Philip Dadson: Sonics from Scratch

Directed by Simon Ogston and Orlando Stewart

As deeply fascinated by the conceptual as the biographical, this comprehensive portrait of one of our great experimental artists is essential viewing for anyone with even a passing interest in New Zealand art and music.


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  • ★★★★ review by One Room With A View on Letterboxd


    With its easy flow and footage from multiple sources, the structure and aesthetic of Philip Dadson: Sonics from Scratch beautifully reflects Dadson’s calm personality and career-long commitment to collaboration. The film is beautifully shot, and the addition of Dadson’s own video art provides quirky interpolations of how he sees the world.

    Though Dadson’s obsession with sound is its focus, the visual medium of film draws attention away from the audible, its focus on invention giving his process visual representation. For some, the film’s slow pace may bore, but its lack of urgency seems well-suited to convey a sense of Dadson’s person.

    A wonderful example of how to make a filmic portrait, Philip Dadson: Sonics from Scratch is a beautiful, intriguing, and endearing watch.

  • ★★★★½ review by Henry Stone on Letterboxd

    A rare case of a documentary that seems not to need any bias in order to be entertaining. This is a simple and elegant profile of an unusual artist who brought true originality to producing music.

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