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Southern Exposure
The Chills: The Triumph and Tragedy of Martin Phillipps

Fri 17 April 2020

The story of lyrical genius, Martin Phillipps and his band, The Chills, is a cautionary tale, a triumph over tragedy, and a statement about the meaning of music in our lives.

Martin Phillipps came tantalizingly close to conquering the international musical world with his band The Chills, but instead fell into decades of debt and addiction in his hometown of Dunedin, New Zealand. At 54, he’s been given a dire medical prognosis, forcing him to face his demons and realise his musical ambitions before it’s too late.

This intimate portrait follows the eccentric Martin as he reconciles a lifetime’s worth of curious collections, looks back on a catalogue of heavenly pop hits and relives his place in the iconic Flying Nun and Dunedin sound. With a startling sense of humour even in the blackest moments, we bear witness to one man’s universal battle with the fear of failure and the jarring reality of his own mortality.

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Southern Exposure is a monthly series of screenings, exploring the best of classic and contemporary New Zealand cinema.