Eagle vs Shark

Back to News Jemaine

Eagle vs Shark official site. Flash, the evil of all semi-evils, but ah well. Director Taika Waititi (he is human don't ya know ;) gave a recent interview over on indieWIRE. Eagle vs Shark also has a rather nifty new film poster....

Looking for Eagle vs Shark reviews? - Read them via Eagle vs Shark reviews

Read more about this film in the ongoing discussion on the WTF! forum. Reviews included there as well as thoughts from others. Opinions expressed are the indivuduals own. Tastes are subjective. But its good to have a discussion ;)

August 2007 - Eagle vs Shark out in New Zealand and UK this month

The Times Online has an interview with Taika Waititi......

The accidental director - He paints, acts and designs clothes. But does Taika Cohen really want to be known for directing movies?

His first short film, Two Cars, One Night , was nominated for an Oscar. His first feature, Eagle vs Shark , was lauded at the Sundance Film Festival and has won a clutch of other awards. But the director Taika Cohen (his first name is pronounced “Tie-ka”) is uncertain he even wants to be a film-maker.

The 31-year-old New Zealander has no shortage of other talents. As a comedian in the Humourbeasts, performing alongside Jermaine Clement, star of Eagle vs Shark , he’s well known “in certain circles”. He’s a painter and illustrator, a photographer and a sometime fashion designer (“I’m really into sewing, there’s something very meditative and hands-on about it”). Perhaps not surprisingly given his striking looks, he has a burgeoning career as an actor.

Eagle vs Shark - Loren Horsely and Taika Waititi

Cohen (he also known as Taika Waititi, he uses both his parents’ surnames) talks about his movie-making with ambivalence — almost like something that crept up and hi-jacked his life. “I’ve never really had a ‘career’. Now film-making is kind of like my job. It’s bizarre. I’ve only been doing it for four years.”

It was, he says, the Oscar nomination that sealed his fate.... [read the rest of the interview here]

Empire has reviewed Eagle vs Shark for the UK movie going audience. Gave it 4/5 star rating. Read the full online review at EmpireOnline

FilmThreat has an interview with Taika Waititi. Read it here

Interview with Taika Waititi and Samuel Flynn Scott of the Phoenix Foundation talking about Eagle vs Shark. They discuss working together on the Taika's first feature film, Eagle vs Shark, hanging out in New York with their Wellington mates, and whether Taika is the most laid-back man in cinema. Go download the MP3 of the interview here (9MB) From PA Radio in New Zealand.

July 2007 - NZ TV3 interview with Taika Waititi

Takia Waititi, director of Eagle vs Shark Stuff ran an article on Taika Waititi's return to New Zealand and the Eagle vs Shark Wellington Film Festival screenings being sold out.

View an interview over on the TV3 website

Fans of Taika Waititi's work might like to visit the Tama Tu website. I also found a legal download of the film from of all places! UK site and WMP.

The Wellingtonista asked 10 Unbelievably Awesome and Original questions of Taika Waititi recently. And Eagle vs Shark is showing at the Wellington Film Festival on July 21 and 23.

June 2007 - Showtime! If you live in LA or NY that is :|

June 28 2007 - Taika Waititi reviewed the news. You can read what he had to say about American pop culture over at Metro.

June 22 2007 - Eagle vs Shark interviews on wth Taika Waititi and Loren Horsley

June 21 2007 - Helio calls Jemaine 'New Zealand's finest export' and promptly spells his name wrong. Genius. Nice write up however :)

FilmStew interviewed Taika Waititi, Jemaine Clement and Loren Horsley.

Eagle vs Shark had a decent opening weekend considering only 3 cinemas in the entire US are showing it :p In at number 30! Eagle vs Shark is having its NZ premiere at the Wellington Film Festival on July 21

Jemaine is out and about promoting Eagle vs Shark and did an interview for Spinner using the Eagle vs Shark Killer Soundboard (in the left hand menu - can download the pack)


While I'm here and banging on about the film I decided to update the Eagle vs Shark page with more interviews. Eagle vs Shark had a decent opening weekend considering only 3 cinemas in the entire US are showing it :p In at number 30! Eagle vs Shark is having its NZ premiere at the Wellington Film Festival on July

June 16 2007 - Eagle vs Shark soundtrack is now available on iTunes. The Phoenix Foundation performed the soundtrack and have just finished a US mini tour promoting their latest album were interviewed recently over at Thus Spake Drake. Listen to some of their songs here or here

June 14 2007 - Here is an Eagle vs Shark article from the future for you. Jemaine would be chuffed I am sure.

Premiere magazine ran a 3 page interview on Eagle vs Shark

June 13 2007- New Eagle vs Shark reviews out today. The lady over at 680 News was full of choice descriptions for how dire the film was. But hey, she at least was original and compared it to some film called Napoleon Dynamite Shocked expression gif Read others via the Eagle vs Shark review page and all its linkies.

indieWIRE has a charming but all too short Loren Horsley profile online.

June 12 2007 - Online interviews with Jemaine Clement where he talks about Eagle vs Shark. Read them here on What The Folk. First up is one from Movie Web and the other from ComingSoon.

Movieweb ran an interview with Taika Waititi and Loren Horsley recently. Read it online here. Watch some new clips from Eagle vs Shark over at Movieweb.

Jemaine must be wishing he had a robot version of himself, or at the very least a clone or twin as he is not only finishing up on the HBO series and promoting it, but also due for release soon is Eagle vs Shark and promotion for that. Most recently Jemaine did a short radio interview for NPR. Listen to it here (Real Player and Windows. Bleh)

Marie Claire scan June 2007 - Eagle vs Shark Eagle vs Shark also got a bit of coverage in Marie Claire US this month. You know the magazine ladies, the one thats a little more mature than Cosmo... (read for the slightly older woman) Guys out there probably won't be picking it up to browse through so I've included a scan of it, if there are men out there brave enough to wade through girly style writing. Click here or image for full size scan.

May 2007 - Inching ever nearer to its US release

Eagle vs Shark inches ever nearer to its US release date. The official site has lots of new stuff added to it recently, including upcoming contests, soundtrack info, and a directors blog which I found very amusing. Toy Car/Traika/Taiger/Taika is much amusing.

The Phoenix Foundation - Horse Power CD cover The soundtrack to Eagle vs Shark was written and performed by mates of the Conchords The Phoenix Foundation. They are on tour in the US at the moment and you can read about them over on Exitfare and check out some of their songs and find gig info on their ArseOfTheInter... I mean MySpace page. Wanting to listen and possibly purchase their stuff? Check them out over on SmokeCDs (NZ site so NZ, not US dollar price)

Eagle vs Shark film poster - In US cinemas June 2007 Click on image to see full size poster

April 2007 - Eagle vs Shark full trailer and web blog clip

Eagle vs Shark may well be screened at the NZ Film Festival in July and appears set for an August general release in cinemas there. Interview with one of the films co-producers, Cliff Curtis can be seen here on the TV3 site (WMP). He's talking about his new film Sunshine but mentions Eagle vs Shark. Thanks Don for the info.

Eagle vs Shark full trailer


Came across this hand cam Eagle vs Shark web blog snippet. Taika gets most of the screen time, but Jemaine makes an appearance in the gym and a few other shots.


March 2007

Taika Waititi talks Eagle vs Shark to James Renovitch at the Austin Chronicle

New Zealander Taika Watiti doesn't mind if you compare his charmed comedy to "Napoleon Dynamite".

With all of the luck Eagle vs Shark has had on the festival circuit, SXSW better pull out something special to impress writer/director Taika Waititi. "The script for the feature was workshopped at the Sundance Filmmaker Lab," he says, "where they invite six or eight screenwriters." What's more Miramax "bought the film off a promo reel at Cannes last year. ... I don't think that happens often." That doesn't happen often. "During the editing process, we ran out of money," Waititi continues, "so [Sundance] gave us a grant." All of this luck at big festivals produced a wonderfully confined film from a director who made his mark with shorts like the Oscar nominated "Two Cars, One Night." Who would've guessed it's exported from New Zealand, the same country that brought us the Lord Of The Rings behemoth? Read the rest of the Austin Chronicle interview here

Clip from Eagle vs Shark


indieWIRE (and now a gazillion other news sites also, but I'm not linking to them all) reports Taika Waititi has won best screenwriter at the US Comedy Arts Festival for Eagle vs Shark

Black Sheep O and while I am here, there is another New Zealand film screening, its US premire apparently, that I've seen the trailer for and read a fair bit of blurb on. What film? You may well ask. This one.... Black Sheep. The official site is up and running and you can view the trailer there. Screening times for Black Sheep at SXSW can be found here. And hey, I've no idea if its any good, I just found the trailer much amusing, loved the one liners and the tagline 'Get ready.... for the violence of the lambs' Apple also has the trailer online. Review of the film over on IMDB

January 2007 - Sundance Film Festival - Official site

Look, some new pics from Eagle vs Shark...

Lily and Jarrod - Eagle vs Shark movie still The tee shirt. The man. The legend!

Ooo this just begs a mullet quip... must resist... the

Eagle vs Shark Right way up this time

January 28 2007 - Its been a busy week at Sundance. If you want to read the various reviews and snippets from the Eagle vs Shark screenings click here to go to a long list of review links. Word seems to be pretty good on the film, although some of the reviewers were not overly impressed. The Napoleon Dynamite comparison was widely used. Apparently Taika had not seen Napoleon Dynamite prior to writing the Eagle vs Shark screenplay and nor have I. So when I finally get to see Eagle vs Shark, I'll then go watch Napoleon Dynamite and say 'Hey, it reminds me of Eagle vs Shark' Just trying to be different. Or just trying ;)

Also Variety has named Taika Waititi as one of the top 10 directors to watch. Article says -

'Young New Zealand film director Taika Waititi has been named as one of 10 new talents to watch in influential United States entertainment magazine Variety.

The magazine said since they began their 10 Directors to Watch survey more than a decade ago, they had seen the film industry "constantly reinvigorated by the emergence of fresh storytellers", who had been recognised on the list.

Waititi's latest achievement is a premiere at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival for his comedy feature Eagle vs Shark, about two social misfits who find love.

Last year he was nominated for an Oscar for his short film Two Cars, One Night. His next project, a drama about Maori children, is based on his Two Cars.

Variety's directors list had a global flavour with talent from the United Kingdom, Scandinavia, Latin America, Germany, Switzerland, Canada and the United States.' Taken from Stuff NZ

Eagle vs Shark Still from Eagle vs Shark

Eagle vs Shark screened at this years Sundance Film Festival. Catagory was World Dramatic Competition. Blurb from Sundance reads -

New Zealand, 2006, 87 Minutes, color

Director: Taika Waititi - Screenwriter: Taika Waititi

Which is the more dangerous predator: an eagle or a shark? That's a trick question. Don't try to answer it. You'll have your own opinion by the end of Taika Waititi's deliciously tangy, deadpan feature debut about two colorful misfits thrown into each other's orbit.

Lily is one of those weird, sweet-natured girls with stringy hair who is quite lovely and charismatic under a surface of shy awkwardness. But most people don't have enough vision to notice, and the truth is that Lily isn't looking to change. She cashiers at a fast-food joint and pines for Jarrod, the self-aggrandizing, clueless geek from the computer store across the way. Fiercely optimistic, Lily crashes Jarrod's animal/video-game extravaganza, impressing him enough with her shark suit and gaming prowess to score a hookup with Eagle Lord (Jarrod) himself. Soon Lily and her brother are driving Jarrod back to his hometown to confront his childhood nemesis. But here Jarrod's self-absorption blossoms so mightily that it may drive even the most adoring of girlfriends away. As Jarrod prepares to exact his revenge on the past, Lily's quiet power gathers force as well.

With so much subtlety and precision in Loren Horsley and Jemaine Clement's straight-faced, oddball performances, Lily and Jarrod's attempts to reach each other are hilarious and excruciatingly real. Meanwhile, Phoenix Foundation's charming, moody score perfectly reflects lopsided hearts as they stumble through uncomfortably transformative terrain.— Caroline Libresco

Still from film

Screenwriter : Taika Waititi
Executive Producer : Emanuel Michael
Cinematographer : Adam Clark
Editor : Jono Woodford-Robinson
Sound Designer : Dave Whitehead
Costume Designer : Amanda Neale
Cast : Loren Horsley, Jemaine Clement, Craig Hall, Rachel House, Brian Sergent, Joel Tobeck

Director(s) Bios - Taika Waititi
Taika Waititi has been involved in the film industry for several years, initially as an actor and now as a writer and one of New Zealand's most promising young directors. His success with the Oscar-nominated Two Cars, One Night was followed by the festival winner Tama Tu; both films screened in Sundance's shorts program. In January 2005, he attended the Sundance Directors and Screenwriters Labs to workshop the feature project Choice and was again selected in July 2005 to fine-tune Eagle vs. Shark.

June 2006

Wellington director's debut feature picked up by Miramax

Wellington film director Taika Waititi's debut feature film has been picked up by a major United States production and distribution company, one that has launched many cinematic careers.

Miramax, the company behind Pulp Fiction, Shakespeare in Love, Finding Neverland, Scary Movie and its three sequels, has acquired the North American distribution rights to Eagle Vs Shark.

The off-beat comedy, starring Loren Horsley and Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords) as two misfits searching for revenge and acceptance, was shot on location in and around Wellington, and is currently in post-production.

Making the announcement from Cannes today, Miramax president Daniel Battsek said he had been an admirer of Waititi's work since seeing his Oscar-nominated short film, Two Cars One Night. Waititi also received the special jury prize at the Berlin Film Festival for his short Tama tu.

"As a fan of Taika Waititi's short film prior to Cannes, I was eager to see what he would come up with next," Mr Battsek said. "Once we saw the unusually witty footage from Eagle Vs Shark, there was no question that we had to act fast. "We think his quirky sense of humour will translate well to US audiences and feel this film is a great addition to Miramax's growing slate."

Waititi's partner Horsley helped develop the story, in which she plays shy misfit Lily, who hooks up with Clement's Jarrod in a search for acceptance.

Developed at the Directors and Screenwriters Lab at the Sundance Institute, the film is produced by Ainsley Gardiner and Cliff Curtis of Whenua Films.

Taken from Stuff

November 2005

Academy nominated director begins first feature film - taken from Stuff NZ

Filming has begun in Wellington on the debut feature film of Academy Award nominated director, Taika Waititi. Eagle vs Shark is the tale of two awkward misfits searching for love and acceptance. Written and directed by Waititi, the film follows the strange journey of Lily, played by Loren Horsley, and Jarrod, played by comedian and musician Jemaine Clement.

She yearns for romance, he dreams of revenge.

Icon Film Distribution has acquired the Australian and New Zealand distribution rights for the film which will be distributed in New Zealand by Hoyts Distribution.

It is being produced by Ainsley Gardiner and Cliff Curtis of Whenua Films and funded by the New Zealand Film Commission. Filming will take place at a number of sites around Wellington over five weeks with a crew of 35.

Waititi's short film, Two Cars, One Night, was nominated for an Academy Award.

September 2005, update from NZ Film press release, Issue 76

Workshopped at the Sundance Director's and Screenwriters Labs in July, this sweet, slightly tragic and funny tale is the debut feature from Academy Award moninated writer/director Taika Waititi (short film:Tow Cars, One Night)

A young film maker whose films have demonstrated he is an astute observer of human nature, Taika Waititi finds beauty in surprising situations, humour in the most ordinary of circumstances , the smallest triumph in adversity, and captures the essences of the human spirit.

In Eagle vs Shark, Lily is a hopeless optimist and an even more hopeless romantic. She looks funny, walks funny, talks funny and dresses badly. After suddenly losing her job Lily decides to take a risk. She walks into the gaming store workplace of Jarrod, the guy of her dreams, and decides to take a big chance on love. Lily learns that finding love means loving who you really are.

Eagle vs Shark is being produced by Ainsley Gardiner and Cliff Curtis and stars Loren Horsley and Jemaine Clement.

back to top


New stuff

WTF! Conchords tees available

WTF Conchords tee shirt

WTF! Discussion forum - Still open, online and active - Visit it here


2010 Tour poster gallery online 

Twitter - What The Folk!

Order season 2 Amazon US & Amazon UK

Flight of The Conchords - Season 2 DVD

Order S1 DVD or Amazon UK

Eagle vs Shark from or Amazon UK

Eagle vs Shark US DVD cover

Find other Conchords CD's and DVD's here


Something you want to say?
Email me...