Talk About Their Lives

 (Harry Sinclair, New Zealand, 1997) 90 minutes


Director: Harry Sinclair
Producers: Fiona Copland, Harry Sinclair
Photography: Dale McCready
Photography (Ant's film): Leon Narby
Editor: Cushla Dillon
Music: Flying Nun Records
Sound Design: Chris Burt
Danielle Cormack (Liz)
Willa O'Neill (Prue)
Joel Tobeck (Neil)
Ian Hughes (Ant)
Shimpal Lelisi (Mike)
Andrew Binns (Geoff)
Peter Elliott (Gary)

Reviews and notes

The Festival is delighted to provide the launching pad for a terrific, funny film that seems certain to be this year's New Zealand movie success. With shrewd affection, a quick ear and eye for the mannerisms and attitudes of the moment, and a wonderfully relaxed cast, Harry Sinclair has achieved what was beginning to look impossible in New Zealand movies: he's made a smart, pacy, urban comedy that keeps you laughing about people you actually believe might exist.

Like several other films on our programme TOPLESS WOMEN is a comedy of romantic non-commitment; and beneath the repartee it's as rueful and painfully truthful as the best of them. A wannabe filmmaker bears the brunt of all the meanest jokes in TOPLESS WOMEN, but the sheer pleasure of running around Auckland (and Niue), turning life into movies, is infectious in every frame.
-Bill Gosden, Wellington Film Festival, 1977.

The story kicks off as Liz discovers she's pregnant and a hapless scriptwriter, Ant, debuts his film about guess what... topless women. Problem is it's awful and none of his friends can face telling him. Meanwhile, none of Liz's boyfriends can face her once she starts swelling up, except Neil, who refers to the foetus as "my little All Black".

Combining the urgency of a Gen-X coming-of-age flick with the joyous stupidity of Mel Brooks, and a healthy whack of Antipodean weirdness, TOPLESS is urban, salty and in-your-face, like Shortland Street with spunk, like City Life with a brain and bodily functions. There's a roiling maul of characters, moods and contrasts to keep you glued to the screen. It all scrums down to a hilarious yet poignant climax, with much good sex, bad taste and nothing gratuitous or out of place.
- Matthew Bannister, Next, July 1997.

Weblink: Review by David Stratton

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