Out of the Mist available online to all
Fresh from screening at the New Zealand International Film Festival, a documentary on New Zealand's cinema is being made available online for free from this morning.
Billed as an alternative history of New Zealand cinema, Out of the Mist was written and directed by Wellington-based film critic and The Lumiere Reader founder Tim Wong. Featuring excerpts from more than 40 Kiwi films – many neglected, misunderstood, or simply forgotten due to obscurity – Mist is narrated by Man Booker prizewinner Eleanor Catton.
"The long absence of another major documentary on our film history was a strong motivating factor behind Out of the Mist," says Wong, "In contemplating the prevailing image of our national cinema, I have also privileged the films and filmmakers who don't make the standard tour guides.
"Aside from the opportunity to update the record, what has really driven its making is the conversation I've shared with fellow cinephiles and filmmakers about the state of New Zealand Cinema, how we might begin to redefine it, and whose work is being obscured by the popular canon. My contribution to this conversation is a film essay with multiple angles: as an archaeology of films and filmmakers forgotten or ignored; as a study of images, both celebrated and outdated; as a form of advocacy for art on the margins; and as a challenge to the status quo around how national identity is represented in our movies."
The film has been made available to stream for free at video.lumiere.net.nz as part of a series of digital arts documentaries made with funding from NZ On Air. Others in the series include Alex Mitcalfe's Wilson's examination of the modern book publishing process, Paper Boat, and Claire Duncan's look at genre-bending Auckland musicians – Land of the Long White Stain.
Meanwhile, encore public screenings of Out of the Mist are currently in the works for the Govett-Brewster's Len Lye Centre in New Plymouth and the re-opening of the Christchurch Art Gallery in December.