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  1. A-roll excerpts from this edition of Close Up


This 2 June 1982 Close Up edition looks at the journey of the merry pranksters behind Blerta, from Dr Brunowski to making multi-million dollar movies. Geoff Murphy and Bruno Lawrence are interviewed at Waimarama while working on colonial epic Utu. Various members of the Murphy clan are seen involved in the production, reinforcing Murphy’s stab at why Blerta’s players have stuck together up to this point: “A uniformity of philosophy I suppose ... the family thing.” Nb: ‘B-roll’ shots (supplementary cutaway footage) are missing from the archive copy of this show.

Credits (3)

 Carole de Colville
 Geoff Murphy
 Bruno Lawrence

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 Geoff Murphy - from Blerta to Pork Pie, to Hollywood

Geoff Murphy is the trumpet-player who got New Zealand yelling in the movie aisles. After boning up on filmmaking on the Blerta bus, Murphy turned out a triple...


The game becomes: to make the sort of slick international-sort-of-looking product without losing the spirit that those old [Blerta] things have. When you look at those old things now, all that’s left is the energy and spirit that went into them. They look naïve and they’re technically terrible ... but the spirit’s there. That’s what we’ve got. That’s what New Zealand films have got. 
I think that those guys basically were getting something together behind the backs of all of us. And really all they were doing were practising at being themselves, something that a lot of people just never manage to do. They had sufficient faith in themselves to take their kids, their wives, their girlfriends .. bong them all round New Zealand and just be who they are. They’re still very good at being who they are. They kinda love each other and they work together ... that’s so rare. 
They were sort of like disease on a bus, you know? People were saying things like, ‘don’t go near Blerta, you’ll catch something’.