Skip to main content

WOODENHEAD

New Zealand, 2003 (MIFF 2003, Regional Focus)

Director: Florian Habicht

A truly unsettling, visually inventive, stylistically thrilling and quite marvellous diamond in the rough. Woodenhead takes the traditional fairy tale and re-processes it through the minds of filmmakers like Canadian master of the peculiar Guy Maddin and animators of the arcane, the Quay Brothers. Incredibly, all of the dialogue and location sound for Woodenhead was completed first and the images shot to fit— a crazed reversal of accepted practice.

An innocent rubbish tip assistant, Gert, is given the task of escorting a beautiful mute 'princess', Plum, on a perilous journey to meet her prospective husband. As with all such mythical quests, their journey is fraught with danger challenges, romance and discovery. The menagerie of characters and animals they encounter, the breath-taking landscape of far-flung corners of New Zealand and the surreal action that drives their trip is all tackled in unforgettable fashion. Mirroring the archetypes of the subconscious and demons from the id that stalk the best work of Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm, Woodenhead has a bright future ahead, frightening small children and leaving the grown-ups strangely troubled.

See also...

KAIKOHE DEMOLITION

Kaikohe Demolition New ZealandThe tiny New Zealand town of Kaikohe made world news in 1991 when a group of its children attacked Santa in the local Christmas parade. Florian Habicht's new documentary ... More »

LOVE STORY

“A peon [sic] to the people on New York's streets, an absurdist rom-com, a flawless comic subversion; I'm not sure what Love Story is. Possibly genius.” - Critic ... New Zealand director Florian ... More »

PERFECT STRANGERS

When Melanie (Rachael Blake, Lantana, MIFF 2001) goes home from the pub with the best looking bloke (Sam Neill) there, she is more than pleased with herself. After a night of revelry, she passes out ... More »

CHRISTMAS

December 21st, and eldest son Keri has just turned up unannounced to the modest family home in Whangarei, a Kiwi town going nowhere fast, where he grew up. Sharing in the 'festivities' are the ... More »

NO. 2

Playwright Toa Fraser's first venture into feature film directing is an adaptation of his hit play of the same name. This deft mix of earthy comedy and drama centres on Nana Maria (American actor ... More »

BLIND SHAFT

Song and Tang are coal miners, working under torturous and unsafe conditions. When Tang's brother, Chaolu, arrives for a visit, they convince him to join them in the mine. Deep underground, they kill ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director