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)

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision is working with the New Zealand international Film Festival to present Show People this Sunday, August 10th – and we’re pretty excited.

Made in 1928 by King Vidor and starring the wonderful Marion Davies, Show People is one of only two films in the festival that are screening on 35mm celluloid. The film is an hilarious send up of 1920s Hollywood. As Kenneth Brownlow wrote it’s “that rarities of rarities – a picture about Hollywood which is not only hilarious but accurate.”

It’s not only the fact that it’s on film that makes Show People special, at the grand age of 86 it’s also the only silent film on the Wellington festival programme. But we’re not showing it silent – the film will be accompanied by a jazz ensemble with Hikurangi Schaverien-Kaa (drums), Scott Maynard (bass), Daniel Hayles (keyboards) and Callum Allardice (guitar).

This morning was all about making sure the film looked good and was playing at the right speed, it screened silent this morning — which only made the excitement build, on Sunday not only will it will look good, it will sound good too.

See you there – at the Paramount, Sunday 10th August at 6pm – for Show People.

You can read more about the film (and book your ticket) here.


Ngā Taonga newsletter

Sign up for our regular newsletter about projects we're working on and fascinating items from our collections.