in evidence, particularly at night. So finding an image of Auckland's biggest gay club in the late 1970s is nearly impossible.

    And yes, Jose. Squeeze, as I tried to say, came from nowhere in that regard. It was originally called Night Moves before it was retitled Squeeze. We'd never really had a nocturnal NZ before. And the movie was just so urban compared to other film versions of us. I think basically it was shot nearly entirely within 2 kilometers of the Auckland GPO. The last wrap-scene was the final shot at dawn in Myer's park, sort of appropriate for such a night-time production.

    It's cast of extras also deserves mention. Often they were the people who would have been in the location anyway. I enjoy scanning crowd scenes for individuals. The Auckland band Proud Scum play the gay-baiting roughs, which amuses me.

    The initial version of the script finished with a gay wedding where 'people dressed in multi-coloured clothing stream down a hill'. I thought at the time the prospect was ridiculous. I was wrong. Still I do like that dawn scene in Myers Park as the closing music comes up.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2007 • 53 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to David Herkt,

    It’s cast of extras also deserves mention.

    Watching it again last week I spotted myself in the takeaway bar. I have no memory of that scene even being filmed but I was quite thrilled. As I recall we were not only extras but we were also tasked by Richard as unpaid all hands on board. I have a memory of carrying stuff into BackStage and moving furnture around our flat at 27 Birdwood

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3284 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    Great piece of social history.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to TracyMac,


    Great piece of social history.

    Especially considering the context of the times...

    (Truth poster September 29, 1982)

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

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