“Is everything left to the imagination, or is nothing left to the imagination?” muses the protagonist of Gabriel White’s new film, as he claws his way up a grassy knoll towards a huge concrete bunker labelled sexyland. At first sight, nothing could look less sexy: the windswept industrial wasteland, the brute force of the cyclopean walls … and yet, as we continue to watch this small, black-clad figure wander through the strange suburbs and subdivisions of Auckland’s North Shore, the essentially mystical nature of his quest comes more and more into focus."
- From "The Mysteries of Albany" by Jack Ross
“Occupying a territory somewhere between faux essay film and reverie, Gabriel White’s Oracle Drive roves the well-mown desolation of the light-industrial urban fringe. Although the voice we hear on the soundtrack is distinctly Kiwi, it speaks with the casual expertise of an inter-planetary visitor, one seriously misled by his own rich stock of earthly classical studies. He marvels at the literal and metaphorical significance of signage and street names, Atlantis, Romulus and Remus, Isis, The Nile, The Tiber, Oracle Drive, Sexyland; you’ll find them all on the North Shore. Only cars inhabit this road-ribboned environment – and strange dancers who pass across the landscape with mysterious purpose, oblivious to its mundane uses. Meanwhile, elegant camerawork, an ominous music track and surprising visual effects collude to shift the flaneur’s provocation into something else again; there’s beauty and eerie immanence lurking in the guarded blandness of Albany.”
- From the New Zealand International Film Festival 2013 programme
Filmed in 2012, North Shore Auckland / Length: 62 min / Director: Gabriel White / Producer: Amelia Harris / Post-production, art and effects: Markus Hofko / Music: Chris O’Connor / Oracle Drive Song: lyrics by Richard von Sturmer / Performers: Gabriel White, Richard von Sturmer, Alexa Wilson, Tessa Mitchell, Nicholas Butler, Karin Hofko, John Radford / Funded in part by Creative New Zealand, Media Arts, Quick Response