Vale Geoff Murphy, Kiwi film pioneer

Geoff Murphy.

Producer, director and screenwriter Geoff Murphy, a leading figure in New Zealand cinema’s renaissance of the late 1970s and early 1980s, died in Wellington on Monday. He was 80.

Murphy was best known as the director of Goodbye Pork Pie, Utu and The Quiet Earth. Action-comedy Goodbye Pork Pie, a road movie starring Kelly Johnson, Tony Barry and Claire Oberman, became the first local film to gain blockbuster status at the box office in 1981, according to the New Zealand Film Commission.

“He deserves every ounce of credit for the brilliant things he did with The Quiet Earth,” writer-director Sam Pillsbury told Stuff Nz. “He was a genius and one of the most brilliant people I’ve ever worked with and I learned a lot from him.”

He was was a founding member of Blerta, the musical and theatrical co-operative that toured New Zealand in the early 1970s. His first feature,
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