New Zealand Has a Few


Life Is a Beach

Life's a bleach, and then you dye.

- Weird Wellington Happenings and Links

On KareKare Beach near Auckland

Film-maker Jane Campion's "piano on a beach" has been singled out in a German newspaper as an example of how a single image can sell a country's tourist attractions.  Writing in Die Zeit, psychotherapist Oskar Holzberg has analysed New Zealand as a tourism destination to show how advertisements can make people travel far.  Translated in a Tourism New Zealand newsletter, the article includes:

The piano stands in the water right on a barely flooded beach.  We think this is absurd but, at the same time, it seems strangely familiar, as if we had seen it before.  Have we?

Confusion is not a state we enjoy, which is why we look for an explanation.  So we are willing to go to the small print under the picture and read the text.  Here we find out that this is the beach where The Piano was filmed.  And that this beach is in New Zealand.

With irritation banished, the information stays in people's minds, opening the way for new suggestions, he says.

And these are obviously also necessary for New Zealand.  The country lies at the other end of the world.  And perhaps this is why we only think of it after we have thought of every other place before.  We like to travel to places that are already familiar to us.  When the sights that we stand before are places we can name, then we feel competent.

New Zealand has no Taj Mahal, no Versailles and no Grand Canyon, Dr Holzberg says.  Yet even "zlatkos" (empty-headed celebrities) of this world have seen The Piano, and also seen the slogan "100% pure New Zealand" with its nice references to the untouched natural environment and purity of the land.

And thus it remains something special - the long journey to New Zealand.

Hamburg-based Die Zeit has a circulation of 550,000

Source: The Dominion Monday 9 January 2001

Wellington Movies (ongoing list)

bulletShot exclusively in and around Wellington city, Tongan Ninja shows how one man with an insane vision, no money and wanna-be-actor friends with no jobs can make an instant classic with amazing special effects.  OK so the effects aren’t the same as anything produced in Hollywood, or any other movies made in Wellington, like, oh, Lord of the Rings, but it’s pretty damned good considering the budget was tighter than a nun’s... ah, habit.  This movie truly sits with the other great cult movies developed in Wellington -- Bad Taste, Brain Dead, and Meet the Feebles.  As with all of these movies, Tongan Ninja is strange, funny, insane, and incredibly entertaining.  (Source:
bulletAt the center of it all is the city's burgeoning movie industry.  Jackson is currently filming a remake of King Kong in Wellington, with Naomi Watts, Adrian Brody and Jack Black.  Other movies filmed here, or filmed elsewhere in New Zealand with Wellington crews, include The Last Samurai and Without a Paddle.  Even India has outsourced film work to Wellington: more than 70 Bollywood movies have been shot here in the past few years.  (Source:
bulletThe Irrefutable Truth About Demons Film society started for the year tonight with this movie shot in Wellington in 2001. Somehow I had never heard of it, so had no idea of its reputation. When I got there, my friends were all "well' no matter how bad it is, its only 90 minutes". My initial reaction when it was over was, "I mean this in a good way, but that movie was complete nonsense", which is interesting on a couple of levels. First, because it is almost directly what I have now read Chris Knox as saying (his take is actually "This is also a stupid movie but stupid in a good way"). Second - how can a movie be nonsense "in a good way"? ... But the thing I really liked about this film was its visual aspect - not the hackneyed demon worshipers and the like, but the glorious footage of a Wellington I have never seen, all dark and mysterious, full of crazy people... (Source:
bulletJack Brown, Genius (1994), The Frighteners (1996)

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