New Zealand premier of No 2

Trip Start May 18, 2003
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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Sunday, February 5, 2006

What better way to start the long weekend than by attending the New Zealand premier of "No 2" at the opening night of the Open Air Cinema. I had attended screenings here before, during the first season back in 2004, so I knew that I was in for a treat. There is something quite special about open air cinema, especially in such magnificent surroundings as Auckland's Viaduct Harbour.

Elizabeth and I got there early in time for the pre show entertainment in front of the familiar inflatable screen. The seats were filling up fast and it was great to see Aucklanders from all walks of life attending. The entertainment consisted of Fijian style dancing, first a solo woman and then a troop of male dancers. Impressive stuff! Shortly before the sun went down (and the start of the screening) Toa Fraser addressed the crowd. He originally wrote the story as a play. As a film "No 2" has recently won a Sundance Festival world cinema audience award.

Another person attending the screening was Prime Minister Helen Clarke, who also said a few words before the start of the movie. I think her comment about "No 2 doing for Mt Roskill what BroTown did for Mornington Crescent" was supposed to be a joke.

No 2 is a charming story about what it takes to bring family together. Nanna Maria demands that her grandchildren put on a big feast at which she will name her successor. The story is set in Mount Roskill, south Auckland, and it was fantastic to see familiar locations in various scenes. One of the biggest laughs came from a scene on Mount Eden (a place I've been to many times) when the 'Tolkien Enthusiast' asked the tour guide a question...

After the film Liz told me that the actress who played 'Danish Maria' (as the credits describe her) got the part from a web cam audition before flying over to start filming the next day. Apparently Tuva Novotny is one of Scandinavia's most successful young actresses. To get the cast in the right mood for the project a real feast was hosted at Toa's family home in Mount Roskill.
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