News of New Zealanders via Global Media

Farewell to Leading Lady

Farewell to Leading Lady

The death of NZ’s acting doyenne Davina Whitehouse has been mourned at home and abroad, with obituaries appearing in The Boston Globe and The Independent. Her prolific career spanned stage, film, and television, and…

“A Little Madness Helps”

“A Little Madness Helps”

In an NYT essay Peter Jackson describes the 14 months it took to film the Rings trilogy as a “protracted bout of willful madness with seven units shooting multiple elements simultaneously for the…

Co-host Clark

Co-host Clark

Helen Clark appeared on America’s top-rating Today Show to promote an upcoming Discovery Channel program on NZ. New Zealand: The Royal Tour sees the PM take American presenter Peter Greenberg on a guided tour…

Frodo Air

Frodo Air

An Air NZ Boeing 747 has become the latest (and largest) Lord of the Rings billboard. The plane sports a 36m image of the hobbit leads down either side of its fuselage. The advertising is part…

Lord of FX

Lord of FX

Wired profiles Stephen Regelous, the Wellingtonian behind The Two Towers‘ jaw-dropping battle scenes. Regelous created a program – Massive – which would supply “smart crowds” to supplement the on-screen action. Each agent has an individual brain, with…

Tall Poppy Keeps His Head

Tall Poppy Keeps His Head

“A genius masquerading as an ordinary person, a creative whirlwind, financial powerhouse and folk hero rolled into one.” LA Times applauds Peter Jackson’s phenomenal success, not only in film circles, but in the eyes…

Middle Earth to the Masses

Middle Earth to the Masses

Te Papa’s Lord of the Rings exhibition (opening 19 December) is set to go global. The interactive collection of costumes, props, sets, and gadgetry mounts a two year international tour from February 2002, which includes stop-offs…

Paquin: Make mine a double

Paquin: Make mine a double

Anna Paquin joins an ensemble cast including Edward Norton and Philip Seymour Hoffman in Spike Lee’s latest film, The 25th Hour. Advance screenings of the (typically) dark drama have sparked talk of likely Oscar nominations.

Sundance Spot For Whale Rider

Sundance Spot For Whale Rider

Fresh from an award-winning stint in Toronto, Niki Caro’s Whale Rider is to feature at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival. Other entrants in the World Cinema category include Bend It Like Beckham and the latest Dogme instalment,…

Ringing its Praises

Ringing its Praises

“A rare perfect mating of filmmaker and material” (NY Times). The Two Towers has been released with a series of glitzy premieres and press reviews which more than match the hype. Variety: “It’s hard to imagine…

Tyler no diva

Tyler no diva

Liv Tyler talks to The Scotsman about making movies Middle Earth-style. “It was a labour of love for everyone. There weren’t a lot of perks. We didn’t have these huge trailers and all these excessive…

Frosty the Crowe-man

Frosty the Crowe-man

Indie film website Film Threat has voted Russell Crowe 2002’s Coldest Person in Hollywood. Crowe topped the annual poll, his “bad-boy big mouth” beating out Winona Ryder and Robert De Niro for the dubious honour.

Best Actor

Best Actor

New Zealand born actor Gary Day, renown for roles in soap operas Gloss and Shark in the Park, wins Best Guest Actor for his cameo performance in Aussie drama Blue Heelers at the AFI…

Gender Studies 101

Gender Studies 101

Guardian writer Julie Burchill questions Russell Crowe’s status as “sole standard bearer” for old-school Hollywood hell-raising in the wake of his latest public brawl. Back in the bad old days, she notes, stars did without the “semi-official…

Russell Crowe: “From dud to stud”

Russell Crowe: “From dud to stud”

Russell Crowe makes the grade in a run-down of Hollywood’s sexiest men by People Magazine. From unlikely beginnings “sporting high heels and lipstick” in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Crowe has come to epitomize…

Independent Film in the Wars

Independent Film in the Wars

An independent British film telling the story of a New Zealand WW2 hero has ignited a “trans-Atlantic row over Hollywood movie muscle.” Two Men Went to War is to be screened in a paltry…

UN Children’s Television Workshop

UN Children’s Television Workshop

A New Zealand production features in the International Children’s Television Festival in Manhattan this month. The Kiwi entry in the UN sponsored exhibition, The Dress-Up Box Wonder, was written on the morning of the…

Giving new meaning to wildlife

Giving new meaning to wildlife

NZ production The Most Extreme has proved a hit with international Animal Planet viewers. The series, made by Dunedin-based Natural History New Zealand, involves a countdown of the world’s weirdest animal trivia. Due to…

Dr Grant, I presume?

Dr Grant, I presume?

Sam Neill has hinted he will reprise his role as Dr Grant in Steven Spielberg’s fourth Jurassic Park installment. The Queenstown-based actor is sufficiently impressed by the script that he would consider ” his…

From Soaps to Splatter-flicks

From Soaps to Splatter-flicks

New York-based Kiwi, Martin Henderson (Shortland Street, Windtalkers), co-stars in October’s US box-office No.1 – The Ring. The thriller is a re-make of the cult Japanese Ringu series, and revolves around a video-tape curse….

Cook Sails into Prime Time

Cook Sails into Prime Time

Captain Cook is the inspiration behind America’s latest hit reality TV show. The Ship follows a group of ordinary folks in their bid to sail a replica of the Endeavour from Australia to Indonesia….

Marine advisors to Hollywood

Marine advisors to Hollywood

A NZ father/son team is behind the submarine action scenes on Harrison Ford’s latest film, K-19: The Widowmaker. Lance Julian and father, Harry, run Marine Team Ltd., an American-based company with strong ties to…

Girls, Gadgets, Action

Girls, Gadgets, Action

Bond director Lee Tamahori qualifies his license to thrill: “A Bond movie has conventions: girls, gadgets, action. It’s not that you must stick with them, but if you don’t, you may be doing the…

Rebel with an Emmy

Rebel with an Emmy

Ex-Wellingtonian Rob Pearson received a Creative Arts Emmy for his contribution to TNT’s James Dean biopic. The award was for outstanding art direction on a movie, mini-series or special.

Lord of the Travel Agents

Lord of the Travel Agents

It is official: NZ is the most popular long-haul destination for Britons. From January to June, a record 228,000 British travelers visited – 8.9% more than in 2001. The Guardian puts the increase down…

“A Passionate Love Affair Between Two Great Minds”

“A Passionate Love Affair Between Two Great Minds”

NZ filmmaker Christine Jeffs (Rain) is to direct a British production about the turbulent marriage of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. Starring Gwyneth Paltrow and British actor Daniel Craig, the film was inspired by…

Whale Rider: People’s Choice at Toronto

Whale Rider: People’s Choice at Toronto

Whale Rider swerves past Bend it Like Beckham to win the prestigious AGF People’s Choice award at the Toronto Film Festival – an award previously won by Amelie and …

xXx

xXx

NZ actor Martin Csokas’ sexy (Salon) villian praised in Vin Diesel action blockbuster xXx: Csokas is “the baddest of the baddies,” “a splendid villain whose brooding and commanding persona oozes onto the screen.”…

LOTR

LOTR

The Fellowship of the Ring won the Hugo Award for best dramatic presentation at the World Science Fiction Convention in San Jose, California. In attendance for the ceremony were Sean Astin (A.K.A Sam Gamgee) and NZer…

Edge People of Middle Earth

Edge People of Middle Earth

“, for all its knockout grandeur, is but the trailer, the preview of the country. NZ doesn’t need to be digitally enhanced. It has an orchestra replete with special effects all of its own.” Headlining feature on…

Children subject of Her Majesty

Children subject of Her Majesty

The Edinburgh International Film Festival screens the “quirky New Zealand film” Her Majesty. Mark J Gordon’s feature (from a Sundance award-winning script) tells the story of an impassioned young Royalist during the…

Giant Spiders Terrorise Public

Giant Spiders Terrorise Public

Campy, 50s sci-fi inspired Eight Legged Freaks achieves what it set out to do: “scare the pants off the viewer.” Written and directed by NZer Ellory Elkayem, Freaks delivers thrills aplenty, while remaining…

Xenites Unite!

Xenites Unite!

7th Xena Fest held at the University of Hawaii-Manoa June 9. Activities included martial arts demonstrations, auctions, and battle-cry contests. See the NZEDGE hot story on Lucy Lawless for the person behind…

Wild West Coast designs production

Wild West Coast designs production

Sam Neill films in NZ for the first time since The Piano on South Island’s rugged West Coast. Perfect Strangers, directed and produced by noted NZ documentary maker Gaylene Preston (Bread and Roses), also…

Maximus vs. Hannibal

Maximus vs. Hannibal

NZ-born Russell Crowe has beaten Hollywood heavyweights including Anthony Hopkins, Paul Newman, Tom Hanks, and Robert DeNiro to be voted favourite Best Actor Oscar winner of all time, according to a poll by US…

Scarfies in Shanghai

Scarfies in Shanghai

Five recent NZ films – Once Were Warriors, Scarfies, The Price of Milk, Magik & Rose, and Jubilee – hit Chinese screens June 8 – 22 in China’s first NZ film festival.

Ludic love

Ludic love

Harry Sinclair film Toy Love applauded in Indiewire: “I love how deftly it hides surprisingly dark themes beneath its very sexy and funny depiction of love and lust. It’s a screwball comedy that’s quite…

Scene stealing

Scene stealing

The LA Times surveys an “invasion of American films by directors and stars from Down Under. The biggest star now working in American films who began in his native New Zealand is Russell Crowe…

Rain

Rain

Christine Jeff’s “sexually potent yet understated” feature debut Rain continues to make splashes as it opens across North America. The Boston Herald reports that Jeffs “easily captures the rhythm of a summer…

Mount Taranakiyama

Mount Taranakiyama

Taranaki’s eponymous mountain is a suitable double for Mount Fuji, or so thinks Edward Zwick (Glory, Legends of the Fall) who will direct Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai later this year. New Zealand’s…

On the Edge of Your … Chair

On the Edge of Your … Chair

Following in the Popstars tradition of grand contributions to global pop culture NZ’s gift to the gameshow format has former tennis star John McEnroe signed on with the BBC to front a ten-series run…

Bug Movie 2002:

Bug Movie 2002:

“What do you get when you cross toxic waste with a bunch of exotic spiders? Eaten.” The Washington Post gives the skinny on Eight Legged Freaks – the feature debut for Kiwi director…

The Piano Makes All Time A-List

The Piano Makes All Time A-List

Jane Campion’s The Piano seated in esteemed company in The A List: The National Society of Film Critics’ 100 Essential Films, edited by Jay Carr.  

The Piano

The Piano

Jane Campion’s The Piano seated in esteemed company in The A List: The National Society of Film Critics’ 1 Essential Films, edited by Jay Carr.

Rain: “under the surreal glare of a sunburnt hangover”

Rain: “under the surreal glare of a sunburnt hangover”

“A detached study of sleepy domestic torpor seizing up into tragic desperation, Christine Jeffs’s debut feature, Rain, bears resemblance to The Virgin Suicides and Ratcatcher Jeffs’s compositions are clean and evocative; and aided…

Acid Rain

Acid Rain

“This New Zealand coming-of-age movie isn’t really about anything. When it’s this rich and luscious, who cares?” Direction and acting applauded in Christine Jeff’s debut feature adaptation of Kirsty Gunn’s novella Rain. “A richly detailed movie.”  Salon’s…

Soft edge scenery?

Soft edge scenery?

BBC adaptation of Arthur Conan-Doyle’s dinosaur romp The Lost World: shot “against the glorious backdrop of New Zealand’s South Island … New Zealand offered diverse landscapes in relatively easy conditions. “New Zealand has a…

The Empire Strikes Back

The Empire Strikes Back

The SMH finds Tem Morrison carrying the antipodean banner in the new Star Wars blockbuster, Episode II: Attack of the Clones – the latest installment of George Lucas’s epic fantasy: “The best…

Vanity Fair enough

Vanity Fair enough

Ex-Shorties original Martin Henderson, after a stint across the ditch, goes west to LA and hits the big-time featuring in Vanity Fair’s annual hyping Hollywood photo essay for his part in the upcoming Windtalkers….

Tower de force

Tower de force

Pictures from Two Towers, the second instalment of Lord of the Rings, can be viewed in this Sun Online special.

Edge Triple play

Edge Triple play

Three New Zealanders – Russell Crowe (no. 28), Peter Jackson (no. 41), and Tim Bevan (no. 51=) feature in Premeire Magazine’s 2002 Power List of the most influential people in Hollywood.

Best Supporting Landmass

Best Supporting Landmass

Tourists lured by LotR: “Too bad they don’t give Oscars for ‘best supporting landmass’. If they did New Zealand’s role in Lord of the Rings would have swept that award”, reports travel editor Anne…

Wellywood Story

Wellywood Story

LA film producers look to the edge for inspiration in an attempt to reverse the trend of productions increasingly being shot in foreign locations to cut costs: “Los Angeles is not like Wellington”, says…

Flight of the Crowe

Flight of the Crowe

“To some, Russell Crowe is still a bit of a Hando – there’s that smouldering, explosive edginess”. For Beautiful Mind director Ron Howard it was Crowe’s “physicality and charisma…his intellect, his mental…

Sir Ian swoons for our free land

Sir Ian swoons for our free land

Sir Ian McKellen: “I fell for New Zealand rather heavily. It’s not just the environment, though that does do something to your head…it’s discovering the culture, one which is extremely relaxed and liberal”. And…

Oscar post-script

Oscar post-script

Solace for those lamenting that the southern cross didn’t shine brighter on Hollywood’s star spangled banner: “A Beautiful Mind was a Good Film. Not a brilliant film. If Peter Jackson had directed it, it might have…