Following earlier documentaries on Skeptics and Philip Dadson (Sheen of Gold and Philip Dadson: Sonics from Scratch), director Simon Ogston turns his attention to another cult Kiwi figure with Bill Direen: A Memory of Others. We asked Ogston five quick questions about the film as part of our #NZIFFastFive series of Q&As.
Please summarise your film in EXACTLY ten words.
Poetic, cinematic tour of New Zealand’s physical and cultural landscape.
There’s so much about Bill Direen to get across in a documentary. Was it difficult to decide what to include, and how did you crack it?
I made last October’s national tour the central narrative of the film, which freed me from having to attempt a complete or chronological overview of Bill’s career – that would have been a fool’s errand, given his prolific and unpredictable output.
How did making this doco contrast with your Skeptics and Philip Dadson pics?
I was determined to shoot the bulk of the film in the three-week window of the tour, rather than in bits and pieces over a longer period of time. My previous films have been more historical, interview-based stories – this was an attempt to make something more cinematic and expressive.
When did you first get interested in Bill Direen – and why do you think he doesn’t have more admirers?
I can’t remember when I first heard about Bill, but I’m from Christchurch, which is his hometown. His name always stuck with me because my paternal grandparents were named Bill and Doreen. I didn’t seriously start listening to his music until last year – it can be difficult to find, but hopefully this will change when the soundtrack to A Memory of Others is eventually released.
What was the last great film you experienced?
Get Out was memorable fun.
‘Bill Direen: A Memory of Others’ plays at the NZ International Film Festival