Something completely different from the director of Beasts of the Southern Wild (NZIFF12), this swirling, kaleidoscopic take on the adventures of Peter Pan and Wendy in Neverland is uniquely for both mature kids and wide-eyed adults.
The eight long years since Benh Zeitlin’s magical first film landed countless awards and four Oscar nominations have created both buzz and speculation, owing to the mythic status a project by a director of Zeitlin’s instant acclaim deserves. His adaptation of the classic J.M. Barrie tale, at last complete, is every bit the original, defiantly alternative reimagining we expected – and just maybe, is destined for cult status.
Centred on a hardscrabble Louisiana family, the film introduces young Wendy (Devin France), whose obsession with a mysterious boy seen leaping between railcars compels her to jump aboard a train with her twin brothers, where they meet the one and only Peter Pan (Yashua Mack). Whisked off to a strange volcanic island, the kids revel in an untamed landscape that promises they’ll never grow old. Dancing between images of Disney-like wonder, scenes of salty mischief-making (reminiscent of The Florida Project) and darker encounters that may frighten younger viewers, it’s a film that plays to its own beat, rebelling against the conventional wisdom of what a Peter Pan story should look, sound and feel like, to be precisely the thing it wants to be.
Director: Benh Zeitlin
Producers: Becky Glupczynski, Dan Janvey, Paul Mezey, Josh Penn
Censors rating M
Tickets are available online through Eventfinda and from the front desk at MTG. Door sales will also be available at the MTG Century Theatre one hour prior to the screening.
Presented by: New Zealand International Film Festival.