Blog Archives

History, memory and representation, Alfio Leotta

The Camera in the Crowd: Filming New Zealand in Peace and War: 1895-1920
Christopher Pugsley
Oratia Books, $80.00, ISBN 9780947506346

Filming the Colonial Past: The New Zealand Wars on Screen
Annabel Cooper
University of Otago Press, $50.00, ISBN 9781988531083

As most contemporary movie-goers around the world would know, despite its small population, when it comes to film New Zealand punches well above its weight. What is perhaps less known to most is that Aotearoa has a rich film-making tradition which harks back to the last years of the 19th century, when Auckland-based photographer Alfred H Whitehouse started producing the first films ever made in the country. During the silent period, New Zealand was home to a relatively vibrant film industry; however, in the late 1920s, a number of factors, such as the transition to synchronised sound, the economic depression and the government’s lack of interest in film, marked the decline of local cinema production. New Zealanders would have to wait until the establishment of the New Zealand Film Commission in the late 1970s to witness the emergence of a sustainable local film industry. The resurgence of New Zealand national cinema culminated in the mid-1990s with the international success of films such as The Piano (1993), Once Were Warriors (1994) and Heavenly Creatures (1994), which put the country on the world cinema map. The production and release of The Lord of the Rings trilogy in the early 2000s gave the New Zealand film industry even wider global media exposure, cementing the country’s reputation as a major film production hub.

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Posted in History, Media, Non-fiction, Review

Mystery, wisdom and complication, Gregory O’Brien

The Lives of Coat Hangers Sudesh Mishra University of Otago Press, $25.00, ISBN 9781927322376 “A thing is a hole in a thing it is not.” I was reminded of American sculptor Carl Andre’s words, as I read Sudesh Mishra’s remarkable

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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

Printer’s ink in the veins, Vincent O’Sullivan

Eyewitness: A Memoir of Europe in the 1930s Geoffrey Cox University of Otago Press, $39.95, ISBN 1 877133 70 1 Sir Geoffrey Cox turns 91 this year, the last of that remarkable roll-call of New Zealanders whose only way out

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Posted in Autobiography, Non-fiction, Review

Open and closed research Peter Munz

Decolonizing Methodologies. Research and Indigenous Peoples Linda Tuhiwai Smith University of Otago Press, $39.95, ISBN 1 877133 67 1 This book is likely to obfuscate politico-social debates in New Zealand because it maintains that acquiring knowledge about indigenous peoples, as

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Posted in Non-fiction, Sociology

Interesting exercise in failure, Jane Stafford

The Story of a New Zealand Writer: Jane Mander   Rae McGregor University of Otago Press, $34.95, ISBN 1 877133 37 X Name the New Zealand woman writer, born in the late 19th century to a prosperous middle-class family, with

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Posted in Biography, Literature, Non-fiction, Review

Checking out Gen X, Sarah Quigley

The NeXt Wave Mark Pirie (ed) University of Otago Press $24.95 IBSN 1877133 44 2 At the Wearable Arts Awards in Nelson this year, there was a lot of congratulatory talk about how far New Zealand has come in the

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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Poetry, Review

Boxed in, Kathryn Walls

The Power of Place: Landscape in New Zealand Children‘s Fiction Diane Hebley University of Otago Press $39.95 ISBN 1 8771 33 47 7 Diane Hebley’s useful introduction to New Zealand writing for children, Off the SIMM was published in 1980.

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Posted in Children, Literature, Review

Paying the price of principle, Margaret Wilson

Stick Out, Keep Left: an autobiography by Margaret Thorn Elsie Locke and Jacquie Matthews (ed) Auckland University Press/ Bridget Williams Books $29.95 ISBN 1 86940143 3 She Dared to Speak – Connie Birchfield’s Story Maureen Birchfield University of Otago Press

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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Telling tales, Tessa Barringer

Black Light Laura Solomon Tandem Press, $24.95 ISBN 0 908884 80 x The Silicon Tongue Beryl Fletcher Spinifex Press, $24.95 ISBN 1 875559 49 3 On the Grapevine Linda Burgess University of Otago Press, $24.95 ISBN 1 877133 12 4

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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

All the poorer for it, Colin James

Income Distribution in New Zealand George Barker Institute of Policy Studies, $24.00, ISBN 0 908935 09 9 Too Right Mate Bernard Gadd, John O’Connor, Anna Tarm Hallard Press, no price, ISBN 0 86477 041 3 Ministers and Members in the

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Posted in Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review
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