Home by Christmas
14 June 2012, 2pm
14 June 2012, 7pm
16 June 2012, 7:30pm
17 June 2012, 4:30pm
21 June 2012, 2pm
24 June 2012, 4:30pm
Ticketing information, bookings (02) 6248 2000
Special event – Australian premiere
Thursday 14 June – Director Gaylene Preston will introduce her film, with actors Tony Barry (Australia) and Chelsie Preston Crayford (Underbelly: Razor), followed by Q+A after the screening.
Friday 15 June – Gaylene Preston will discuss the inspiration and opportunity in the use of archival footage for feature and documentary films, and how filmmakers can make new stories from treasures of the past. Free lecture, bookings recommended on 6248 2000.
Max Pass holders FREE – Thursday 14 June 7pm.
All tickets $5 – Thursday 14 June 2pm and Thursday 21 June 2pm.
Home By Christmas
Dir: Gaylene Preston, New Zealand, 92mins, 35mm
NZ director Gaylene Preston’s ode to a lost generation of World War Two veterans.
In the late 1980s New Zealand filmmaker Gaylene Preston began researching the lives of local NZ women during World War Two. She began with the stories she thought she knew best: those of her own parents. Although her focus was initially on the women’s war and would evolve into her acclaimed film War Stories, conversations with her father Ed increasingly made her aware of how little she knew of his experiences. A feature film companion to War Stories began to emerge; not the usual nostalgic fantasy of home front community life, but a memoir of the quotidian, private and sometimes humiliating experiences of being an ordinary soldier in wartime.
Home By Christmas’s impact is precisely the result of the modesty of its aims and of the life it recounts, as Ed begins his war as a raw recruit and ends it in the wretched conditions – and boredom – of a POW camp. Gaylene Preston herself is a moving presence, as a mostly off-camera interviewer (as is also Chelsie Preston-Crayford (the director’s daughter) as Ed’s young, wartime bride). But Home By Christmas’s lack of exposure to Australian audiences is all the more shameful and undeserving because of its great, warm centre: iconic Australian actor Tony Barry as Preston’s elderly, understated but occasionally still fiery father.
“Sometimes one hears people wondering wistfully why New Zealand films are often stronger than Australia’s. I leave the question open, while strongly commending Gaylene Preston’s excellent Home by Christmas. The main actor is, however, one of our boys; Tony Barry gives a wonderful performance as the director’s father.” (Sylvia Lawson)