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51st Directors’ Fortnight May 15-25, 2019

The Scarecrow

Fortnight 1982, Feature film,


One day I read a story, an eccentric story, about something that once happened in a small New Zealand town. It was told through a child’s eyes, written by a man. It was wonderful.
The man was an alcoholic music teacher who died ten years ago in obscurity. The story he wrote was about my childhood and the country I live in: teedious, comic, bizarre; amazing, frightening, silly. I knew the places, the characters and the events, and I wanted to make them come alive. Cinema is an event, an occasion, a celebration. And here was life, its humour, its vitality and its insignifiance. I wanted to celebrate that. Sam PILLSBURY


Sam Pillsbury

Born in New York, Sam Pillsbury is a filmmaker who began his career with The Scarecrow filmed in 1982 in the Coromandel. After making The quiet earth, heart of the country and Starlight Hotel in New Zealand his career moved to the States. In 2001 he made the Kiwi film Crooked earth starring Temuera Morrison. His most recent film is a surfing comedy, starring Matthew Lillard, called Endless Bummer.