NZ misses out on cool movies

20:24, Nov 06 2012

The Master, Cloud Atlas, Skyfall, Cabin in the Woods and Premium Rush.

What do these films have in common? Well, they have all been released and celebrated around the world many weeks and sometimes months ahead of New Zealand.

Why does this country always have to wait or miss out entirely on interesting and exciting films? It sometimes feels as though the world is having a movie party, but we are not invited and can only press our noses to the glass and wistfully watch the beautiful people dance and cavort. It reminds me of the opening scene of Woody Allen's film Stardust Memories:

To be honest, that scene captures how I feel most of the time. Always on the outside staring wistfully through the glass. Never on the cool train.

New Zealand gets screwed over time and time again on cool movies. Here are just a few:


Cabin in the Woods.

A dizzyingly postmodern horror movie that is also fabulously entertaining.

Fate: Went straight to DVD.

Premium Rush

A very cool-looking action thriller with Joseph Gordon-Levitt pedalling frantically around the streets of Manhattan.

Fate: Pushed back to next year.

Cloud Atlas

An adaptation of a celebrated novel by the makers of The Matrix and starring Tom Hanks that has won bewildered but impressed reviews.

Fate: Who knows?

The Master

The new film by Paul Thomas Anderson, whose last film was the glorious There Will Be Blood.

Fate: January for Wellington and Auckland. Never for Christchurch. Chur, bro.

I can't claim to understand how movie distribution works, but it feels as though distributors either wait to see if the film does well overseas or garners enough awards to give it a box office boost.

That's a shame. It means we are drip-fed a steady diet of safe bets - films that either wear an award rosette reading ''officially good'' or have captured the imagination of people in a far away land. We shouldn't be held hostage by another country's awards system or box office takings.

My last blog about 3D movies attracted a lot of comment about how we should vote with our wallets at the cinema. I think we should do the same here. When a left-field movie comes out, we should steadfastly support it with our patronage. In other words, shun Taken 2 and embrace Moonrise Kingdom. Money - it's the only language they understand.

Mmm, I feel a movie manifesto coming on...

But what do you think? Does it frustrate you that we have to wait so long for cool movies? What movies are you hanging out for?

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