5 minutes with: Rebecca Tansley

Photo: supplied
Photo: supplied

Former Dunedin resident Rebecca Tansley is director of The Heart Dances, showing at this year's NZ International Film Festival.

What was the best birthday present you ever received, and why?

I was convinced at the last minute to mark the occasion of my 50th with a small party. Fortunately, one of my friends is a fabulous pianist and towards the end of the night we all ended up having a singalong around my piano. Bohemian Rhapsody, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. We were terrible singers but it was a sublime celebration.

What smell do you find irresistible?

When my kids were younger, I took them to Europe and we stayed in an apartment in Montmartre. We woke the first morning to the smell of freshly baked baguettes and croissants - there was a boulangerie right across the road. Best breakfast in the world! You can't beat the French for bread.

What is your least favourite thing about humanity?

Dishonesty. Greed. Intentional cruelty and violence. I know that's three things but, hey, humanity has a lot to work on, right?

What is one strong childhood memory?

My dad always drove Holden Kingswood stationwagons and back then they featured a wind-down window at the rear of the car.

Sometimes my two brothers, my sister and I would all lie in the back and hang our feet out the window as Dad drove along. It probably was not very safe - that was in the days before rules about seatbelts and children's car-seats - but it was loads of fun for us. Of course I'd never let my own kids do anything like that!

What is your message?

I've tried to figure out why I'm interested in making films about the arts. I think it's because the arts represent humanity at some of our finest moments (as opposed to No 3 above).

And the arts tell us so much about ourselves. They're like a mirror, but you might have to figure out what that mirror is showing us. You may not necessarily agree with it, but thinking and talking about it is important.


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