Mahana [SFF2016]

 2016, Festivals, Reviews, Sydney Film Festival  Comments Off on Mahana [SFF2016]
Jun 172016


Set in 1960s rural New Zealand, Mahana (adapted by John Collee from the novel ‘Bulibasha: King of the Gypsies‘ by Witi Ihimaera) tells the story of a Māori family who are ruled over by their iron-fisted patriarch, Tamihana Mahana. Tamihana’s word is law, and he expects a lot from his family, particularly from his young grandson Simeon, who has of late begun to question his grandfather and other aspects of his life.

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Tickled [SFF2016]

 2016, Festivals, Reviews, Sydney Film Festival  Comments Off on Tickled [SFF2016]
Jun 112016


When New Zealand journalist David Farrier came across a Facebook page advertising “competitive endurance tickling”, he thought he’d stumbled across an amusing story, so he reached out to the company behind it (Jane O’Brien Media) for an interview. Little did Farrier know, this was the beginning of an exceedingly bizarre journey.

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Trailer: Tickled

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Mar 252016

Tickled is a documentary film I have been following since its early stages. I am a fan of David Farrier’s work and I supported the Kickstarter for the film. The updates to Kickstarter backers during the film’s production was like following a thriller via email – rather compelling stuff. The film screened at Sundance and received extremely positive reviews [check our Alex Billington’s great review here].


New Zealand David Farrier journalist stumbles upon a mysterious tickling competition online. As he delves deeper he comes up against fierce resistance, but that doesn’t stop him getting to the bottom of a story stranger than fiction.

The film has US and NZ release dates, but an Australian release date is yet to be announced. If it doesn’t get a release beforehand, I wouldn’t be surprised if this popped up at the Sydney Film Festival. Either way, we’re eagerly anticipating the chance to see it! You can read more about the film over at the film’s website.

Best Australian & New Zealand Films of 2014

 Features  Comments Off on Best Australian & New Zealand Films of 2014
Dec 132014

Charlies Country

It has been an incredible year for Australian and New Zealand film, one of the best in recent memory. Not only has there been a lot of it, but it has been good. From world horror hit The Babadook to Cannes award-winner Charlies Country and Rialto New Zealand Film Award winner The Dark Horse, this is a year we can be really proud of local cinema. Whether you see it at the cinema, rent it on VOD or hire it on Blu-ray, good quality local cinema is more accessible than ever. Andrew and I pick our top 10 Australian & New Zealand films after the jump.
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What We Do in the Shadows

 2014, Festivals, Reviews, Sydney Film Festival  Comments Off on What We Do in the Shadows
Jun 162014


Lurking in the shadows & hiding in plain sight, the vampires of Wellington are an incredibly charming and rather vicious breed. A documentary team are granted protection and are granted special access to the shared house of one such group of vampires. What We Do in the Shadows is the shocking account of what they discover.

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Shihad: Beautiful Machine

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Jun 042012

This review of New Zealand Music Documentary Shihad: Beautiful Machine has kindly been written by Tom Eastman. Tom has been a Shihad fan since back in the day, and was lucky enough to catch the film at the cinema in New Zealand (Australian will fans need to wait until September 6th). You can follow Tom on Twitter, or stop by his website. Thanks Tom!


I was fifteen years old the first time I went to a Shihad gig at The River Inn in Takaka, Golden Bay. A tiny rural pub with a cramped little garden bar and stage. They were promoting their self-titled album, the one that had the mega-hit opening track “Home Again”, but it was their sleezily-riffed bombastic “Pig Bop”, and the epic “For What You Burn” (still my all-time favourite song after all this time) that have never left the back of my mind since that night sixteen years ago.

Shihad have been pretty much my favourite band for more than half my life.

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