"Here, when Spring comes to Canterbury, daffodils bloom gay and golden in the woodland of Hagley Park.
"Nearby are tall buildings, busy streets and the heart of the city, Cathedral Square.
"Canterbury University College: Weathered greystone buildings, shadowed cloisters. It was here Lord Rutherford began a great career.
"The Girls' High School stands in Cranmer Square.
"And not far away are the broad acres of Hagley Park, with playing fields for many sports.
"In Spring, Summer and Autumn, Christchurch gardens are gay and colourful.
"Yes, Christchurch: New Zealand's 'City of the Plai... (wooooshhh!)"
Cut to beds of daffodils in Hagley Park, Spring, with an artist and easel. Close-up of daffodils. Couple strolling through daffodil beds of Hagley Park.
Downtown street, with trams, pedestrians milling on streets, many bicyclists, people driving on the left, very slowly and courteously.
The Cathedral, looking much older and more imposing than its actual years, with trams, cars and pedestrians [this is interspersed with new footage, aged to look archival].
Canterbury University College--the old buildings downtown.
Christchurch Girls' High School--the old buildings facing Cranmer Square with peaked brick gables, girls in school uniforms strolling outside the school.
Hagley Park playing fields: cricket, cricket again, 8-man Crew on the River Avon.
A garden in an affluent suburb, with the man of the house mowing the lawn and a toddler crawling happily over the lush lawn.
An overview of Christchurch from the foothills of Cashmere.
The narrator has a 'pseudy'-BBC-Queen's English accent, and we are shown images, sports and activities which tie Christchurch firmly to the apron strings of Mother England. The Anglican Church figures prominently in the newsreel footage and, it turns out, in the real-life story.
The Deans family, who are still prominent in public affairs, had a grand establishment at Riccarton (now Riccarton Bush, an estate between Hagley Park and Ilam) which they were eventually persuaded to vacate with the offer of large tracts of land in the country, much of which they still occupy. It was the Deans who named the Avon River after a stream in Scotland, not after the Avon of the Bard.
There is a joke that the Anglican settlers created Hagley Park to insulate themselves from the dreadful Presbyterians of Riccarton.
Gay and Golden: A bit of a cruel joke--this is how the public would have described Juliet at the time of the trial, had they been kind enough to use modern euphemisms.
Lord Rutherford: Lord Rutherford was a brilliant and famous New Zealand physicist who, among other things, proved that the nucleus of an atom existed, that it was positively charged and it contained most of an atom's mass, but it was extremely small compared to the size of an atom. Rutherford was, by definition, the first true, modern nuclear physicist.
So, first and foremost, the reference to Rutherford is an allusion to the real Dr Henry Hulme, who was a mathematical physicist; Dr Hulme's academic discipline is never stated explicitly in "Heavenly Creatures." (see 3.2.2 and 7.10.1 for biographical information on Dr Hulme).
However, Jackson is being doubly or triply ironic in this reference. Lord Rutherford is one of two famous New Zealanders invariably brought up by proud Kiwis in casual conversation with foreigners, the other being Sir Edmund Hillary, of course (see 7.3). However, Lord Rutherford left New Zealand to pursue his career. His greatest triumphs came after he had gone elsewhere-- to England and Cambridge University, in fact. The word "began" in the voiceover is a subtle jab at Christchurch provincialism.
Cambridge also happens to be the real Dr Hulme's alma mater. Rutherford died in 1937 and Dr Hulme received his Ph.D. in 1932, so the two, no doubt, had met. It is perfectly conceivable that Lord Rutherford was an inspiration or even a mentor to the young Henry Hulme. Lady Rutherford was actually a celebrated guest at Ilam while Henry Hulme was Rector of Canterbury College. [G?]
The real Dr Hulme, of course, came to New Zealand from England, reversing Rutherford's journey in a kind of academic pilgrimage back to the source. By late 1954, however, Dr Hulme must have thought that his hopeful pilgrimage had ended in humiliating failure, shocking betrayal, and an incomprehensible murder. His bitterness was, by all accounts, unfathomably deep and all-consuming and it must have seemed to him that his life and, more importantly, his career had been utterly destroyed by his wife, by his daughter and by "that... Rieper girl."
In fact, this was not to be the case, though the real Dr Hulme couldn't possibly have known of his coming good fortune in June 1954. As it happens, Dr Hulme's career was to arise like a Phoenix, spectacularly and with the brilliance of the sun, from the ashes of his life in Christchurch. See section 7.10.1 for the surprising details.
There is, of course, a final, supremely ironic connection with Rutherford in the real Dr Hulme's later scientific triumphs. No doubt this was also appreciated by Walsh and Jackson. Christchurch Gardens: Key events were to take place in the gardens of Ilam, and in the imagined gardens of the Fourth World, and in the wildwood of Victoria Park.
The Cashmere Foothills: The perspective of the newsreel gradually moves from downtown Christchurch, through the pastoral suburbs, to the Cashmere foothills.
At this point, the film cuts abruptly, violently and ominously from the newsreel footage to the shocking and disturbing shots of the girls running, just a short distance farther up in the hills, in Victoria Park. The effect is like a punch in the abdomen.
The short 'flight' scene is, of course, a very, very important one to the film, to the story and to our understanding of the real life events. It is discussed in detail in several places in the FAQ, and a shot-by-shot description is given in section 18.104.22.168.
"This is their story.
"All diary entries are in Pauline's own words..."