100 years ago – Hinemoa

This month marks 100 years since the release of Hinemoa, New Zealand’s first feature film.

Hinemoa premiered at Auckland’s Lyric Theatre in August 1914 – it opened the first week of World War I.

The film was shot in Rotorua. Impressively, it was completed in 8 days, on a budget of £50.

The film was a massive box office success at the time, but unfortunately no footage survives today.

We are able to gleam a sense of the film’s visual style from the promotional materials, housed in the Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Documentation Collection.

Hera Tawhai Rogers in the role of Hinemoa. Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Documentation Collection.
Hera Tawhai Rogers in the role of Hinemoa. Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Documentation Collection.

Continue reading

New Zealand Boys in Sling Camp (1917).

Private Andrew Smith in Sling Camp

- By Steve Russell (Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Governance Advisor)

The image below is a frame enlargement from a 1917 film New Zealand Boys in Sling Camp. The man second from the left in the front row is Private Andrew Arthur Smith. An excerpt of the film that includes this image can be viewed on Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision’s website here.

New Zealand Boys in Sling Camp (1917).
New Zealand Boys in Sling Camp (1917). Private Andrew Arthur Smith is second from the left in the front row.

On the 28th May 1917 Private Smith, along with his comrades in the 14th (Southland) Company of the 3rd Battalion Otago Regiment, marched out of Codford Military Camp on Salisbury Plain and boarded a train bound for the coast and a boat trip over the Channel. They were slated to join the New Zealand Division in the last stages of preparation for the battle at Messines. This was the penultimate leg on a journey that had taken Private Smith 10,000 miles around the globe, a world away from his parents’ farm at Bannockburn in Central Otago. Continue reading

Show-People-small

Showing Show People

- By Diane Pivac (Head of Audience, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision)

Working at the Film Archive, and now Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, people have often said “wow, how cool you must get to watch movies all day!” “I wish” is my most common reply.

But there are days when we do get to watch movies, and this morning was one of them. I was lucky enough to have to pop down to the Paramount to look at a test of Show People on the big screen.

Show People (King Vidor, 1928)
Show People (King Vidor, 1928)

Continue reading