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“a record of a place and an age”

By May 1, 20112 Comments

The city of Christchurch has appeared in fea­ture films infre­quently. Philip Matthews uses those appear­ances as a way in to under­stand­ing the cur­rent – earthquake-devastated – state of the place:

How will we remem­ber these places that have gone or are going? Photos and museum records, memor­ies, ref­er­ences in lit­er­at­ure (Kate De Goldi on Radio NZ some weeks back, in an emo­tion­al dis­cus­sion of her city in fic­tion and poetry) and maybe in film too. What can cinema show us of the lost city?

[From second sight: Lost city: Christchurch on film]

Lovely writ­ing, and important.


  • Robyn says:

    I saw “Goodbye Pork Pie” – for the very first time! – on the plane on the way to Japan. When it came to the scenes of Christchurch, it felt utterly heart­break­ing. All the lovely inner city spots as they used to be. Even if Christchurch was prob­ably a bit bor­ing back then, a bor­ing city is still bet­ter than a smashed-up city.

    Favourite thing about the “Heavenly Creatures” news­reel open­ing – it proudly notes that Christchurch is second only to Copenhagen in bicycle usage. Sigh.

    • Dan says:

      Thanks to Philip I now real­ise the paucity of fea­ture film appear­ances for Christchurch and how lucky we are in Wellington to have those cam­er­as rolling all the time – for our his­tory and our sense of ourselves.