Episode 25: Utu (1983) – Part 1

In our longest episode yet, we lovingly pull apart Geoff Murphy’s 1983 kiwi western Utu – discussing the film’s odd tonal shifts, arguing over performances, picking apart its politics, and pondering how so many messy parts could create a cohesive whole.

Download this episode (right click and save)

Director and producer: Geoff Murphy
Executive producers: Don Blakeney, Kerry Robins
Screenplay: Geoff Murphy, Keith Aberdein
Director of photography: Graeme Cowley
Editor: Michael Horton
Music: John Charles

Cast:
Te Wheke
…Anzac Wallace
Williamson…Bruno Lawrence
Wiremu…Wi Kuki Kaa
Lieutenant Scott…Kelly Johnson
Colonel Elliot…Tim Elliot
Matu…Merata Mita
Kura…Tania Bristowe
Vicar…Martyn Sanderson
Emily…Ilona Rodgers

Notes:

  • We’ll provide full information about how to see all the different versions of the film in the notes for Part 2. For now, the ideal way to see the film is to buy a copy of the recent DVD/Blu-Ray release from Aro Video. It’s also available to digitally rent in HD from NZ Film On Demand.
  • For more information on Anzac Wallace we highly recommend watching an interview he gave in 2016 to Marae Investigates. The video is available on their Facebook page.
  • If you’re interested in checking out ‘The Protesters’, the TV drama Hayden mentions, it can be viewed in full at NZ On Screen.
  • The terrific soundtrack by John Charles is still in print. The limited 3-disc DVD of Utu Redux from Aro Video comes with a copy of the CD. For you whipper-snappers that prefer digital downloads, it can also be bought from iTunes.
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