Tag Archives: Variety Magazine

Shrewdly Cast Star of Free Ride Conveys Breezy Believability

Shrewdly Cast Star of Free Ride Conveys Breezy Believability

New Zealand actress Anna Paquin is “shrewdly cast” in Shana Betz’s feature debut, Free Ride. Set in 1977, Paquin plays Christina, a single mother escaping an abusive relationship and starting a new life in…

Campion to Preside over Cannes Jury

Campion to Preside over Cannes Jury

New Zealand filmmaker Jane Campion will preside over the jury of the 67th Cannes Film Festival, succeeding last year’s president Steven Spielberg. This year’s festival takes place 14-25 May. Campion is the only female director…

Compelling Drama Fantasy Blend to Air in US

Compelling Drama Fantasy Blend to Air in US

New Zealand television series The Almighty Johnsons has been bought by American cable channel Syfy, marking the first time a wholly New Zealand-made television drama has aired in the United States. The NBCU cabler has…

South Africa and NZ Join Film Forces

South Africa and NZ Join Film Forces

Executives from the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) have been meeting with producers at the Durban FilmMart (DFM) to research potential development and co-production opportunities. Representatives from the NZFC and the National Film &…

Top of the Lake Receives Eight Emmy Nods

Top of the Lake Receives Eight Emmy Nods

New Zealand director Jane Campion mini-series Top of the Lake has received eight Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Miniseries of Movie, Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries and Outstanding Directing in a Miniseries. The New Zealand-shot…

New Zealander Directs “Engrossing” Documentary

New Zealander Directs “Engrossing” Documentary

New Zealand documentary film maker Sally Rowe is continuing to make an impression with her documentary A Matter of Taste: Serving up Paul Liebrandt. The film is an “engrossing full-length documentary” that…

Jane Campion, ‘Child of Cannes’, Announces Festival Winners

Jane Campion, ‘Child of Cannes’, Announces Festival Winners

NZ Film Director Jane Campion headed up the Short Film and Cinefoundation Jury at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. Campion and her jurors awarded the Best Short Film Palme d’or to Safe, directed by…

Class Written All Over It

Class Written All Over It

“New product from Bright Star director Jane Campion is always welcome,” the Guardian says about the New Zealander’s six-part television series, Top of the Lake, which is showing in the Berlinale Special section at…

Call It an Evocative Scowl

Call It an Evocative Scowl

Joe Dredd, played by New Zealand actor Karl Urban, 40, “is meant to be the most fearsome judge – but we don’t get to see many more of his kind around,” USA Today’s Claudia Puig writes…

Short Sequence, Sharp Response

Short Sequence, Sharp Response

A 10-minute sequence from Peter Jackson’s forthcoming two-part Lord of the Rings prequel The Hobbit has been shown to conference goers at the annual CinemaCon in Las Vegas. The conference featured a presentation from…

Talented Teen Enchants

Talented Teen Enchants

Director Pietra Brettkelly’s documentary Maori Boy Genius, which premiered at this month’s Berlinale, tracks 16-year-old Tuhoe prodigy Ngaa Rauuira Pumanawawhiti as he attends summer school at Yale and applies to study there full-time. “Ngaa carries…

Auckland’s Movie Coup

Auckland’s Movie Coup

Filming begins in Auckland on Hollywood blockbuster, WWII political-thriller Emperor this month at Henderson’s Auckland Film Studios. Lost heartthrob Matthew Fox, 45, stars. Inspired by true events, Emperor is an epic story of love and understanding set amidst the uncertainties…

Capital Hobbit Premiere

Capital Hobbit Premiere

Wellington will be the site of the world premiere for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in November 2012. “I think Warner Bros. in particular were blown away by Return…

On a Whizz-Bang Thrill Ride

On a Whizz-Bang Thrill Ride

The Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg motion-capture animation The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn opens in Europe on 22 October before hitting American cinemas ahead of Christmas. “Clearly rejuvenated by his…

Back to the Big Screen

Back to the Big Screen

New Zealand actress Anna Paquin is to star alongside Ryan Phillipe in independent comedy Straight A’s which is set in Louisiana. Phillippe portrays a man who’s been in and out of rehab for 1…

Mister Pip Makes Big Screen

Mister Pip Makes Big Screen

New Zealander Andrew Adamson will direct the film adaptation of Wellington author Lloyd Jones’ award-winning book Mister Pip, with Hugh Laurie, of television drama House to star. Adamson, who’ll direct the project from a…

Children Rule On Big Screen

Children Rule On Big Screen

Children’s television series, The Tribe, which was first produced in New Zealand, is being developed into a film in the United States. According to Variety, “Peter Jackson’s Weta Workshop has already agreed to tackle…

Tamahori’s double

Tamahori’s double

Director Lee Tamahori’s latest film The Devil’s Double, a story about the body double for Saddam Hussein’s eldest son, will premiere at next year’s Sundance Film Festival. Tamahori, 6, best known for the 1994…

In the whanau

In the whanau

Producers of smash hit film Boy Ainsley Gardiner and Cliff Curtis took the independent producers of the year kudo at the New Zealand’s Screen Production and Development Agency conference in November. The cousins…

Recalling Rousseau

Recalling Rousseau

New Zealand-made documentary This Way of Life is a “gloriously photographed film” — “a story of a Maori family catapulted beyond mere portraiture and into a realm of metaphysics, melancholia and cosmic doubt”, writes…

Wartimes’ yarns touching

Wartimes’ yarns touching

The Gaylene Preston-directed film Home by Christmas is a “touching memoir” based on interviews which Preston “conducted with her now-deceased father” and “not only re-creates those conversations and their evocation of wartime yarns, but…

Kong is Back

Kong is Back

The King Kong attraction at Hollywood park, the first theme park attraction that Peter Jackson’s New Zealand-based f/x shop Weta Digital has created, reopens on July 1 after a devastating fire two years ago….

Like it or loathe it

Like it or loathe it

Wellington Airport-owned land on the hills of Miramar Peninsula could soon sport a Hollywood-style sign with the word ‘Wellywood’ erected in 3.5m high letters, that is, if it isn’t in violation of Hollywood’s trademark….

Way of life applauded

Way of life applauded

Hawkes Bay couple Tom and Barbara Burstyn’s documentary This Way of Life about a Maori family living a subsistence lifestyle has screened at the Berlin Film Festival to full houses and a Jury…

Return to self

Return to self

Flight of the Conchords duo Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement have ended their HBO series after two seasons. On their website, the pair said: “We’re very proud of the two seasons we made, and…

This way through love

This way through love

“The Topps defy logic,” writes Variety in a review of The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls — winners of the audience award for best documentary at the Toronto International Film Festival. “‘On paper,’ says their…

Production lift-off

Production lift-off

The New Zealand film industry is booming with “local helmers poised to soar again”. Whale Rider director Niki Caro’s The Vintners Luck, in which she reteams with her young Whale Rider star Keisha Castle-Hughes,…

Truly Awesome Victory

Truly Awesome Victory

Lower Hutt-raised Hollywood starlet Anna Paquin, 26, has won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Drama, awarded for her performance as Sookie Starkhouse in HBO’s vampire series True Blood, beating A-list…

Edwardian assortment

Edwardian assortment

Sam Neill stars in Toa Fraser’s second feature Dean Spanley which Variety reviews, describing the film as “immaculately cast”. “Based on an obscure novel by late Anglo-Irish fantasy writer Lord Dunsany, Alan Sharp’s screenplay…

Bond Director’s Edge

Bond Director’s Edge

Hastings-born film and television director Martin Campbell – most well-known for James Bond hits Casino Royale and GoldenEye – begins shooting his latest Hollywood feature, Edge of Darkness, this month. The film, which stars…

Ngati Filmmaker Remembered

Ngati Filmmaker Remembered

Barry Barclay, New Zealand film director and the first Maori to direct a feature film has died, aged 63, in Rawene.  Barclay’s Ngati won best film at Italy’s Taormina Film Festival in 1987 and…

Making a Splash with Splatter

Making a Splash with Splatter

A current trend for home-grown horror in NZ film is noted by Variety magazine. The article points to recent features Black Sheep, The Tattooist and The Ferryman as examples of the genre by first-time…

Star on the rise

Star on the rise

Variety magazine (US) named Taika Waititi one of ten directors to watch in the lead up to the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, where he made his feature debut. His first full-length project, Eagle vs….

Kiwi Story Rings True in US

Kiwi Story Rings True in US

Roger Donaldson’s World’s Fastest Indian, with Sir Anthony Hopkins playing NZ motorcycle legend Burt Munro, has been largely praised in the US. Hollywood Reporter: “A pleasingly whimsical and slyly mischievous road movie that features…

Crowe’s Cinderella

Crowe’s Cinderella

Russell Crowe stirs the first Oscar-talk of the season: “An exquisite ode to a working-class hero, “Cinderella Man” takes the almost impossibly perfect elements of the saga of underdog boxer James J. Braddock…

Jackson (and NZ) goes ape

Jackson (and NZ) goes ape

Watch out Sky Tower: Peter Jackson is to direct a remake of King Kong for Universal Pictures. The epic production will be filmed on location in NZ and released globally in 2005. Says an…

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…

Her Majesty

Her Majesty

A preteen girl’s obsessive quest to cross paths with young Queen Elizabeth during latter’s 1953 New Zealand tour provides the charming focus for Her Majesty, L.A based director Mark Gordon’s polished feature debut. New…

Whale of a tale

Whale of a tale

A combination of German and New Zealand investors will finance Whale Rider, the film adaptation of…

More Kiwi on Aussie screens

More Kiwi on Aussie screens

Selling 26 episodes of Street Legal to the Aussies has quadrupled the amount of programming NZ has over the ditch. More importantly, it …

Moko on Film

Moko on Film

Jillian White’s Moko, a short documentary featuring the first contemporary man to wear moko, included in Sundance 2001. Felicity Morgan-Rhind’s short Donuts for Breakfast, is also on the programme.