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Geoff Murphy's eighteenth feature now available on DVD.

"Here's a remarkably successful merging of outre creative personalities: Wellington raised, Paris-based saxophonist Lucien Johnson; the founding father of American Gothic, poet Edgar Allen Poe, and Kiwi filmmaker and iconoclast Geoff Murphy (Utu). Johnson has composed an exuberantly dark and eclectic jazz rock cabaret score to a suite of Poe's macabre poems and assembled a group of local avant garde virtuosos to perform it with him. Musically, it's an amazing trip, referencing so many styles that it's like running the gamut of the dial on your radio except that every unexpected change of station is a suavely swaying progression. Murphy filmed a concert of the work on the stage at Waimarama and then spent a year creating a CGI world of weird funereal splendour to elaborate on the band's dramatic enactments of scenes from the Poe texts. The briefest clip of Bruno Lawrence on drums is right at home: this carnival of the souls is as invigorating as any of the Blerta escapades that kicked a film industry into life here 30+ years ago."
- Bill Gosden, director, New Zealand International Film Festival

"The music is great The performances here are as good as any I've ever heard in this idiom." - Bruce Morley, NZ Musician Magazine

"Only Lucien could conjure up this genius hip hysteria. This is music from the dark shadows. Melody and rhythm shudder, the notes themselves are terrified by the pandemonium coming out of his diabolical ensemble. Our macabre ringmaster leads us on an offbeat odyssey into a musical maelstrom. Be warned, there's nothing safe about this journey. These are the haunting, menacing strains of the soundtrack to the last night of your life." - John Psathas, composer



DIRECTOR: Geoff Murphy

New Zealand's most successful Hollywood director with eighteen features to his credit, Murphy was a founding member of legendary 'hippy' group Blerta, which toured New Zealand and Australia performing multi-media shows in the early 1970s. It spawned the film Wild Man and the Blerta television series. Murphy made his name with the classic road movie Goodbye Pork Pie (1981), one of the first New Zealand films to attract large-scale audiences in its home country. Murphy demonstrated his versatility and ability to attract mainstream audiences with the two films that followed: Maori western Utu (1983) and the last man on earth piece The Quiet Earth (1985), both starring Bruno Lawrence. Geoff's Hollywood films include Young Guns II (1990), Freejack (1992), Under Seige II (1995), Fortress 2 (1999) and Spooked (2004). Peter Jackson asked Geoff to return to New Zealand in 2001 to act as second unit director on Lord of the Rings.



COMPOSER: Lucien Johnson

Wellington-raised, Paris-based Lucien moved to Europe in 2003. He has played with a number of jazz improvisation heavyweights: Marylin Crispell, Lol Coxhill, Itaru Oki, John Betsch, Damo Suzuki and Alan Silva. A trio formed with Silva and Japanese drummer Makoto Sato recorded in Paris in 2006 and their album is to be released by the notorious Swiss avant-garde label Hat Hut in 2009. He has composed for film, theatre, dance and multi-media productions.

    Go to Lucien's website.


COMPOSER: Lucien Johnson
DIRECTOR: Geoff Murphy
PRODUCERS: Lucien Johnson, Anthony Donaldson
CO-PRODUCER: Howard Taylor

PERFORMED BY Village of the Idiots, featuring

Chris Palmer, vocals
Patrick Bleakley, bass
Deane Hunter, guitar
Anthony Donaldson, drums
Amanda MacLean, Trombone, xylophone
Alphabethead, turntables
Toby Laing, trumpet, synthesizer
Joe Lindsay, trombone
Lucien Johnson, saxophones, flute, organ

Infinity Ltd