Screened as part of NZIFF 2011

Daytime Tiger 2011

Directed by Costa Botes

Costa Botes’ portrait of New Zealand writer Michael Morrissey is indeed a tiger-ride – an up-close encounter with an extremely intelligent man in the grip of bipolar disorder.

92 minutes DigiBeta

Buy or Rent

Director, Producer, Photography, Editor


Tom McLeod

Additional music

Harley Green

Sound editor

Bernard Blackburn

Colour grade

Spooky Pictures


Michael Morrissey
Ann Morrissey

World Premiere

Academy Cinema, 23 July 2011

It’s also a harrowing portrait of marriage vows tested to the extreme. Morrissey was diagnosed with manic depression in 1999 but long rejected available medication, believing it would stymie his genius. Having failed to find a publisher for his written account, he invited the filmmaker into his house to record his battle to ‘tame the tiger’ through willpower. Botes gives full reign to his subject’s convictions, clearly staggered by the phenomenally rapid idea association taking place when ‘the genius’ is on a manic talking jag. But he also keeps a prudent distance. His footage of Morrissey in full flight should surely convince any remaining romanticists that there is nothing creative about being bipolar. Michael Morrissey, reportedly shocked into accepting medication when he saw himself, is unlikely to be alone in benefiting from this brave and terrifying film. — BG