“The moment when a musician might begin to make good music is the same moment at which they accept that no one will buy their records.”
Last year, The Lumière Reader was lucky enough to secure NZ On Air funding to produce a new web series of original essay films and digital documentaries. We were even luckier to fall in with two brilliant individuals, Claire Duncan and Alex Mitcalfe Wilson, both writers and artists in their own right who joined us to make these films.
Claire Duncan is the writer and director of the inaugural essay film, Land of the Long White Stain, an ode to a brood of genre-bending Auckland musicians, among them Girls Pissing on Girls Pissing, Seth Frightening, and Shab Orkestra. We have likened this film, along with the others in the series, to a love letter—an affectionate yet deeply honest reflection on the collective ethos, small triumphs, and nagging discontents of one among many creative sub-cultures in New Zealand.
Land of the Long White Stain was released online on July 3rd. It will be followed in August by Paper Boat, Alex Mitcalfe Wilson’s oral and material journey through the life of a book, which features poet Greg Kan, AUP editor Anna Hodge, designer Amy Yalland, bookseller Jenna Todd, and others.
The third film in the series, Out of the Mist, is directed by The Lumière Reader’s founding editor, Tim Wong. Described as an alternate history of New Zealand Cinema, it will premiere at the New Zealand International Film Festival on July 20th. It is edited by Florian Habicht’s long-time editor and collaborator, Peter O’Donoghue, and is narrated by Man Booker prizewinner Eleanor Catton.
Auckland and New York-based producer Melinda Jackson has overseen production on all three films in “The Lumière Reader presents” web series, which is hosted by a new satellite site under the Lumière domain, video.lumiere.net.nz.
The producers wish to take this opportunity to thank Claire Duncan for her creativity, persistence, an all-around good nature; editor Luke McPake for finessing Claire’s quietly radical vision and for playing such an important role in the finishing process; the talented Joe Hitchcock for his cinematography on the film; all the musicians who tolerated our cameras; and everyone else worked on, helped with, or supported this foolhardy venture of ours.