The Lumière Reader presents the first of three new essay films today as part of a web series of digital arts documentaries made with funding from NZ On Air
The inaugural essay film, Land of the Long White Stain, is directed by writer and musician Claire Duncan (i.e. crazy, Dear Time’s Waste), and fuses digital film formats into a 30-minute musical tour of an Auckland sub-culture. The film centres on a brood of genre-bending musicians including Girls Pissing on Girls Pissing, Seth Frightening, and Shab Orkestra, and is named after one of the featured artist’s songs.
“Land of the Long White Stain attempts to capture the rarely recorded, incredibly intense live performances of these acts. While the songs themselves are the heroes of the story, behind-the-scenes footage permits a glimpse into the processes and world-views of a group of fiercely creative individuals whose work falls outside the ever-constrictive paradigms of popular music in New Zealand. It’s a personal tribute to the music and people I love; their relentless pursuit of creative excellence, regardless of mainstream trends and taste,” says director Claire Duncan.
Land of the Long White Stain was filmed during a group tour of New Zealand earlier this year, with performances recorded live at Chick’s Hotel in Port Chalmers, the Wine Cellar in Auckland, Log Recording in Christchurch, and the Newtown Community Centre in Wellington. It was produced by Melinda Jackson, shot by Joe Hitchcock, and edited by Luke McPake – all Auckland-based filmmakers (and ex-musicians).
“These unique essay films will engage with fellow New Zealand artists, thinkers, and practitioners – particularly those whose work has been neglected, misunderstood, or obscured by popular media and culture,” says The Lumière Reader editor Tim Wong.
“That Claire herself belongs to this creative community imbues Land of the Long White Stain with an introspective quality that would not have been possible in the hands of an outsider. There’s a natural affection for these people and their music, but also an acute awareness of their reticence and individuality as artists. As an honest reflection on their ethos, their small triumphs, and their nagging discontents, it moves beyond the traditional rockmentary into rich essayistic territory,” says Wong.
will premiere at the Wine Cellar in Auckland as part of a special release party on Thursday July 2nd, and is available to stream free online.
In August, it will be followed by Paper Boat, an oral and material journey through the life of a book directed by Alex Mitcalfe Wilson and featuring poet Greg Kan, AUP editor Anna Hodge, designer Amy Yalland, and bookseller Jenna Todd, among others; and in September, Out of the Mist, an alternate history of New Zealand Cinema directed by Tim Wong and narrated by Eleanor Catton. Out of the Mist will receive its world premiere at the New Zealand International Film Festival on July 20th.
The Lumière Reader is New Zealand’s leading online journal of film criticism and the arts review, since 2003. It is a division of Lumière Industries, the design and production company behind this web series.