Geoff Murphy: A Life On Film
by Geoff Murphy (HarperCollins, $40)
Reviewed by Lindsay Shelton
Geoff Murphy’s new memoir deserves to be as popular as his three hit movies of the 1980s. He proves himself to be a natural storyteller, and he tells his story with droll humour. He’s often self-deprecating and he’s occasionally unforgiving. Specially about himself.
Murphy delivers a persuasively lively account of his early life in Wellington. Strapped during his primary school years at Marist Thorndon. Caned during his secondary school at St Patrick’s College at the Basin Reserve. (Not more than six strokes on any one day.) Compulsory military training at the age of 18. (“Conscripts were marched endlessly, up and down the parade ground with NCOs shouting at us at the top of their voices.”) Life at Victoria University and becoming a trumpet player in the band at the university jazz club. (“A boisterous and unruly mob.”) Moving to teachers’ college. Being given the lowest marks during seven years as a primary school teacher at Newtown School. (“My perspective on teaching was quite different to that of the education board.”) Leaving teaching. Finding other ways of earning money. Touring with Blerta (the Bruno Lawrence Electric Revelation and Travelling Apparition.)