I was lucky to have a chat with legendary Kiwi film director Gaylene Preston. We talked about her career, her work, many of her films but in particular the focus was on her brilliant new film, My Year With Helen (click there to read my review) which is currently doing the Film Festival circuit. We talk about Preston’s film and some of the challenges in making a documentary that follows Helen Clark on her (ultimately unsuccessful) bid to become Secretary General of the United Nations. Preston’s film is about so much more than just that – it’s about the glass ceiling and sexism, about the challenges women face when climbing corporate and political ladders. And so it seems timely to be bringing this chat into the world this week – following local political news.
We talk about feminism and look back through many of Gaylene’s previous films – her new documentary parallels with many of her previous works; it was interesting to discuss the many motivations and moods across her movies and movie-making through the spectre of the Helen Clark doco.
And what a great joy it was to have Gaylene her to talk to – we also discuss her close working relationship with her sister (Jan Preston) and the role of music in her films, the role of music in her life. We talk about her travel and upbringing and get some great insights into a profoundly artistic life and career. It was a great honour for me to have this chat – I had met Gaylene about a decade ago and interviewed her about one of her previous films. That was a great chat then – this was something else!
There’s mention of the documentary The Five Obstructions – at the time this conversation happened, just a couple of weeks back, I hadn’t seen that film, I’ve since caught up with it. And though it’s no new release for anyone curious about it given its mention here I can now heartily, wholly recommend it.
I loved this conversation with Gaylene Preston – and I hope you do too.
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