The far out meets the Far North in director Florian Habicht's tribute to a community of characters drawn together by a desire to demolition derby. Behind the bangs, prangs, and blow-ups, the heart and soul of a small town — Kaikohe — is laid bare. “Having work as generous and high-spirited as Kaikohe Demolition on the programme makes my job so easy it's embarrassing!”, Bill Gosden, Director of International NZ Film Festivals, 2004. Note: the second clip is a subtitled version of the mud-splattered motorhead-delighting film.
Florian Habicht returns to Northland (home surf and turf and Kaikohe Demolition territory) to chronicle the annual Red Snapper Classic fishing competition. The first prize is $50,000 but the participants chase the joy of the cast as much as the purse. The solitary figures on the epic sweep of Ninety Mile Beach provide striking images, while Habicht teases out their innermost thoughts and some fine homespun philosophy. A 50s era soundtrack is an apt match while the closing underwater sequences are a stunning counterpoint to the anglers' endeavours.
Billy T’s unique brand of humour is captured here at its affable, non-PC best in this compilation of skits from his popular 80s TV shows. There’s Te News (“... somebody pinched all the toilet seats out of the Kaikohe Police Station ... now the cops got nothing to go on!”) with Billy in iconic black singlet and yellow towel; a bro’s guide to home improvement; the first contact skits, and Turangi Vice. No target is sacred (God, The IRA, the talking Japanese sketch) and there are classic advertising spoofs for Pixie Caramel’s “last requests” and Lands For Bags’ “where’d you get your bag”.
Poet Hone Tuwhare was born in the far north, near Kaikohe, but forced by poverty to leave as a child. "75 years after Hone Glenn Colquhoun (doctor, poet, Tuwhare fan) wrote a poem in the Listener inviting him back." Hone accepted the invitation and this documentary is a record of his March 2002 Hokianga homecoming, taking in song, readings and plenty of laughs and kai moana. Silver-haired Tuwhare is irresistible, crooning Sinatra, charming school children with bawdy jokes or channelling the fire of his most famous poem: "For this is no mere axe to blunt!"
With an art school background, director Florian Habicht is responsible for some of our quirkiest New Zealand films. Since his breakthrough feature, the surreal Woodenhead, Habicht's films have blurred the boundaries between drama and documentary.
“The big ALL FUN show for the whole family to enjoy!” was the tagline for this musical comedy classic. Sir Howard Morrison (as himself) and Rotorua are the stars in the tiki-flavoured tale. Moving from Sydney to a Rotorua music festival the plot centres on a romance between a young drummer (Gary Wallace) and his girl Judy (Carmen Duncan) and the hurdles they face to stay true. But this is only an excuse for a melange of madcap, pep-filled musical fun. Made by John O’Shea’s Pacific Films, it features Kiri Te Kanawa, Lew Pryme and Aussie star Norman Rowe.
Innocent Gert, who works in a rubbish dump, can't believe his luck when he's ordered by his imperious boss to take his beautiful mute daughter, Princess Plum, to meet her prospective husband. The two set off on a mythical quest through a fairytale Far North landscape. On the way they encounter freaks and monsters, and experience danger and romance. In an unusual reversal, the voices and music for Woodenhead were all recorded before filming. This surreal debut feature from Elam grad Florian Habicht took Aotearoa to the art house with unprecedented wit, weirdness and wonder.
With an art-school background and avant-garde sensibilities, director Florian Habicht is responsible for some of this decade's most original New Zealand films. Since his breakthrough feature, the surreal Woodenhead, Habicht's subsequent films — most notably 2011 award-winner Love Story — have blurred the boundaries between drama and documentary.
Composer Marc Chesterman has brought experience gained playing drums in bands (Sudersuk) and sound designing for theatre, to bear on a run of films with Florian Habicht. His sonic contributions include choosing music for Love Story and scoring Woodenhead (which was notably filmed to suit the soundtrack). He has composed for Zia Mandviwalla short Eating Sausage, and was sound designer for Gaylene Preston’s Lovely Rita.
The late Hone Tūwhare (1922-2008) remains one of New Zealand's most loved and respected poets. Tūwhare has been the subject of numerous documentaries. He also wrote short stories and plays, and the drama Eel for anthology television series E Tipu e Rea. Tuwhare died on 16 January 2008 in Dunedin.