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Painting in an Empty Land

Short Film (Full Length) – 1981

David Sims' impressionistic National Film Unit short film explores the responses of four NZ painters to a landscape illuminated by a distinctive light, but yet to feel the full impact of human settlement. The award-winning film examines Brent Wong’s floating architectural shapes, Colin McCahon’s religious symbolism, Toss Wollaston’s earth-hued palette and Michael Smither’s hard-edged realism. Their works are taken from safe gallery confines and moved closer to their subject matter, while the words of writers (Katherine Mansfield, Charles Brasch, Bill Pearson) provide another angle.

I still want to paint the difficult view outside the back door that I’ve seen for the last 10 years and still can’t get to paint it as I want it.
– Toss Woollaston

Key Cast & Crew

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David Sims

Editor, Director, Writer

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Tom Williamson

Producer

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Tony Baker

Composer

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Bayly Watson

Camera

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Don Reynolds

Sound

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David Newton

Sound

See all 10 credits