In a recent chat I had with Simone Horrocks, director of After the Waterfall, we were discussing the length of time it can take for a film to see the light of day. In her case, 12 years. It’s a frustratingly long gestation period, something I’m sure Mike Riddell (author, screenwriter and producer) and his wife Rosemary Riddell (director) can relate to.
Their well received debut feature film The Insatiable Moon (Saturday 20th August, 8.30pm) was in development for seven years and Mike Riddell has documented all the elated ups and heartbreaking downs of this process in his blog (www.theinsatiablemoon.com). It’s worth a read, especially if you have grand ideas of becoming a filmmaker; it gives you an idea of the stamina and passion required to survive and conquer this industry.
Rosemary Riddell, the only District Court Judge I've heard of who moonlights as a film director, didn't intend to direct this film. British director Gillies McKinnon was initially attached, as was actor Timothy Spall, but when the film’s budget dropped below $1million McKinnon reluctantly walked away from the project. Rosemary, with the short film Cake Tin and experience as an actor and theatre director under her belt, accepted the Producers’ proposal to take on the job.
The budget was to drop somewhat further too, and while The Insatiable Moon is obviously a small budget production (reportedly around $340,000) it’s more importantly an exceptionally moving piece of cinema filled with complex characters, impressive performances, a great sense of humour and a spirit that refuses to be suppressed by it’s budget.
Based on Mike’s novel of the same name its set within the suburb of Ponsonby, Auckland where Mike was once a clergyman and star’s the captivating Rawiri Paratene as Arthur, the barefoot, self proclaimed Second Son of God who might quite possibly have a direct line to God. Keep the tissues handy, and enjoy.
Now, my rhythmically challenged five year old son, who has seen approximately six music videos in his life, has told me when it comes to dancing he’s only doing breakdancing moves from now on. So, it is a must in my house this week to remote record Turn it Loose (Thursday 18th August, 8.30pm) so my budding little B-boy can be inspired by the world’s best hip hop dancers. Competing to be the next world champion (2007), these truly remarkable athletes have equally amazing personal stories to tell. This was a film festival circuit favourite, don’t miss it.
If you’re a fan of hard hitting Brazilian films then try Last Stop 174 (Tuesday 23rd August 8.30pm) written by Bráulio Mantovani (City of God) and directed by one of Brazil’s most accomplished filmmakers, Bruno Baretto. Based on the true story of a young street kid who hijacked a bus full of people in Rio De Janeiro 2000, Last Stop 174 examines how an innocent child becomes one of the most memorable Brazilian criminals in recent times.
Have a good week,