Shadow Lands

Four short works from New Zealand filmmakers take us into the shadows.

Director:
Year:
Country:
Running time: 50 mins
Censor Rating: PG

Shadow Lands
New Zealand 2012/2013

No Place to Rest
SJ.Ramir/NZ 2012/6 mins

The Dam (O)
Gavin Hipkins/NZ 2013/8 mins

Rider
Colin Hodson/NZ 2013/6 mins

One Way to the Sea
Tom O’Halloran/NZ 2013/30 mins

Mysterious landscapes and shadowy figures, both real and imagined, dominate these four impressively ominous short works by New Zealand filmmakers. No Place to Rest, the latest video from Australia-based SJ.Ramir, leads us on a tentative journey down a deserted gravel road into a shadowy, metaphysical world. Gavin Hipkins’ The Dam (O) observes the forgotten, portentous terrain of the rugged Waitakere Ranges as a man wanders physically and psychologically around an old system of dams built in the 20s. In Colin Hodson’s frenetic Rider it isn’t the churning surf that threatens a young windsurfer who takes to the waves for the first time. Tom O’Halloran’s Christchurch-shot, silent Super 8 film One Way to the Sea posits a dystopian nightmare in the earthquake-struck city. Featuring a man enslaved to a depressingly quotidian routine who is haunted by dark and disturbing images, O’Halloran’s film combines the malevolent and the mundane in a style reminiscent of the early works of David Lynch. — Michael McDonnell