The Chills – The triumph and tragedy of Martin Phillipps









2019 | NZ | 95mins | M Offensive language and drug references

  • Directed by Julia Parnell (‘Wilbur: The King in the Ring’), Rob Curry (‘The Boat People’, ‘The Ballad of Shirley Collins’)
  • Documentary, Music, Festival & Independent



  • 22 May, Wednesday, 7:30PM NEW

Gritty, grainy, colourful and unusually intimate, this is a film that sets out to defy expectations. Even if it doesn’t quite achieve all its ambitions, it makes for an interesting ride.
Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film

Martin Phillipps came tantalisingly 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 bare witness to one man’s universal battle with the fear of failure and the jarring reality of his own mortality. (SXSW Film Festival)

Led by the enigmatic Martin Phillipps, it is probably a story of having coming tantilizing close to conquering the international music world. Another case of drug and alcohol addiction cutting a band down at the knees.
Carey-Ann Pawsey, Orca Sound