DANCING WITH ATOMS: PAUL CALLAGHAN
Sunday, 20 May, 3.30pm to 5.30pm
Tickets $25/$15 for children 16 and under and students with ID
(Eventbrite link), door sales on 1st floor (cash and eftpos)
All proceeds to the Cancer Society of NZ
DANCING WITH ATOMS
A documentary film by Point of View Productions
In November 2008, Sir Paul Callaghan awoke to find himself in hospital after radical bowel surgery. Thus began a different trajectory in the life of one of New Zealand’s most exceptional scientists and public figures.
In the time left, he redoubled his efforts to communicate his campaign to make New Zealand ‘A place where talent wants to live’ and issued a last challenge to New Zealanders to make the mainland predator-free.
Film-maker Shirley Horrocks – one of New Zealand’s leading documentary makers – has documented the lives of many artists, including Marti Friedlander and Len Lye. In this film, she discovers the world of atoms and molecules that so entranced Sir Paul. He used nuclear magnetic resonance as a choreographer directs the dance. This film is a beautifully composed mosaic of memories by his brother Jim, colleagues, students and friends who were close to him, recording Sir Paul’s unique personality and vision.
This film has been funded by the MacDiarmid Institute [which Sir Paul founded in 2002], AUT, Callaghan Innovation, Massey University, Kiwibank, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Royal Society Te Aparangi, University of Auckland, Victoria University of Wellington, University of Otago, Waikato University, and University of Canterbury.
SHIRLEY HORROCKS (Producer/Director of ‘Dancing with Atoms’)
Shirley Horrocks is a leading documentary producer and director. Her work has won a number of awards and received festival screenings around the world. She has specialised in documentaries about New Zealand writers and artists (such as Len Lye, Marti Friedlander, Allen Curnow, Albert Wendt, Merimeri Penfold, and many others).
This time she turned her skills to a profile of the great New Zealand scientist Sir Paul Callaghan. In Shirley’s words, ‘I was amazed that this was the first documentary about Sir Paul’s life and work. He gained an international reputation, and was a great New Zealander in his work on our country’s future and its natural environment. His talks with Kim Hill were wonderful examples of how to make science clear and interesting to everyone.
‘Sir Paul loved music and valued dialogue between science and the arts, an aspect which linked up with my arts documentaries. His eventful life and his original work provided rich subject-matter. Gathering interviews for the film was a pleasure as so many people who’d known Sir Paul welcomed the chance to record their memories and anecdotes.’
Shirley Horrocks has been described by the International Film Festival as “New Zealand’s most dedicated and attentive documentarian of art and artists.” She is the New Zealand director whose work has been screened most often by the Film Festival. The Directory of World Cinema speaks of her ‘painstakingly-researched, in-depth films that record, educate and celebrate.”
Shirley has had an exceptionally long and devoted career, producing and directing 20 major one-hour or feature-length documentaries, along with many half-hour documentaries.