A 1970s road trip

Last updated 12:11 04/10/2012

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REVIEW: Blerta Revisited
M, contains adult themes,
1hr 21min
Directed by Geoff Murphy
New Zealand, 2001.

It was a changing lineup of musicians, actors, technicians, film-makers, friends, lovers and hangers-on who, between 1971 and 1976, toured New Zealand in a flower-powered bus, stirring the heartland from its slumber with their wild and crazy vaudeville show.

"Blerta Revisited is Blerta alumnus Geoff Murphy's 2001 compilation of film and tape of Blerta and associates, structured to resemble the format of their final shows. The film's musical numbers, drawn largely from the 1976 television series that was their swansong, range widely from jazz, through lewd or satirical ditties to soul and rock'n'roll. The songs are interspersed with other material from a variety of sources: clips, comedy sketches and the mixed media events (that is, explosions) which showcase the group's movie-making proclivities.

"Many of the films they made failed to survive the rigours of the road, but to see the excerpts here from Percy the Policeman, Dagg Day Afternoon, Wildman and the Blerta Kid Show is to watch the germination of the film industry that has been a vital force in our cultural lives ever since." - Bill Gosden, New Zealand International Film Festival 2001

Did you know?

For five years the ever-changing group toured throughout New Zealand and Australia. They wrote and played music, created and performed sketches and made films. They wrote scripts. They were the cast, set designers and builders, they created their own explosions and special effects, and shot it themselves on pieces of film and tape procured by whatever means.

One screening, October 10, 6pm at Downtown Cinemas. Members only. Palmerston North Film Society membership is available at the door before each screening and lasts for one full year.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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