Starlight Hotel

Starlight Hotel (Sam Pillsbury, 1987) wr. Grant Hinden-Miller, prod. Larry Parr, Finola Dwyer, Mirage Films, Challenge Film Corp, dp Warrick Attewell; Peter Phelps, Greer Robson, Marshall Napier, Bruce Phillips, The Wizard; Depression era NZ school-kid Kate missing her father badly; temptation to seek him out leads her into diverse and intense encounters with fate; NZ

I've seen Peter Phelps in half a dozen films, and find this the most attractive. It's a shiralee story from the NZ depression in which a young man feels obliged to look after a girl while on the road. It's a bit melodramatic but plausible enough. Phelps is neither too saccharin, as he is in Playing Beatie Bow, nor too choleric, as in most of his films, Teesh and Trude, for example. A good example of a successful and satisfying NZ feature.

... sweetly anemic ... a Disneyesque road picture ... Grant Hindin Miller set out to portray the times in this pensive screenplay based on his bestseller The Dream Monger. It is a small, affectionate story, serenely and too evenly directed by Sam Pillsbury, who made his feature debut with Scarecrow in 1982. Rita Kempley, Washington Post.

... plays like a Down Under version of Paper Moon (1973). Karl Williams, Rotten Tomatoes.


New: 7 October, 2012 | Now: 16 August, 2014 | garrygillard[at]gmail.com