Screening in Thames
The Film Archive is presenting a new programme for this year's Thames Heritage Week which will please young and old alike. Rangi’s Catch a feature film made in 1967 is the story of two escaped convicts and the children who persue them for hundreds of miles. Through scenic Picton, Wellington, Waitomo, the Whanganui River and finally Rotorua, a dramatic chase takes place among hazardous geysers and boiling mud pools.
Many of the cast are now well known New Zealand actors. Of special note is the younger Ian Mune who plays a bumbling crook, and Temuera Morrison, who is excellent as the child star, Rangi. Last year the film was shown in Rotorua to the delight of the Morrison whanau and many locals.
“Not only is Rangi’s Catch one of the best children’s films ever made, it is grand entertainment for people of all ages. This film ranks, with the world’s best children’s productions.” — Catherine de la Roche, The Dominion
“Michael Woolf and Ian mune, who carry the major load, keep their bumbling efforts just on the right side of slapstick… the children are excellent. Obviously, somebody has a knack for casting and the director has obtained completely natural performances form the quartet.” — Clive Costello
Rangi’s Catch is a full color production, written and directed by Michael Forlong who was employed at the National Film Unit, in Wellington before moving to Britain. Forlong co-produced the film with the UK Children’s Film Foundation. It was originally shown in Britain as a television series. The Film Archive has very recently restored the film to its former glory as part of the Saving Frames Preservation Project.
Another film on the programme is the wonderfully amusing Springdale Calf Club, from 1956. Anyone from Springdale and anyone who remembers Calf Days will enjoy this film. The film’s opening commentary tells how a bovine expert travels to the area’s schools with a two week old calf to show a cow’s characteristics and attributes to the children. The children listen to the lecture and present their own calves. They are then instructed in tattooing the calf for identification, feeding the calves, grooming them, walking them and placing a flower patterned cover on the animal to keep it warm in the winter.
The official Calf Club Field Day follows,“the Great Day has arrived” and competitors prepare for the competition. The children run the competition, and the roles they hand on are described as a training in citizenship.”...“Because a boy who has a deep affection for an animal is a better boy, he will become a better man.”
This twenty minute colour film was photographed by Eric R. Booth, with script and direction by Donald S. Mackenzie and sound recording by NFU.The film was sponsored by the School Committee and Residents of the Springdale district with the co-operation of the South Auckland Education Board.
Other films are “the theme song and 'promise' of the Young New Zealanders Club”, where Mr Edward Silver, a well known Auckland radio announcer aka Uncle Neddo addresses children.This short was shown at Kerridge Theatres between 1946 -1948.
Thames Scenes, the earliest footage of Thames held by The Film Archive will be shown. This black and white silent film was made by Picture Theatre owner, Baden Chapman and shows the Bowling Club, a wood chopping contest, and a race meeting around 1930.
Session Times: 11am, 4pm & 8pm this Wednesday 14 March at the Embassy Cinema, 708 Pollen St, Thames.