Smash Palace is out now on Blu-ray from Arrow Academy

Premiering at the 1981 Cannes Film Festival, Smash Palace heralded the arrival of the New Zealand New Wave. The title derives from the name of the car-wrecking business run by former international racing driver Al (Bruno Lawrence) in a small town in New Zealand in this excellent Antipodean drama directed by Roger Donaldson, who went on to direct Mel Gibson and Anthony Hopkins in The Bounty.

Here the scale of his film is more intimate and emotional, focusing on the painful disintegration of the marriage of Lawrence and his French-born wife Jacqui (Anna Jamison) with Greer Robson as the couple’s small daughter trapped in the battlefield of her parents’ bitter private war.

Beautiful cinematography and a precise sense of location hold one’s attention, while Lawrence’s immense central performance again confirms his status as one of New Zealand’s finest actors.

Smash Palace is out now on Blu-ray from Arrow Academy

SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
• High Definition (Blu-ray) presentation
• Original mono audio (uncompressed LPCM)
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
• Commentary by writer-director Roger Donaldson and stunt driver Steve Millen
• The Making of Smash Palace, a 51-minute documentary on the film’s production featuring interviews with Donaldson, actor Keith Aberdein, filmmaker Geoff Murphy and others
• Theatrical trailer
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Sean Phillips
• First pressing only: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Ian Barr, a contemporary review by Pauline Kael and the original press book