In a six-part podcast series, Tim Batt interviews a raft of people involved in the bloody hilarious Nude Tuesday – from writer and lead Jackie van Beek to director Armagan Ballantyne, subtitle writer Julia Davis, musician Luke Buda, cast members Jemaine Clement and Chris Parker, and more.
Armagan Ballantyne and Jackie van Beek’s new comedy feature Nude Tuesday is a pretty amazing piece of work. When I was working with Jackie on her and Madeleine Sami’s podcast, The Maker Upperers, she kept having to disappear to go check the edit of this movie she’d made. It had nudity, Jemaine Clement and an even more unique feature: Everyone in the film speaks in an unintelligible gibberish and is subtitled later by a handpicked comedian who’s completely unfamiliar with the story as Jackie and Armagan originally wrote it.
They had really laid out every opportunity for this movie to fail, or at least be a gimmicky mess. But as someone who’s seen it twice (which is a mere 50 less than I’ve seen Sex and The City 2) I can say they knocked this thing out of the park. It’s poignant, it’s beautifully shot, fantastically scored and soundtracked and crucially—it is bloody hilarious.
After talking to Jackie and some other mates involved in the movie, I found myself just asking more and more questions—I wanted to find out about every aspect of this utterly unique and brilliant bit of filmmaking. So I decided to do just that and bring a microphone with me. In The Nude Tuesday Podcast, you can hear me across half a dozen episodes, very earnestly interviewing a raft of people involved in the production. I spoke to Jackie and Armagan about the challenges of writing and directing. I spoke to Chris Parker about the journey of preparing to be naked on the big screen. I even spoke to Jemaine Clement about getting hypothermia during the shoot.
Films are such an intensely collaborative process and I’ve always been fascinated by just how many people operating at the peak of their creative power it requires to make a worthy cinema-going experience. Beyond that, I’ve also always marvelled at how terrifyingly easy it is to make a really bad movie. Great acting but bad directing? Ruined. Excellent writing but shit cinematography? Unwatchable. Beautifully written, cast, performed and captured but some idiot got hired to do the sound mix and now you can’t hear dialogue over the music? Congratulations—you just made a bad movie.
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My point is: This movie is so ambitious, was such a risk and it turned out as something of a masterpiece. Not only is it perfectly cast with leads van Beek and Herriman creating super captivating performances, the comedy lands, the subtitling by Julia Davis is uproarious (best believe I don’t go throwing that word around often) and the picture (majority-shot in beautiful Makarora in the Queenstown-Lakes District) is stunning gorgeous. Combine that with a soundtrack that defies both expectation and the norm for NZ-made productions and you’ve got a rightly-lauded 5-star winner.
I’ve largely avoided spoilers so listen without fear if you’re interested in hearing from some talented, hilarious creative people discuss how they made Nude Tuesday .
Ep 1 – Filmmakers: Armagan Ballantyne & Jackie van Beek
Ep 2 – Leading Men: Jemaine Clement and Damon Herriman
Ep 3 – Words and Music: Julia Davis and Karyn Rachtman
Ep 4 – Comedy Actors: Karen O’Leary and Chris Parker