Wednesday, December 07, 2005

5 reasons I would be happy if King Kong flopped

1. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is seriously over-rated. The second one in particular, is unremittingly boring.

2. Any day where Kerry Prendergast gets to prance around talking about how much she loves Wellington is a bad, bad day.

3. I don't think we should celebrate any industry where people end up hoping they get out alive.

4. I am sick of the orgy of nationalism every time a Peter Jackson movie comes out. I don't like nationalism at the best of times, but at least sporting nationalism is honest about what it is. This is the nationalism for the liberal middle-class who find rugby a little distasteful.

5. From rumours I've heard around Wellington Peter Jackson is so anti-union that he'd hire Pinkerton if they were still around.


  1. Anonymous10:17 am

    Right on about the nationalism and the mayor.
    However you could go just to look at the cute pit orchestra banjo player in the tapdance scene.
    There is at least one other reason to bah humbug this deal, namely rank political suck arse from the film makers.
    Last but one US ambassodor Swindells had a cameo in the aformentioned scene. Playing the part of a theatre goer. I thought I recognised the bastards voice in the changing room next door and yes it was him. After the shot he smarmed around the set shaking hands with as many cast and crew as possible.

  2. "1. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is seriously over-rated. The second one in particular, is unremittingly boring."

    I can't believe you said that- the second one is the best of the trilogy, im(not so)ho. All the Frodo angst and the swamp stuff and the bit where the dragon nearly gets him. ROTK was waay more boring.

    But seriously, I agree with you about the nationalism thing. The mass orgy over the number of Oscars ROTK won was faintly nauseating. Why must New Zealanders constantly seek to be approved by overseas judges whose sense of good taste has been consistently proved to be, uh, not so good?

  3. That's right I'd forgotten there was a special cameo - if we can see you Tenor Horn I'll watch it - although probably not in the movies unless I can get a cheap ticket.

    I liked the hobbits best too Eleanor, and like the Sam/Frodo stuff in the second one - but all anyone ever does in Lord of the Rings is walk places - and that's particularly frustrating in The Two Towers.

  4. I don't get why sporting nationalism is more honest than film nationalism... I also think a good film is a much better thing to be proud of than some guys doing better at kicking a ball around than some other guys. That does nothing to justify Jackson's anti-unionism, of course, and nationalism isn't any better just because the reason for it is better.

  5. Anonymous3:43 pm

    The second LOTR film is also the best adaptation of the story, too. It puts real people in where the books had cardboard cutouts, especially the female characters.

    Say what you like about the labour practices of the people that made it, but don't diss the story.

  6. Peter Jackson's the most talented filmmaker NZ's produced. It's beyond me why people might imagine this reflects some credit on them just because they also happen to be NZers, or that NZ is somehow now a great filmmaking country having produced so far a total of 1 (one) top director - but give the guy credit, he is a top director.

    I wouldn't be surprised if King Kong is a flop. It's a labour of love, not a business investment, and you'd think Hollywood bozos would have noticed that before putting their money into it.

    I'm also not surprised he's anti-union. For one thing, he's a talented artist who was happy to make films unpaid and outside OSH guidelines even when it had to fit in around his day job. For another, these days he's personally responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars of investors' money and devotes all his waking hours to making a great work of art out of it. If I was him I'd have scant sympathy for anyone on the project that wanted to think of it as just a job - they're free to fuck off and find a film director who does consider it just a job.

  7. At the moment working for WETA isn't more than a job it's less than a job. Basic legal protections don't demean work, they enhance it.

  8. Anonymous3:15 pm

    Hmmmmmm, let's see now, if you're talented and and put your own time into your artwork hobby and have responsibility for investor's money and work hard at producing a good film its fair enough to be anti union, right?

    Because I was fool enough to trust a certain bandleader and did an exacting afternoon's music work without a written contract a while ago I'm just about to be paid $29.30 for my efforts.

    Workers in the entertainment business get shafted all the time, we need union organisation as much as anyone.

  9. Sure you do, and if I was working in it I'd be in a union. Just don't be surprised that Peter Jackson is anti-union and don't imagine he's some kind of bad person because of that. Everyone has their own motivations and most consider their motivations genuine and morally defensible. He's going to consider that if he's taking personal responsibility for the success or failure of the project and working himself to exhaustion 7 days a week on it, he can expect at least a modest level of commitment from other people. I don't personally think it works like that, but I can see why he would. Trying to see what motivates other people instead of writing them off as bad guys because they don't agree with you is not a good idea. Apologies for the sermon.

  10. Anonymous12:02 am

    Phsycho milt, we may not be far apart.

    Just to clarify some essentials:
    trade unionism does not rule out pride in ones craft or commitment to quality.
    Ask any organised nurse, child care worker, cellist, editor,cocktail waiter or boilermaker.

  11. I have also heard of serious health and safety issues on the Kong set, including a near fatality.

    Ross Wilson on Jackson

    "New Zealanders need to stop viewing Peter Jackson through rose tinted spectacles, and see the reality that this is a business where safety comes last for cost reasons.