Utu, 30 Years Later

June 26, 2013

“Utu must rate as the most powerful, expert and audience-appealing film yet to be wholly conceived and executed in this country…” — Mike Nicolaidi, Variety, 9 February 1983

The New Zealand Film Festival and Script to Screen present a conversation with the filmmakers of the enhanced and restored New Zealand classic, Utu Redux.

Directly after the Sunday evening screening of Utu Redux (6:15pm, Civic), come down to the Wintergarden to join filmmaker/actor Ian Mune (Sleeping Dogs, Goodbye Porkpie) as he talks with director Geoff Murphy (Goodbye Porkpie, The Quiet Earth), DoP Graeme Cowley and actor Anzac Wallace (The Quiet Earth, The Silent One) about this great high water mark of New Zealand Cinema.

At the time of its original release, Utu was a breakthrough film, a NZ-western depiction of the nineteenth century Land Wars, loosely based on Te Kooti’s War. In the wake of Bastion Point and the Springbok Tour, the film threw down a topical challenge down for NZ audiences and was hailed by audiences worldwide.

“When you make a film about racial conflict, you are living dangerously. When you make a film about racial conflict in a country that congratulates itself on what a successful bi-cultural society it is, the danger heightens.” — Geoff Murphy.

Dismayed by the state of the surviving 35mm, Geoff Murphy and Graeme Cowley, with the help of Park Road Post, have spent three years digitalising and remastering the film. The new version is also 10 minutes shorter.

“The glorious peak achievement of the new feature film culture that burgeoned here in the 70s, Geoff Murphy’s 1983 Utu is unveiled afresh in its ravishing, pictorial splendour. Here it is, our own turbulent history transcribed with cinematic élan – and an elegiac, absurdist vision of the devil’s mischief in paradise.” — Bill Gosdon, Director of the New Zealand International Film Festival, 2013

“Visionary” – Gaylene Preston, whose behind-the-scenes documentary Making Utu is also screening at the NZIFF.

Sunday 28 July, 8:15pm, (after the Utu Redux screening) The Wintergarden, downstairs at The Civic, Auckland. Complimentary nibbles provided.

Buy a ticket to see Utu Redux at the NZIFF here.

Watch the Utu Redux trailer here.

Session times:

Sunday July 28, 6:15pm, Civic Theatre

Tuesday July 30, 3:45pm, Civic Theatre