‘The Chills: The Triumph & Tragedy Of Martin Phillipps’
Digital worldwide release 26th May
“This is what a living legend looks and sounds like” – Rolling Stone
★★★★★ The Guardian
★★★★ NZ Herald
★★★★ Eye For Film
★★★★ NZ Listener
Notable Pictures, in association with Fire Films, reveal the feature-length documentary ‘The Chills: The Triumph & Tragedy of Martin Phillipps’ will be available worldwide on digital platforms for the first time from Tuesday 26thMay, 2020.
Directed by Julia Parnell (NZ), and co-directed by Rob Curry (UK), made in association with the New Zealand Film Commission and NZ On Air, the documentary charts a life-affirming battle between disease and creation for The Chills frontman, illustrious musician Martin Phillipps.
Phillipps and The Chills are among the founding pioneers of the iconic Dunedin Sound, a ground-breaking musical movement of the late 80s that inspired seminal musicians around the world and ushered in a vibrant alternative culture in New Zealand.
Theirs is a sound that still resonates today, with SXSW 2019 performances alongside the film’s world premiere that saw them win that year’s notable Grulke prize. The film was also officially selected for 2019 film festivals: Sydney Film (AUS), Doc ‘N’ Roll (UK), Athens International Film (GR) and Cork Film Festival (IRE).
Finding fame in Europe with the otherworldly song ‘Pink Frost’ and on US college radio with the chart-topping ‘Heavenly Pop Hit’, The Chills came tantalisingly close to conquering the international musical world. But an uncompromising vision and constant pressure to succeed saw eccentric songwriter Phillipps fall into decades of debt and addiction in his hometown of Dunedin, New Zealand.
Filmed over two years, a doctor’s shocking diagnosis is the catalyst for this lifechanging filmic journey through Phillipps’ past of bandmates, bitter memories and collection of hoarded belongings. Allowing Parnell honest and uncensored access to his life in turbulent times, the film is “enthralling, emotional, and at times bleakly comical” (Flicks.co.nz).
A story “told with extraordinary candour” (The Guardian), moving and emotive interviews, sit alongside archival footage of The Chills world renowned catalogue. The film boasts intimate interviews with peers Neil Finn and an ever-revolving cast of band members as they ponder why this music from the bottom of the world has impacted so many and where it all went wrong.
Set against the backdrop of Dunedin – a misty and isolated small town at the bottom of New Zealand – The Triumph & Tragedy of Martin Phillipps is a unique take on the rockumentary genre. With an unrelenting quirky sense of humour, Phillipps uses his creativity to understand a very vulnerable, deeply pained core. And as he comes to terms with the past, piles of pop culture collections are sorted and songs of pure lyrical genius emerge; the film transpires as a “proof of life, while reminding us that the band’s songs… are bloody magnificent” (The Wire, UK).
Bear witness to the venerable Martin Phillipps as he “finally embraces his role as king of the underdogs” (Pitchfork).