Emma Paki “Greenstone”

1994-emma-paki-greenstoneCliff Curtis stars in the follow-up to “System Virtue” (after Bully in “Once Were Warriors, before Pablo Escobar in “Blow”). Cliff plays a trouble young Maori and we first discover him sleeping in his beat-up old car. This is filmed in black and white, but a burst of colour comes in the form of Emma, who gorgeously appears in full colour, decorated in the splendours of nature (ferns and stuff).

Back in the real world, Cliff is at work on a road crew. It’s hot work and he takes a break in the shade of a tree. There, next to a stop/go sign, Emma appears in front of him, which strangely reminds me of Edward appearing before Bella in “Twlight: New Moon”.

Cliff is caught slacking off but dramatically quits and goes into town to hang out with his pals – and consciously rejects a beer. There’s some good footage around the popular music video location of Karangahape Road.

Cliff is caught mackin’ on to someone else’s girl outside the McDonald’s, and after a light scuffle he storms off, eating his feelings at the White Lady food caravan. Mid cheeseburger, Emma appears again, and this time he understands.

Because this is a New Zealand story, nothing good can ever happen in the city, and redemption can only be found in the bush. Cliff makes his way to a waterfall, where Emma appears to him for a third time, turning his black and white world into colour. She presents him with a pounamu pendant, which is just what he needs. Together they are happy.

It’s a lovely video. I also like that it’s a video that isn’t afraid to have a serious plot. Director Kerry Brown has told the story well, but includes plenty of shots of Emma Paki on her own, looking amazing.

Best bit: The brief glimpse of a Playboy cover in the dodgy second-hand bookshop in St Kevin’s Arcade.

Director: Kerry Brown
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… the sound of the underground.

2 thoughts on “Emma Paki “Greenstone””

  1. … you forgot to mention that in the waterfall scene he goes all Purest Form and gets his top off 😀
    More seriously, there used to be a Maccas at the Queen St end of K Road? Is that what’s now the Starbucks or Whitcoulls building?

    1. I was distracted by Cliff’s serious act0rising. But yes, that’s some Purest Form-level waterfall posing.

      There was indeed a McD’s on K Road. I think it closed in the late ’80s. It was about halfway between the old Rendell’s building and the George Courts building. If you look on Streetview, it’s the two storey building with the post-modern glass awning and you can see “Postie” painted over on the front. The whole building was McD’s – you could eat upstairs, overlooking K Road.

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