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Palmerston North Film Society: Apron Strings


Wed 28 Jul 2010, 5:30pm
Wed 28 Jul 2010, 8:00pm

Where: Downtown Cinemas, 70 Broadway Ave, Palmerston North

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Yearly membership waged: $85.00
  • Yearly membership unwaged: $70.00
  • Triple feature card: $30.00
  • High school student yearly: $30.00

Listed by: Ross Stevenson

Apron Strings
Directed by Sima Urale
New Zealand 2008 90mins

In her first feature Samoan-born Aucklander Sima Urale brings a light touch to a script by Shuchi Kothari and Dianne Taylor which traces parallel, richly loaded domestic dramas in two families of cooks: one Sikh, the other dyed-in-the-wool Anglo.

Both tales centre on mothers and their fatherless sons. Lorna (Jennifer Ludlum) is the proprietor of an old-fashioned cake shop, and mother of the listless, unemployed Barry (Scott Wills) who's 35, still living at home and complaining about her cooking. The glamorous Anita (Laila Rouass) hosts an Indian cooking show on TV. Her poise is shaken when her student son Michael (Nathan Whitaker), the apple of her eye, starts to "explore his Indian-ness" by getting a job in an Otahuhu curry-house.

From the quaint kitsch wedding cakes to the exotic Indian delicacies, the food is all shot as beautifully as the entire film. Director of Photography Rewa Harra switches from infusing the film with the sumptuous golden light of the TV set and the curry house to the pastel haze of the suburban house scenes, dictating mood with ease and grace.

The film's action illuminates the complex ways in which parents and children add weight to each other's burdens. It does so with a welcome lack of glibness about how the damage can be undone. In the plum role Jennifer Ludlum is riveting. Her Lorna may strike us at the outset as almost comical, a Roger Hall creation, in her sniffy disdain for the Asian and PI hordes crowding in on her pink frost island.

By the end of the film we've understood how she's marooned herself in other, much more devastating ways. Scott Wills is perfectly matched as her hapless son. Apron Strings ends with cups of tea, but this irresistibly local celebration of recognisable real lives on the big screen is an occasion for cocktails.

“Jennifer Ludlam is especially compelling as the desperately sad matriarch ill-equipped to deal with her son’s incorrigible problems and unable to expunge the terrible guilt she assumed two decades ago after a traumatic family tragedy. Equally, once you swallow that Laila Rouass and Leela Patel are sisters, the complexity and nuances behind each strong performance are hard to miss. Strong male figures are conspicuously absent in Apron Strings and the cross-cultural framework highlights the similarities facing independent women regardless of race or society. Apron Strings is ultimately a film about gender as much as ethnicity.” The Lumiere Reader

Did you know?
Apron Strings is the first Indian feature film to be funded through official channels in New Zealand.

Screenings at 5.30pm and 8pm at Downtown Cinemas.
Members only. Palmerston North Film Society Membership is available at the door before each screening and lasts for one full year.

Restaurants to book near Palmerston North Film Society: Apron Strings