Thursday, May 3, 2012

Round Up A Posse & Saddle Up! We're Riding Out!

Good For Nothing

Good For Nothing is a western filmed in New Zealand.

When I first came to New Zealand about 17 yrs ago, I travelled down through the South Island by car and was enthralled with the landscape.
I remember saying to my mate, "Wow, this is the perfect place to shoot a western!".

I have thought about that occasionally since then.
I even wrote a short film script telling the story of an old cowboy and a pair of young Indian sisters who meet out on the trail and prove to be unlikely comforters to each other .
I will shoot it some day.

Writer/Director, Mike Wallis & his Producer/leading lady Inge Rademeyer beat me to the punch though.
Where I hummed and hawed and procrastinated , they galloped full steam ahead and made Good For Nothing, their debut feature .

I'm going to come straight out and say, I loved this movie.

I love that they took all conventional wisdom about making your first low budget movie and ignored the rules.
They eschewed the contemporary and convenient and threw everything on the line, to make a period action movie.

It's funny too.

While it's a proper western, there is a nice dark humorous streak running through it.
Without telling you too much about the story, the movie has a lot of the classic tropes of the genre.

There's a surly outlaw played by the brilliant Cohen Holloway, a pissed off damsel in distress, "Isabella" , played well, with a nearly permanent scowl by Inge Rademeyer who also dons the hat of film producer .
There's tobacco spitting galore, a pursuant posse, (who are hilarious and rather inept, with perpetually unimpressed, sneering faces),
Indians, locomotives, gun slinging , "cheap whores" , and ubiquitous bottles of whisky.

The film looks great too.
New Zealand easily plays the role of the old American wild west and it's beautifully shot by d.p. Matthew Knight.
I was particularly impressed by the high level of detail and care put into the costumes and props/sets which add to the authenticity of the film. 
Dare I say, possibly even more authentic than a lot of bigger budget films of this genre. (Although another great western of recent times, Kelly Reichardt's "Meek's Cutoff" should be noted for getting it right too.)

The Good For Nothing score by John Psathas (iTunes link) is a perfect fit to this epic "little" film also.
It's the whole package!.

Good For Nothing opens on general release today in New Zealand and I urge you to goo see it.

Go see it to support the New Zealand indie film maker.
Go to see it to ensure the cast and crew can finally get a financial reward that is long due them.
Go see it to encourage investors to get behind another film from this cracking team.

Most importantly though, and if for none of the reasons above, go see it to have a fun, entertaining night out , watching an excellent western on the big cinema screen.
You've had a long week, you've earned a treat! 


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