News of New Zealanders via Global Media

Two Cars, too beautiful

Two Cars, too beautiful

Two Cars, One Night by Taika Waititi was named Best Short Film at Germany’s prestigious Berlinale festival. The film, which also showed at Sundance 2003, explores the relationship which develops between two children…

Call of the Wild

Call of the Wild

A combined BBC and ABC production team has spent 3 years filming the first comprehensive nature program on Australasia. The 6-part series – Wild Australasia – uses state-of-the-art technology and daring camera-work to…

A delightful upset

A delightful upset

26 January 2004 – Peter Jackson may have been a shoe-in for an Oscar nomination, but the inclusion of first-time thespian Keisha Castle-Hughes (Whale Rider) in the Best Actress category came as a welcome…

Stopping traffic

Stopping traffic

Cliff Curtis is one of the key protagonists in the US miniseries Traffic – an adaptation of the Oscar-nominated film by the same name. Ever the ethnic chameleon (previous roles include Cuban, Iraqi, and…

Under Gollum’s skin

Under Gollum’s skin

The latest must-have for LotR enthusiasts is Gollum: How We Made Movie Magic. Written by Andy Serkis  who played Gollum in the trilogy  the book includes extracts by Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh,…

Taranaki’s Hollywood ambassador

Taranaki’s Hollywood ambassador

Tom Cruise sang the praises of Aotearoa to the US on his promotional tour for The Last Samurai, the Japanese military epic filmed largely in Taranaki. As well as the beautiful scenery and friendly…

From Hollywood to Bollywood

From Hollywood to Bollywood

NZ actor Martin Henderson is currently starring in Torque, the big-budget Hollywood motorcycle flick by the makers of 2 Fast 2 Furious and xXx. He describes Torque as a movie that “doesn’t…

Lord of PR

Lord of PR

Pete Hodgson – AKA ‘Minister of the Rings’ – dubbed “the most intelligent politician I have ever met” by National Post journalist, Cleo Paskal, in her article on the government-supported LotR publicity machine. “It…

Would the real Middle Earth please stand up?

Would the real Middle Earth please stand up?

“Tolkien may have intended The Lord of the Rings as an epic myth for England, but even he would acknowledge … that the world of Middle-earth and the tiny nation of NZ had become…

Uggly in pink

Uggly in pink

LA Times profiles that old Kiwi staple, the Ugg Boot, which  thanks to appearances on Sex & the City and Oprah  has been elevated from surfer’s necessity to fashion accessory. “They’re selling…

Lions and Witches in Kiwiland

Lions and Witches in Kiwiland

18 December 2003 – Pre-production on The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe is officially underway in NZ, with Weta Workshop on board for the visual effects and Kiwi Andrew Adamson (Shrek) at the…

How Much do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways…

How Much do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways…

The Guardian asks LotR cast members to explain their widely publicised admiration for NZ. Billy Boyd (Pippin): “The land feels new; it feels like what Scotland might have been like a few million years…

The Verdicts

The Verdicts

The usually art-house sympathetic New York Film Critics Circle chose Return of the King as their Best Film of 2003, The American Film Institute named the film in its top-10 of the year….

Russ stands his ground

Russ stands his ground

“I’d move to LA if Australia and NZ were swallowed up in a huge tidal wave.” December cover feature by UK Vanity Fair finds Russell Crowe firmly rooted Down Under despite being one of…

Rings-led Revolution

Rings-led Revolution

“New Zealand has had a day like no other”. The world premiere of The Return of the King in Wellington outshone all expectations, with a 100,000+ crowd lining the route of the spectacular…

Kia Ora Fellows

Kia Ora Fellows

For the international family of actors, surfing at Lyall Bay, brunching at Chocolate Fish Cafe, the Wellington premiere was thankgiving for the city and people who have embraced them as locals during the epic…

More Glowing PJ Praise

More Glowing PJ Praise

Sydney Morning Herald awestruck by the premiere, wonders how PJ managed to pull off “the trilogy of a lifetime” Operatic high praise from The New Yorker who credits the trilogy with reviving “the…

Here’s to you, Ms. Caro

Here’s to you, Ms. Caro

30 November 2003 – Whale Rider director, Niki Caro, was named one of Ms. Magazine‘s women of the year for 2003, alongside Salma Hayek, Eileen Fisher, and Loune Viaud. The US feminist publication recognised…

Praise the Lord

Praise the Lord

Peter Jackson: “‘He’s as cool as an elf, he has the heart of a hobbit, and he’s as mad as a wizard.’ That’s the awestruck opinion of Lord Of The Rings star…

Wetawood

Wetawood

Two LA Times features look at the phenomenal success of Peter Jackson’s Miramar-based empire; Weta Digital, Weta Workshop, and the Film Unit. The challenge meeting Jackson’s business is keeping the world-class staff he amassed…

Winning ways continue for Whale Rider

Winning ways continue for Whale Rider

International plaudits continue to come for Niki Caro’s 2002 hit, Whale Rider. Whale Rider beat Hollywood blockbusters 28 Days Later and The Wild Thornberry‘s to win the feature film category at the 2003 Environmental…

Xena and Her Sisters

Xena and Her Sisters

17 November 2003 – Ex-Warrior Princess, Lucy Lawless, was the obvious choice to front a Discovery Channel documentary series on women fighters in history. Warrior Woman features Joan of Arc, China’s Wang…

Hard-edged Cinema

Hard-edged Cinema

05 November 2003 – Empire magazine applauds Christine Jeff’s Sylvia  the biopic of American poet Sylvia Plath starring Gwyneth Paltrow – calling it “a moving and supremely acted account of the writer’s life, her…

“Round the Horn if You Dare”

“Round the Horn if You Dare”

Russell Crowe graces the cover of Time, prior to the release of his latest film, Peter Weir’s acclaimed maritime epic, Master and Commander.  His edge? “Hanks, Cruise and ladies’ champ Julia Roberts are…

Black sheep and proud of it

Black sheep and proud of it

Jane Campion discusses love, Hollywood, and women directors with Harpers & Queen. “Jane Campion seems to have the wrong name. ‘Jane’ is one of those names that belongs to girls who play skipping-rope, while…

The Price is Right

The Price is Right

New York Times feature addresses Peter Jackson’s record-breaking US$20 million salary for Universal’s King Kong remake, deciding he is more than worth the dollars. Jackson, with his collaborative team of Fran Walsh and Phillippa…

Gracious in their Success

Gracious in their Success

As their compatriots continue to climb the ranks in Hollywood  think Nicole Kidman, Geoffrey Rush, Naomi Watts, and Hugh Jackman  the Australian public has decided to toss a few honorary countrymen back…

“Dark fairytale” played out on the edge

“Dark fairytale” played out on the edge

Gaylene Preston and Rachael Blake  NZ director and Australian star of Perfect Strangers  speak to the Age about filming on the South Island’s rugged West Coast. Preston used the sense of…

Perfect Strangers

Perfect Strangers

Sam Neill, Rachel Blake (Lantana) and Joel Toebeck star in Gaylene Preston’s genre-bending twisted-tale of a pick up gone wrong on the South Island’s rugged West Coast or, “chick flick – deconstructed … subversion…

Let’s Talk About Sex

Let’s Talk About Sex

“Jane Campion has made an incredibly sexy movie, and she knows it.” Further cinematic exploration along the edge of the erotic, In the Cut debuted at September’s Toronto Film Festival, stirring up as much…

Littler fish to fry

Littler fish to fry

Fresh from US horror flick The Ring and Bollywood musical Bride and Prejudice, Kiwi actor Martin Henderson is to star alongside Cate Blanchett in the Australian film, Little Fish. Set in Sydney’s ‘Little Saigon’…

A star is Bourne

A star is Bourne

NZ actor Karl Urban, currently galloping across screens as Eomer in the LotR trilogy, will next appear in two major Hollywood sequels for cult sci-fi / horror flick, Pitch Black, and as Matt Damon’s…

Not-so-cheap seats

Not-so-cheap seats

LotR fans from Japan to Canada have been lining up to sponsor seats at Wellington’s Embassy Theatre, currently being refurbished in preparation for the world premiere of The Return of the King. 613 of…

Tamahori’s triple-X factor

Tamahori’s triple-X factor

Lee Tamahori is going from Bond to Bond-inspired as the new director of xXx. The second instalment in the lucrative franchise  in which Ice Cube replaces Vin Diesel as the titular extreme athlete-turned-secret…

Watching Wildlife World-Leaders

Watching Wildlife World-Leaders

Kiwi production company NHNZ scooped three awards at the 2003 NaturVision wildlife film festival held in Munich, Germany. The Case of the Baby-Faced Assassin (above)  a documentary on Australia’s nocturnal carnivorous marsupial,…

Making Hollywood inroads

Making Hollywood inroads

NZ actor Martin Csokas (Rain, Shortland Street, XXX) is in the running for the lead role in Ridley’s Scott’s next film, Kingdom of Heaven. The epic period drama centres on a young peasant-turned-knight who…

Making the cut, taking a break

Making the cut, taking a break

Jane Campion has been welcomed back by cinema critics and audiences after a 4 year break between films, with her harrowing thriller/love story, In the Cut. USA Today describes the film as…

Amazing win

Amazing win

New Zealand Edged Phil Keoghan (with wife Louise, above) as host was among the Emmy winners for his role in The Amazing Race, the Jerry Bruckheimer produced reality show that picked up…

Watt’s Up Jackson?

Watt’s Up Jackson?

Peter Jackson has reportedly asked Australian actress Naomi Watts (Mulholland Drive, The Ring) to play the female lead in King Kong, which begins shooting in Wellington this November.

Rings Exhibition Lord of Museum Toll-Gates

Rings Exhibition Lord of Museum Toll-Gates

The Lord of the Rings exhibition opened at London’s Science Museum in September, and has already proven to be the most successful show in the institution’s history. Developed and presented by Te Papa, over 14,000…

Multi-layered myth-making

Multi-layered myth-making

Japan Times review places Niki Caro’s Whale Rider alongside Once Were Warriors and The Piano as one of the pivotal moments in NZ cinema. “…Caro presents myth both as a connection with a…

A New Kind of Filmmaking: Blockbuster with Brains

A New Kind of Filmmaking: Blockbuster with Brains

Anticipating the release of Return of the King, NYT film critic Elvis Mitchell singles out the breezy braininess of Peter Jackson’s craft for exemplary praise: “Mr. Jackson has been carefully applying layers of emotional…

Behind Every Great Woman…

Behind Every Great Woman…

NZ-born producer, Linda McDougall, interviewed in the Sunday Times about her Channel 4 documentary, Married to Maggie: Denis Thatcher’s Story. McDougall collated interviews with the former British PM and her late husband – many…

Here’s to you Ms Hunter

Here’s to you Ms Hunter

Rachel Hunter subject of a Sky One documentary and two-part interview with The Sun in early August. She describes the documentary as an attempt to “draw a line under the whole Rod thing” and…

Paramount Acquires Antipodean Direction

Paramount Acquires Antipodean Direction

Andrew Dominick – the NZ-born director behind hit Aussie film Chopper – is soon to make his mark on the US movie scene. Dominick has been signed to develop and direct The Demolished Man…

Ka-Pai

Ka-Pai

Keisha Castle-Hughes continues to win over critics with her star-turn as Pai in Whale Rider. USA Today calls her “the discovery of the summer,” and the Miami Herald hails her performance as “the…

International Bright Young Thing

International Bright Young Thing

Anna Paquin talks dogs, dorm-living, Degas and “living long distance” with the Independent. Currently studying art history – between films – at Columbia University, Paquin will next be seen alongside Joaquin Phoenix and Ed…

Weta Digital Uncovered

Weta Digital Uncovered

The Wellington-based animation team behind the Lord of the Rings‘ award-winning visual effects were one of the main attractions at the annual Siggraph exhibition in San Diego, California. Established in the 1970s, Siggraph is…

A View from Down Under

A View from Down Under

A forum for ex-pat NZ, Australian, and South African amateur filmmakers living in London – the UpOverDownUnder film festival – is now in its third year. Over that time, the festival has…

Return of the Native?

Return of the Native?

As Whale Rider premieres in the UK, the Guardian ponders its impact as NZ and Maori cinema, and the cultural factors at play. “longside the celebration in New Zealand’s film industry, there has also…

Weta’s Secrets Revealed

Weta’s Secrets Revealed

Te Papa’s record-breaking Lord of the Rings exhibition opens at London’s Science Museum in September – it’s only European showing before travelling to Singapore, Sydney, and Boston. The exhibition focuses on Weta Digital’s FX…

Narnia to Aotearoa

Narnia to Aotearoa

The multi-million dollar production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is now likely to be shot substantially in NZ, following the government’s decision to allow a tax-exemption grant for film companies shooting…

Sing Bravo Bravo

Sing Bravo Bravo

Whale Rider praise swells in both broadsheet and tabloid reviews on its UK premiere. Daily Telegraph: “Bereft of name actors, supersaturated colours and egregious product placements, it shows us that another kind of…

The many faces of Cliff Curtis

The many faces of Cliff Curtis

Tribune feature on Cliff Curtis tracks his career trajectory from Once Were Warriors to Whale Rider. While the two movies appear vastly different in subject and style, Curtis is quick to point out a…

Mita takes pride of place

Mita takes pride of place

Maori filmmaker Merata Mita was the star guest at Montreal’s 13th First Peoples’ Festival last month – a celebration of the world’s aboriginal cultures. The Cinematheque Quebecoise held a retrospective of her work -…

Lady Ngila

Lady Ngila

“The costume designer deserves a knighthood.” Award-winning Kiwi costumier, Ngila Dickson, receives nameless praise in Empire magazine for her “impressive rendering of 19th century Japan” in previews of Tom Cruise’s The Last Samurai -…