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Taika Waititi lists his five favourite films from New Zealand

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Taika Waititi has listed his five favourite films from New Zealand.

  • READ MORE: Taika Waititi: “I love ‘Stranger Things’ – but as a Kate Bush fan I’m really annoyed!” 

Best known for his work on the Marvel Thor franchise, the director told Paste Magazine that he wanted to make a film about Waihau Bay – the rural New Zealand settlement of his childhood.

But he said he wasn’t brave enough to go through with it in the early part of his career until he made the 2010 film Boy. He has since gone on to make several films based on his homeland, including Hunt For The Wilderpeople.

He listed five of his favourite films from New Zealand which included Peter Jackson‘s 1994 drama Heavenly Creatures.

“It’s Peter Jackson’s best film,” he said. “It’s an incredible story, great performances, great filmmaking. He still has a really original voice, but his films have become so gigantic and he’s so ambitious now. But this was like a very cool, small film that was very inventive at the time.”

He also listed Harry Sinclair’s 1997 film Topless Women Talk About Their Lives, 1980 movie In Spring One Plants Alone, directed by Vincent Ward, Florian Habicht’s 2004 documentary Kaikohe Demolition and brutal 1994 New Zeland drama Once We Were Warriors, directed by Lee Tamahori, which tells the tale of an urban Māori family, and their problems with poverty, alcoholism and domestic violence.

“It still stands up today as a really incredible film,” Waititi said. “It was the first time that we’d really been exposed to what was going on in areas of New Zealand that were never really talked about before.

“It was a very raw film and very confronting for a lot of New Zealanders to see. When people watched that, they were like ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa.’ Because New Zealanders have always tried to present ourselves as a beautiful country and show off the scenery – almost like using films as tourism, which is kind of crazy and stupid. And this was like a very real portrait of a very well-known New Zealand that no one wanted to acknowledge existed.”

Meanwhile, Waititi recently expressed to NME how he was “really annoyed” when Kate Bush track ‘Running Up That Hill’ surged in popularity following its use in Stranger Things.

Waititi said: “I love that show, but as someone who feels ownership of Kate Bush music… I’m really annoyed! I’ve become one of those old arseholes who’s like: ‘These kids never listened to Kate Bush, they’ve heard one song on a TV show! They don’t know Kate Bush! I know Kate Bush!”

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