There were a couple of films showing at our small local cinema this week which we wanted to see. We have found out from bitter experience if we don’t take ourselves promptly to see the films we are interested in, they are soon removed after a few weeks and we miss out altogether. Robin had his heart set on viewing “McLaren”, the story of Kiwi Grand Prix Champion Bruce McLaren. While I was yearning to see “Pecking Order”, a “fly on the wall” film about the Christchurch Poultry, Bantam and Pigeon Club and the lead up to the upcoming National Show. Which one would it be? The sensible thing to do was to purchase a ticket for each film, go our separate ways, and both of us remained happy.
Bruce McLaren was one of the icons of motor racing in the sport's 60s ‘golden age’ – he won four Grand Prix, and joined fellow Kiwi Chris Amon to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The McLaren team he founded became one of the most successful in Formula One. Ill in his childhood from Perthes Disease, a rare childhood condition affecting his hip, he spent two years strapped to a table while his joint slowly healed. The film relates stories from the mainly Kiwi crew who ran his London workshop, telling of dangerous hijinks in the workshop, and tales of the many famous races he took part in. Then came the terrible day when Bruce McLaren lost his life during a test run, aged just 32. An excellent film, said Robin, with lots of high speed racing to get the adrenaline going.
My choice of film was the light hearted documentary “Pecking Order” about the oldest poultry club in New Zealand, the 148 year old Christchurch Poultry, Bantam, and Pigeon Club. With the club’s 150th birthday fast approaching, the dysfunctional committee limps along while a plot to topple the President is hatched. The upcoming National Show brings out everyone’s competitive streak, and their desire to win one of the major prizes. This lighthearted film shows how members prepare their birds for for this very important show, bathing, drying the feathers, oiling combs and wattles, and clipping nails. Eventually, the aging President is toppled, replaced by a younger man with more modern ideas, ready to take the club forward. There are no professional actors here – everyone in the film is a club member. Funny and humorous, I really enjoyed the film, and who knew there were so many different types of chook breeds?