Minnesota wary of Kiwi's movie
MONDAY , 07 FEBRUARY 2005
Hundreds of people, from infants to grandparents, stand in line
the hope of becoming some of the 2000 extras needed for a new
Several hundred high school pupils pack
a theatre to watch the Kiwi
director's previous hit film and hear the director speak.
Businesses say that filming, with 100 cast and crew, will inject
several million dollars into the local economy. Shop owners are
excited that the stars might drop in
and buy something.
But some people are worried about how their region will be viewed
once the movie is completed.
It sounds like Peter Jackson filming King Kong in Wellington.
But it's Whale Rider director Niki Caro in the United States.
Caro has been in the backblocks of Minnesota for the past few
preparing to shoot her first Hollywood movie, starring Charlize
Inspired by the book Class Action about a woman fighting sexual
harassment in Minnesota's mines during the 1980s and 1990s, the
$NZ28 million movie, still untitled,
will also star Sissy Spacek,
Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson and
New Zealanders who assume they are the only ones to become wide-eyed
and nosy when Hollywood comes to town will relate to coverage
Last week in the town of Virginia, many would-be extras formed
queue that started from "Joe's barber shop, snaked all the
way back to
Kmart, then doubled back to Suzanne's
jewellery store", the Duluth
News Tribune reported.
Anna Glowacki, 17, was able to introduce Caro, who spoke to hundreds
of high school pupils after a screening of Whale Rider in Aurora.
minutes later she had to leave "to help the Virginia Blue
basketball team face the Tower-Soudan Golden Eagles".
Some residents are concerned Caro will show them as simpletons,
they believe happened to them in another movie filmed in the
area &SHY; Fargo.
"My only concern is that they don't make us look like we
uneducated and poor," a bank worker said.
Caro may have her work cut out for her. A former miner, asked
wanted to be an extra, replied: "On Friday nights I get
liquored up and act
dumb. That's a type of acting, I s'pose."