Thursday, November 17, 2005


Just finished watching Fracture, the 2004 adaptation of Maurice Gee's novel Crime Story (2004 was a good year for Maurice Gee adaptations, with In My Father's Den produced the same year).

Very good. Great camera work, characterisation and plot. It was a fairly murky plot, but one that I could follow pretty easily. And when the characters hurt, I could understand what they were going through, which I guess means the film worked.

Interesting how the character of Brent starts out as someone we pretty much hate - a burglar, mercilessly kicking his victim down the stairs - but as we get a glimpse into his life we feel for him. It's clever how we see both families' side of the story.

Negatives - sometimes the acting came across a little contrived. If New Zealand drama suffers from anything it's from being too intense - or trying to be. It's good to ease the tension a little bit sometimes, whether it's with humour or just banality.

Also, what's with all the dark stories coming out of New Zealand? The real classics of the past two decades:
  • The Quiet Earth
  • The Piano
  • Once Were Warriors
  • In My Father's Den
  • Heavenly Creatures
  • Fracture
  • Crooked Earth
...they're all very, very dark tales. And no, I'm not including Lord of the Rings in this list because that almost falls into an entirely different category (for the sake of this argument, anyway!).

Maybe it's just that I don't know of any examples, but I'm struggling to remember a good feature film comedy, or at the very least family drama - meaning something you can show the whole family rather than a drama about dysfunctional families.

Would New Zealand be able to produce a "Cheaper by the Dozen" style movie? How 'bout "Finding Nemo"? "Hitch" even?

Or is life really so desolate here? If that's the case, I wanna move - get me to Australia or America now!

Of course, there's "The World's Fastest Indian", which I understand is a very positive story, and based on a true story to boot. Looking forward to seeing that 'un.


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