4 Feb 2021

Shadow in the Cloud gets nationwide release

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan, 1:36 pm on 4 February 2021

New Zealand director Roseanne Liang's latest film opened in cinemas around the country on Thursday.

Shadow in the Cloud is her latest offering and has already one the People’s Choice Award for Midnight Madness at the Toronto Film Festival.

She joined Afternoons to discuss the film which she tells Jesse Mulligan is “pretty out there.”

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Photo: supplied

“It has rewards for people who dare to take the trip,” she says.

Liang says it’s been a great ride but she sometimes feels like a bit of an imposter, or that someone will notice she’s in her underwear.

“It’s a bit of coup for someone like me to be making movies like this and I hope that I get to do it several times.”

While there was some funding from the New Zealand Film Commission, she says it’s “pretty much” a Hollywood movie and was made with Hollywood studio.

The film features some shots of Auckland and is set in 1943 at the Whenuapai Air Base outside of the city. The premise is that a mysterious woman, carrying a mysterious package, walks onto a plane which is going on a cargo run to Samoa. The seven crew of men on the plane decide to stick her down in the ball turret of the B-17.

“She accidentally gets trapped in there and then, from there, stuff goes pretty wild.”

Liang says the film was very difficult, technically, to make and the first 40 minutes have Chloë Grace Moretz, who is claustrophobic, stuck in a very claustrophobic place.

“Shooting with her for two weeks in that tiny space, she told me she started to get cabin fever.”

The majority of the film was shot in an office space in Albany and at Muriwai Beach.

“It’s amazing to be able to make a movie of this scale and feel – a real pulpy and Hollywood action movie – right here in Tamaki Makaurau.”

Liang says action movies have always been a part of her DNA, from watching Indiana Jones and Star Wars as a kid, to her dad’s VHS tapes of Hong Kong movies starring Bruce Lee.

“That was what got me on this path. I was able to sign with Hollywood representation four years ago when I made a 12-minute action short called Do No Harm.”

She warns people shouldn’t go in expecting a lest we forget war film, it’s explicitly a pulpy action film.

“It does have meaning, it does have heart, it does have something to say, but it’s mostly a popcorn to watch with your mates and just have a great time at the cinema.”

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