Early Days Yet, directed by Shirley Horrocks, is a full-length documentary about New Zealand poet Allen Curnow, made in the last months of his life. The poet talks about his life and work, and visits the places of some of his most important poems. It includes interviews with other New Zealand poets about Curnow's significance as an advocate for New Zealand poetry. As Curnow famously mused in front of a moa skeleton displayed in Canterbury Museum: "Not I, some child, born in a marvellous year / Will learn the trick of standing upright here."
It is good that Curnow allowed a film-maker as deft and careful as [Shirley] Horrocks to finally tell us about him ... While a raft of fellow poets has lined up to praise and explain, Horrocks has mostly chosen to let her subject, through his words, memories and presence, acquaint us with who he was and what he means.– Greg Dixon in The NZ Herald, 4 October 2001
Music composed by Jonathan Besser and Douglas Lilburn
Lilburn's 'Landfall in Unknown Seas' performed by the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Peter Scholes