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Review: Mt. Zion, Hitchcock, Movie 43, Step Up to the Plate, You Will Be My Son, On Air and Flight

By Cinema, Reviews

Kiwi crowd-pleasers don’t come much more crowd-pleasing than Tearepa Kahi’s Mt. Zion, fea­tur­ing TV tal­ent quester Stan Walker in a star-making per­form­ance as a work­ing class kid with a dream. Slogging his unwill­ing guts out pick­ing pota­toes in the mar­ket gar­dens of 1979 Pukekohe, nervously mak­ing the first steps in a music career that seems impossible and fan­tas­ising about meet­ing the great Bob Marley, Walker’s Turei is out of step with his hard work­ing fath­er (Temuera Morrison) and the back-breaking work.

When a loc­al pro­moter announces a com­pet­i­tion to be the sup­port act for the reg­gae legend’s forth­com­ing con­cert at Western Springs, Turei tests the bound­ar­ies of fam­ily and friend­ship to get a shot at the big time. The bones of the story are famil­i­ar, of course, but there’s meat on the bones too – a slice of New Zealand social his­tory with eco­nom­ic changes mak­ing life harder for a people who don’t own the land that they work. Production design (by Savage) and authentic-looking 16mm pho­to­graphy all help give Mt. Zion a look of its own and the music – though not nor­mally to my taste – is agree­able enough.

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Cinematica 3/17: The easy road, the hard road or the dirt road

By Audio, Cinematica

Cinematica_iTunes_200_cropThe first Kiwi fea­ture of 2013 show­cases music­al as well as screen tal­ent: Stan Walker stars in Mt. Zion; The hunt for Osama Bin Laden is brought vividly to life in Zero Dark Thirty & Alfred Hitchcock gets a biop­ic star­ring Anthony Hopkins – AH as AH.