Sorry, this event’s been and gone
|Wed 23 May ’12, 5:30pm||
|Wed 23 May ’12, 8:00pm||
Where: Downtown Cinemas, 70 Broadway Ave, Palmerston North
Restrictions: All Ages
- Waged membership: $85.00
- Unwaged membership: $70.00
- Triple feature card: $30.00
- High school student: $30.00
Event listed by: Ross Stevenson
Directed by F.W. Murnau
USA, 1931, 81mins, M
The trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmHQjE_YCGw
In 1929, F.W. Murnau (Nosferatu, Faust, Sunrise), one of the greatest of all film directors, invited leading documentarian Robert Flaherty (Nanook of the North, Man of Aran) to collaborate on a film to be shot on location in Tahiti. Murnau imagined a cast of island actors that would provide a new form of authentic drama and offer a rare insight into their “primitive” culture.
The result of their collaboration was Tabu, a film that depicts the details of indigenous island life to tell a mythical tale that is rich in the universal themes of desire and loss. Subtitled a “Story of the South Seas”, Tabu concerns a Tahitian fisherman (played by an islander, Matahi) and his love for a young woman (played by fellow islander Reri, who went on to star on Broadway) whose body has been consecrated to the gods, rendering her tabu as far as mortal men are concerned.
The lovers flee their island and its restrictive traditions, but will their love prevail in the “civilised” world? This Oscar-winning film is both poetic and simple in tone.
The production was originally supposed to be financed by a small production company called Colorart. By September, however, Murnau had only received $5,000 of the due money. After a series of telegrams asking for the rest of the money, Murnau got fed up and decided to fund the film himself.
To cut costs, Murnau sent the Hollywood crew home and trained the natives to work as the film crew. He also scrapped plans to shoot the film in colour and changed to black and white. The film's script was rewritten and the title was changed to Tabu to avoid potential legal issues with Colorart.
“The film is escapism worth watching for its loving depiction of the South Seas. The unspoiled beauty of the islands comes through even in black and white, and everything—the sea, the pearls, the bodies of Matahi and Reri—has a silvery quality that positively shimmers. The present print of Tabu, long thought lost, was taken from a carefully preserved print found at the home of the film’s cinematographer Floyd Crosby, who won an Oscar for it, and restored by the film-preservation unit at UCLA.” - John G. Nettles
Did you know? Producer/director/co-writer F.W. Murnau died in a car accident a few days after starting work on the music for this film. The film had its New York premiere a week later.
Two screenings 5.30pm and 8pm at Downtown Cinemas.
Members only. Palmerston North Film Society Membership is available at the door before each screening and lasts for one full year.