The Quiet Earth

Where: Nga Taonga Sound & Vision, 84 Taranaki St, Te Aro, Wellington

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • General Admission: $10.25 ($10.00 + $0.25 fees)
  • Concession: $8.20 ($8.00 + $0.20 fees)
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In Geoff Murphy’s cult sci-fi feature a global energy project has malfunctioned and scientist Zac Hobson (Bruno Lawrence) awakes to find himself the only living being left on earth.

The global top-secret energy project (Operation Flashlight), which he has been working on for a year, has changed the world.

The opening and dying scenes in "The Quiet Earth" are breathtaking. Using light (and its absence), wide angle lenses, carefully manipulated colour effects, odd camera angles and skilful juxtaposition of space and matter Bartle’s brilliance gives the film an artistic dimension that will ensure its place in the top ranks of New Zealand filmmaking.

“Geoff Murphy has taken a man-alone theme and turned it imaginatively to strong and refreshing effect in The Quiet Earth... With The Quiet Earth Murphy really shows his commercial spurs in a film with a contemporary setting yet containing elements of sci-fi futurism. A cast of three might spell doom for a less accomplished and innovative hand. Murphy makes it seem an asset. The plot centres on scientist Zac Hobson who wakes one morning to discover he is alone in the world. A global top-secret energy project he has been working on has malfunctioned and altered the fabric of the universe. While humanity appears to be wiped out, all its materialistic trappings remain. For a time, Zac lives out his fantasies. Then begins a search for other survivors. He finds two – a woman, Joanne, and a man, Api. The emotions unleashed by this trio in their struggle for survival propels the story, which has an intriguing mystical dimension, to a shattering conclusion. The film is notable for high production values: photography, special effects, sound mixing and music are among the best-integrated of any Kiwi feature to date. Acting isn’t far behind. Lawrence, a veteran of NZ films turns in a performance that is funny and moving, while Pete Smith makes a bold debut. But it is Alison Routledge who is the real find. Possessing a special, delicate, Madonna-like beauty, she invests Joanne with sparky intelligence and strength. The Quiet Earth … achieves without question the establishment of Murphy as a director of international, commercial calibre.” — Mike Nicolaidi, Variety, 15 May 1985

“As casting consultant, Lawrence invited Jack Nicholson to the party but he wanted $4 million and 15 percent of the gross. Lawrence thought laterally. ‘I cast my mind around the world and thought of all the actors I knew of and came up with the one actor who could play Zac. That was me’.” — ‘Where have all the people gone?’ Helen Martin, NZ Listener, 15/2/86

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