Film still from <em>Erewhon</em>

Film still from Erewhon


  • Sun 24 Jul 2016
  • 3:30—5PM
  • Len Lye Centre Cinema
  • General $15
  • Concession $12 for seniors, students and community service card holders (with valid ID)
  • Bookings essential
  • Hearing loop provided for the hearing impaired
  • Wheelchair spaces available. Free entry for a companion to assist an audience member who has a disability. Companion seat is automatically allocated when a wheelchair space is booked
  • Rating: Exempt

Photographer Gavin Hipkins’ first feature-length film is a moving-picture essay with themes drawn from Samuel Butler’s utopian satire Erewhon: Or, Over the Range.

Hipkins draws his themes from Samuel Butler’s utopian satire Erewhon: Or, Over the Range, published in 1872. Butler had worked on a South Island high country sheep station and it’s easy to suppose that his objectification of a wholly invented ‘native people’ is an ironic posture owing something to his experience in colonial New Zealand.

Likewise his concerns with the coming dominance of industry chime eerily with contemporary concerns: vegetarianism is the law in Erewhon and machines have been banished to museums for fear of their becoming conscious.

On the soundtrack Mia Blake reads from the book, while Hipkins’ imagery seems to fill in the years since, finding the persistence of Butler’s themes in the New Zealand landscape. His imagery seems so finely etched in the greenness and dampness and reflected light of Aotearoa, it’s surprising to learn that he also shot extensively in Queensland and Northern India.

NZ, 2014, B&W, 92 min, Exempt

Dir. Gavin Hipkins



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