Sublime, ridiculous, funny, disturbing, lush, innovative and moving
This is a beautiful fairy tale with a big heart but no morals. It's got an aesthetic reminiscent of European new wave cinema but an energy driven by the very un-European landscape of rural New Zealand. The locations are sublime and so is the way they're photographed. And the soundtrack is an absolute killer.
I'm a fan of the fairy tale, but I've never seen one quite like this before. It's filthy and serene all at the same time. Brave, powerful and flawed - the way young people's films should be!
There are hints of Fellini and other European new-wavers, but none of the 'civilised' connotations that go with the European setting. Woodenhead is all down and dirty, and apart from an accordion and references to Grimm brothers story lines, its soul is rooted very firmly in the damp earth of its antipodean location.
This film made me laugh, almost cry and guffaw at its brazenness all in rapid succession about half a dozen times. How satisfying is that!
A cult classic. I'll be watching what these people do next.