By Maddy Turner
Taika Waititi is one of the most underrated directors in my opinion. I honestly don’t think that there is a movie that he has directed that I don’t like. If you somehow don’t know who Taika Waititi is, I’ll give you a quick rundown. Taika is a Kiwi film-maker/director who started off making smaller movies made in New Zealand, but has branched out into working for larger production companies in Hollywood such as Marvel (eg. he directed Thor: Ragnarok, and is also directing Thor: Love and Thunder, which is to be released in 2021).
Many of the movies that Taika has directed (particularly the more recent ones) embrace both his quirky sense of humour, and the serious topics that they can heavily feature. I mean, in his new movie “Jojo Rabbit”, he has somehow managed to tell a story about Hitler and the Nazis, that is humorous without being too offensive and critics and fans are actually loving it?! I don’t know how he’s done it. He also made a mock-umentary about vampires called “What We Do In The Shadows,” which is set in New Zealand and is truly a low-key horror movie combined with a comedy – what a concoction.
Taika Waititi is one of the few Kiwi directors that I know of (besides Peter Jackson of course), who has started with small films and actually made it into being relatively well known in the Hollywood side of the film industry. He is actually paving the way for aspiring Australian and Kiwi film-makers alike, not only because of his recognition – he (alongside other well-known Aussie people in film) is actively looking for ways to open up opportunities for the Aussie film industry, whether that be in jobs or recognition. An example of this is the filming of “Thor: Love and Thunder” taking place in Sydney, Australia. This has created 2,500 job opportunities, and local institutes such as AFTRS (Australian Film Television and Radio School) are offering internships at Fox Studios (where the movie is being filmed).
Honestly, I think the main reason I love Taika so much as a director, is because he actually has original ideas and a unique voice. In a time where Hollywood cannot seem to create anything remotely original, Taika’s ideas and films are a breath of fresh air to movie nerds around the globe. I love almost every single one of his films – they’re so funny and quirky that I’ve watched them all at least twice, and I don’t intend on stopping there.
My personal favourite Taika Waititi movies are: “Hunt For The Wilderpeople,” “Thor: Ragnarok,” and “What We Do In The Shadows.” His new movie “Jojo Rabbit” is released December 26th in Australia, and looks to be once again a masterpiece that balances humour and seriousness so… go see it when it comes out, you won’t be disappointed.