January 17, 2014


After the Waterfall (Simone Horrocks, 2010). Antony Starr is very good as the bruised dad turned mute and hopeless by the disappearance of his four-year-old daughter in the Waitakeres (his turf – he’s a park ranger). Adapting British writer Stephen Blanchard’s novel The Parrafin Child for a local setting, Simone Horrocks negotiates a Kiwi male language of emotional reticence so stunted it barely qualifies as communication – first scene: a barbecue; final line of dialogue: “Good on you, son” – and you could theorise about whether this is Smash Palace a generation on. Sombre barely covers it.