Now in his seventies, with a Bond film and several Hollywood action features under his belt alongside his Māori-led stories, Tamahori has lived through several bouts of industrial action. He’s a pragmatist—“fighting AI is like trying to roll back the sea; it’s here, it’s going to stay, we’ve got to learn to live with it”—but even so, is protective of independent voices in the face of cookie-cutter superhero films.
“The large studio films, the large superhero movies and everything, they can be written by AI because they’re all the same. The human spirit, I think it lives in independent film, only because independent films are more about small stories, family, things like that.”
Sarsgaard agrees. An industry built on repeat-IP will fail to nurture new young talent, he says, whereas the humanity in films like Memory “remind us of why we’re doing this in the first place.”