Hinemoa played by Maata Hurihanganui. The Romance of Hinemoa, Sphere Films, 1927 (Framegrab)

Intertitle, Under the Southern Cross, Universal Studios, 1927 (Framegrab)

Gaston Melies, seated centre, at [Whakarewarewa], 1912. Les Amis de Georges Melies, Paris

25 Years - The New Zealand Film Archive.


Tracking Shots

Close Ups on NZ Film History

A New Zealand Romance

“To get something fresh, ... set sail on the Pacific for the land of the sunny south,” declared film maker Gaston Melies in 1912.

Attracted by unique locations and a vision of “exotic natives”, Melies's telling of the legend of Hinemoa was the first of many onto the big screen. In 1925 Danish director Gustav Pauli made the British film of The Romance of Hine-moa here.

New Zealand's dramatic locations and distinctive Maori culture continued to attract some early international filmmakers such as the American productions Under the Southern Cross (1929) and Hei Tiki (1930).

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Adapted from the exhibition Tracking Time (1995). Research by Diane Pivac, text by Mary Barr and Jim Barr for NZFA
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Related Film & Video
The Romance of Hinemoa
Hei Tiki
Under the Southern Cross
Related Audio
Radio. Voices on Film #4
Film & History Conference: Jenny Hammerton, Jane Paul, Chris Watson
Related Books
Le Voyage Autour du Monde de la G. Melies Manufacturing Company, Gaston Melies

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