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Hero image for Close Up - Utu

Close Up - Utu

Television (Full Length) – 1982

In this 2 June 1982 Close Up piece, reporter Carole de Colville 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.

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.
– Geoff Murphy