Blu-ray Release: Vigil

Blu-ray Release Date: June 26, 2018
Price: Blu-ray $26.42
Studio: Arrow/MVD

Idiosyncratic filmmaker Vincent Ward’s feature directorial debut—the 1984 drama Vigil—marked the beginning of his status as one New Zealand’s most distinctive filmmaking talents and paving the way for such equally unique efforts as The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey (1988), Map of the Human Heart (1992) and What Dreams May Come (1998)

In the film, a stranger (Frank Whitten) appears in a remote New Zealand farmland at the exact time a farmer accidentally falls to his death. The mysterious outsider, a hunter, grows close to some of the dead man’s family, to the point where he and the widow (Penelope Stewart) become lovers. But her eleven-year-old daughter, Toss (Fiona Kay), struggling to come to terms with the death of her father as well as her impending womanhood, believes the intruder to be the devil and sets about protecting her family and their homestead.

Critically lauded upon its rollout to the international film community and propelled by Fiona Kay’s outstanding performance by as Toss and cinematographer Alum Bollinger’s striking  visuals, Vigil was screened at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival – the first time ever that a New Zealand feature played in the main competition.

The Blu-ray contains the following features:

  • High Definition (Blu-ray) presentation
  • Original mono audio (uncompressed LPCM)
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
  • Brand-new appreciation by film critic Nick Roddick, recorded exclusively for this release
  • On-set report from the long-running New Zealand television programme Country Calendar
  • Extract from a 1987 Kaleidoscope television documentary on New Zealand cinema, focusing on Vigil and Vincent Ward
  • Theatrical trailer
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic Carmen Gray
Buy or Rent Vigil

About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.