Transnational Film Culture in New Zealand

Simon Sigley

Transnational Film Culture in New Zealand

Simon Sigley

Distributed for Intellect Ltd

208 pages | 19 halftones | 7 x 9 | © 2013
Paper $28.50 ISBN: 9781841506609 Published August 2013

In this innovative work of cultural history, Simon Sigley tells the story of film culture in New Zealand from the establishment of the Auckland Film Society in the 1920s to the present day.

Rather than focusing on the work of individual filmmakers, Sigley approaches cinema as a form of social practice. He examines the reception of international film theories and discourses and shows how these ideas helped to shape distinct cultural practices, including new forms of reviewing; new methods of teaching; and new institutions such as film societies, art house cinemas, and film festivals. He goes on to trace the emergence in New Zealand of the full range of activities and institutions associated with a sophisticated film culture—including independent distribution and exhibition networks, film archives, university courses, a local feature film industry, and liberalized film censorship. In doing so, Sigley makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the myriad ways film can shape our thinking, our icons, our institutions, and our conversations. A fascinating case history of how a culture can develop, Transnational Film Culture in New Zealand will be a welcome addition to the bookshelves of anyone interested in film culture and cultural history.


Chapter 1: In Defence of Films as Art
The Overseas Context
Film Availability in New Zealand
The Auckland Film Society (1920)
The Auckland Star Film Reviews

Chapter 2: Second Thoughts About Art
The Wellington Film Society (1933)
The Road to Ruin
A Parliamentary Inquiry
Turning Left
The Federation of Film Societies
The Film Institutes (1934-39)

Chapter 3: Thesis and Antithesis—Tomorrow on Film
Early Film Criticism
Defending the Cinema
The Importance of Documentaries
The Cinema and Education
Other Contributions

Chapter 4: Public Policy and Private Enterprise
Institutions and Agents
The National Film Library
Independent Film Distribution
Film Criticism Goes National

Chapter 5: Building the Cultural Infrastructure
The Revival
Developing Discursive Practices
Collaboration with Business
The Perils of Passivity

Chapter 6 Happy Together: Education, Networks, Festivals
Magazines and Film Classes
The Winter Film School
Commerce and Co-operation
At the Art-house

Chapter 7: ‘Nouvelle Vague: Film Culture Meets Counterculture’
The Auckland International Film Festival (1969)
Youth Culture and Film Censorship: 1930s Redux
The Wellington Film Festival
Some Conclusions

Chapter 8: Between Spectacle and Memory
Film Festival Expansion
Programming the Nation
Festival Professionalization
Creating a Memory Site
Born in Poverty
The Last Film Search (1993-2000)
Roadmap for the Future

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