New Zealand, 1978, 80 minutes, Colour.
Directed by David Blyth.
Angel Mine is a somewhat avant-garde New Zealand film. It was made on a small budget and this shows in the graininess of the colour photography, some of the editing work. However, it is an interesting if somewhat bizarre study of human nature. It takes on a risky area for the cinema. It blends realism with sexual fantasy. The film actually had censorship difficulties in various countries, including Australia, where it was cut briefly. The film focuses on an ordinary suburban husband and wife. It has them play out various sexual fantasies - not only erotic (there are many of these), but also in terms of images of masculinity and femininity, the battle of the sexes, manipulation and power struggle.
Angel Mine is an aphrodisiac which is advertised on television. The film also has many satiric jibes at television, the commercial, its artificiality - and its comic aspects. The film is also quite satirical in its presentation of the ordinary couple and their humdrum suburban life, ordinary incidents at home, work, socialising. It is within these contexts that the fantasies are played out - they take on familiar roles from film genres - and audiences are meant to be alert to see the influences and the parody effects. The fantasies also embody extensions of what is suggested in the television commercial. They are taken to extremes. There is solid satiric point in this kind of fantasising.
The acting is somewhat stilted at times, there is a tendency to be somewhat lewd for melodramatic effect. However, though difficult to follow at times, the film is an interesting example of a cinematic imagination trying to grapple with contemporary themes in a fantasy, dreamlike, commercial- oriented visually imaginative style.