On An Unknown Beach

Directed by Adam Luxton and Summer Agnew

Aboard the state-of-the-art research vessel Tangaroa, coral scientist Di Tracey surveys the Chatham Rise seabed to document the impact of deep ocean trawl fishing. Wandering through Christchurch’s eerie post-quake CBD, Bruce Russell, a sound artist and founding member of seminal noise band The Dead C, philosophises on urbanisation and regeneration through improvised soundscapes and his own highly evolved thought patterns. And navigating a fraught interior landscape, poet and actor David Hornblow uses Regression Hypnotherapy to traverse his past experiences with addiction. For Luxton and Agnew, their unique subjects’ journeys into the unknown have galvanised their own approach to the aesthetic of this adventurous film, earthy in tone and form and sublimely realised as a visual poem.


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  • ★★★★★ review by Josiah Morgan on Letterboxd

    NZIFF 2016//Film #13

    my christchurch was full of

    Drug Addicts


    No Hopers



  • ★★★½ review by Dan Slevin on Letterboxd

    “I’m still not sure quite what to make of On an Unknown Beach except that, whether I can identify a thesis or not, it is one of the most memorable NZ films I have seen in recent times. That sounds like faint praise but I don’t mean it to be. Three, seemingly unrelated, strands of documentary finally merge together as you leave the theatre and head across the road for coffee. You’ll come for the beautiful cinematography but you’ll stay for the subtle interplay of ideas, dancing and flirting with each other.”

    RNZ Widescreen

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