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Heavenly Creatures is based on the true story of two girls, Juliet Hulme and Pauline Parker, who murder Parker’s mother in Victoria Park, Christchurch in 1954. The girls come from very different backgrounds but share a love of fantasy. Their friendship quickly blossoms into an exclusive society of two, which includes their own religion, a mythical kingdom and a love of Mario Lanza.

“While there is some morphing and a whole range of special effects in Heavenly Creatures, it’s not a special- effects movie. Certainly the other films I’ve made have been effects films and everybody talks about the effects in them. But I imagine most reviews of Heavenly Creatures won’t even mention the effects. They are not that ostentatious or prominent. Most people won’t even realise they are effects” - (Peter Jackson in, Cinema Papers, April 1994)

“Just as unsettling is the way Jackson and fellow scriptwriter Frances Walsh so completely identify with the girls’ viewpoint. Castles and magical kingdoms, about which Pauline and Juliet fantasise, rise before our very eyes. The girls dance with full- size nightmare figures. In swift wish- fulfilment sequences, troublesome, intrusive adults are impaled on spikes. A very mobile camera tracks, dollies, cranes and scuttles around the girls as they frolic, coming close to reproducing the type of delirium they are experiencing. But there’s an awful tension built into all this. The fact is, Pauline’s mother Honora emerges as the film’s most sympathetic character. She is played by Sarah Pierse as a concerned, compassionate mum, inarticulate but painfully worried about her daughter and trying to do her best for her. Any pleasure we take in the film’s fantasy element has to be measured against the sheer ugliness of Honora’s murder” - (Nicholas Reid, “Heavenly Jackson”, North & South)

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Year 1994

Reference number F27819

Source Moving Image Collection

Media type Moving Image

Place of Production NEW ZEALAND/AOTEAROA

Genre Feature

Duration 1:45:00

Production company Wingnut Films

Viewing locations

View online, or at Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Wellington

Credits Director: Peter Jackson Producer: Jim Booth Director of Photography: Alun Bollinger Writer: Frances Walsh Writer: Peter Jackson Editor: Jamie Selkirk Cast: Melanie Lynskey , Kate Winslet , Sarah Pierse , Diana Kent , Clive Merrison , Simon O’connor , Jed Brophy , Jed Brophy , Peter Elliott , Gilbert Goldie , Geoffrey Heath , Kirsty Ferry , Ben Skjellerup , Moreen Easen , Elizabeth Moody , Liz Mullane 1st Assistant Director: Carolynne Cunningham Costume Designer: Ngila Dickson Digital Effects Operator: George Port Effects: Richard Taylor Effects: Tania Rodger Funded By: New Zealand Film Commission Location Manager: Martin Long Music Composed: Peter Dasent Production Co Ordinator: Jacqui Wood Production Designer: Grant Major Production Manager: Honor Byrne Props Buyer: Meryl Cronin Prosthetics: Richard Taylortania Rodger Set Dresser: Meryl Cronin Sound Recordist: Hammond Peek Visual Effects: Weta Ltd;

Related Link

New Zealand Film Commission