The Dub Encounter in New Zealand Film

Alan Wright


Peter Wells takes ‘dubbing’ as a metaphor to describe the cultural and cinematic experience of projecting ‘our thoughts, desires and dreams … into other peoples’ accents’ (2005, 25). Only when ‘the element of dubbing is removed from our speech on film’ will New Zealand cinema find its own voice. I use the idea of dubbing to advance a theoretical reading of New Zealand film that undoes the binary between local and global. I explore this unheimlich quality in reference to the films of John O’Shea, Barry Barclay and Florian Habicht. I examine the rupture that these directors introduce between voice and image in order to discover a poetics of identity that is attuned to a disjunct experience of place, time and history beyond the limits of national cinema. 

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ISSN: 2382-218X