Pioneer Womens' Hall, Cnr High St & Freyberg Pl, Auckland

18/02/2013 - 01/03/2013

Auckland Fringe 2013

Production Details


Short film making is hard – you slave at an idea, beg for funding and then (if you’ve managed to convince enough of your friends to work in exchange for instant coffee) send the film away and hope it gets the chance to be seen. On February 18th eleven short films will have their premiere as ‘TALK’.

For this Auckland Fringe, a collective of young film makers have seized an opportunity to engage with an immediate audience – no waiting for film festivals to decide if they will screen a work.

Talk is a feature film comprised of eleven short films, each showcasing a conversation in different circumstance. The films have been written by Christopher Stratton and Alice Connolly, then handed to a group of talented young practitioners. For some, coming from theatre backgrounds, this will be their first taste of film making. For others, film school graduates, comedians and the like, this has been an opportunity to place their short film work into the context of something larger. This project is about allowing a large pool of talent the opportunity to work towards the creation of a feature film.

The films aim to find the comedy, truth and pathos in conversations that happen in both extraordinary and mundane situations. At the core of each film lie two people and their attempt to understand themselves, each other and be heard.

Auckland Fringe runs from 15 February to 10 March 2013. For more Auckland Fringe information go to  

TALK plays
18th, 20th, 25th, 27th February and 1st March, 8pm
Duration: 100 mins
Venue: Pioneer Womens’ Hall, Corner High Street and Freyberg Place
Tickets: $12 Full Price, $10Concession
Bookings – Eventinder –  

1hr 40min

Review by Melissa Fergusson 19th Feb 2013

I have never been to The Pioneer Women’s Hall before, so I was looking forward to checking out the space and watching the screening of this ‘portmanteau’ film by a collection of young film makers, headed up by duo Christopher Stratton and Ruby Reihana-Wilson.

After a lengthy wait (some 45 minutes) due to technical issues, with the 10-11 short films having not finished rendering, the screening commenced.

‘Bath’ opens with a young woman bathing. Suddenly disturbed when her boyfriend comes home after work, so she quickly putting away any evidence of what she’s been doing, or pondering about. Soon after, the conversation turned to an unplanned pregnancy, and the decision process. What to do?

I’m not sure if this ‘talk’ is very credible? Slightly cliché, too wordy and predictable, it is nevertheless funny at times, before the discovery.

Next up is ‘Denny’, partying on his own. He calls his father and then self harms by cutting himself. Denny then goes to a bar that’s closed, to chat to a female acquaintance and hopefully talk through his issues.

This dark subject matter is over acted and the storytelling is insufficient, as it is not able to establish what or why.

‘Park’ is a conversation between two strangers walking at night time. One of the women is shapely in appearance, and the other is slim. They speak about aesthetics, the possibility of rape in the park (by men) … The dynamic changes when one of them makes a comment about them raping the other? End. Point?

‘Bird’ is about a heterosexual couple who have different work places. The male works from home and the female works in an office. Unable to agree about what breed of bird they want, or how many, they decide to buy a birdcage first.

The standout film of the evening is certainly ‘Party’, about a homosexual man who stalks, accosts and (surprise) kisses someone he fancies. But are they interested, gay or experimenting? You decide.

‘Hill’ is again difficult subject matter, talking about a possible cancer scare. Credibility is lacking here, and there is little connection between the friends, or care from the listener, for that matter.

‘Bar’ opens with a young woman waiting for her friend who never shows. She texts and leaves messages on her voicemail to no avail. She then bumps into her teacher in the bathroom and they have an awkward moment. Really?

‘Bridge’ is about suicide. Two jumpers meet on the ledge of a bridge and discuss their last letters or Facebook updates to their friends and family, to say goodbyes to the world. They have a brief discussion about their (work) lives before they make the call to jump together, or not.

Never saw ‘Mum’. Last up was ‘Work’ which we only caught a glimpse of due to more technical issues.

This was an ambitious project making 10-11 short films in two months. What I can say is that I like the choice of titles for the films, the cinematography is clean, and the audience enjoyed themselves with complimentary wine and ‘talk’ between themselves.

The rule of thumb is ‘less is more’. 


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