Review - McLaren

Review by Rod Freedman

McLaren Dir: Roger Donaldson | New Zealand

One for motorsport enthusiasts, this is the true story of Bruce McLaren, an unassuming, obsessed young Kiwi who became an unlikely star of the Formula 1 circuit in the 1960s, before dying in classic fashion at the age of 32 in a car crash. Directed by Roger Donaldson, the film takes us through his spectacular career through interviews with his wife and colleagues, using a wealth of photographs, footage and effective recreations.

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This was a time when the top drivers were treated like movie stars. Yet the foundation of McLaren’s fame was an incredibly hard-working man and his team who designed and built their own cars, starting from his dad’s Auckland garage. Though not a fan of motor racing, I was swept along by the story and the character of McLaren as a modest Kiwi who became world famous.


Review - Mountain

Review by Rod Freedman

Mountain Dir: Jennifer Peedom | Australia

Due for a cinema release later in the year, this must be seen on the big screen. Jennifer Peedom (Sherpa 2015) teams up with Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra to explore our fascination with mountains and high places. Narration written by British writer Robert Macfarlane and voiced by William Defoe takes us through themes of history, wonder, risk taking, obsession, madness, peril, disaster and above all, the grandeur of the landscapes that most of us will never get to see first hand.

The cinematography is breathtaking and there are plenty of sequences narration-free for us to simply appreciate the wonders of the earth and the soaring, original music. A unique celebration of mountains and the people who revere, revel and rampage in them.


ROD FREEDMAN is an independent director and producer whose documentaries have won many Australian and international awards and screened in dozens of film festivals. Rod is particularly interested in stories about people and their life’s journeys