Thursday, May 27, 2010

Notes from Lecture Monday just gone, viewing of Vincent Ward's Vigil, context and content

Most of the lecture was spent viewing Vincent Ward's 1983 film Vigil, where we had to look and take notes of the context of the film. It's rural, farm-based, NZ set, isolated, the early eighities, could be compared to the work of Colin McCahon, he painted dark, interesting, textural landscapes. Vigil is comparable to another Kiwi film of the same era, Smash Palace, in its themes of relationshiips (and the breaking down of these), plus isolation, ruralness, and bleak, but beautiful NZ scenery The content of Vigil was family, relationships, isolation, poverty, a broken-down farm, fear, lonlieness, bleakness, death....heavy going, but interesting, a film full of visual and unspoken metaphors. Vincent Ward is also famous for The Navigator, and was one of the first Kiwi film-makers to put NZ on the art-film map and the world stage, NZ started to become well-known in the eighties, for various reasons, I'm thinking the Nuclear Free issue,  our politics, our dark films, our.isolated beauty, the edge of the world., Kiwi ingenuity.... excellent.marketing....all these things, plus lots more, it's as though the country suddenly grew up, and found a huge and sparkling confidence...

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