Magnificent… I don’t know if ever a book of pictures and stories moved me so much like Vincent Ward’s The Past Awaits. It will go into my suitcase for that lonesome island.
These images have a power and strength that goes way beyond the context of the film they belong to. They present the spirit of New Zealand.
Sir Peter Jackson
BEST BOOKS of 2010 … As one might expect in the memoir of a filmmaker as visually precise and ambitious as Ward, pictures play as big a part as words – opulently presented pictures, some private, but mostly stills and set photographs, as well as extensive artwork from that most visually ambitious of all his films What Dreams May Come. Ward writes revealingly, although sometimes with teasing discretion (who was that porn-obsessed American playwright, that “Spanish actress” he had a failed love affair with?) about the absurdities and compromises of life and movie-making in Hollywood, about the people and themes that have given rise to his most personal projects – and of course, about his directing River Queen on the Whanganui River with Samantha Morton.
New Zealand Listener
Built around a selection of full-page reproductions of hauntingly beautiful stills, this book is fantastic to look at and an engaging read….. Highly recommended.
Vincent’s new book The Past Awaits looks back over his fascinating career and it confirms his brilliant eye and ear, it’s very well written. This is a book that quite frankly doesn’t work on the radio, go to a bookshop and just open it, I guarantee you’ll be there for 10 minutes, it’s just brilliant shot after brilliant shot, it’s quite astonishing.
Arts on Sunday, Radio New Zealand
Ward revisits a career dedicated to beauty. The Past Awaits, a new book and one as meticulously and visually fecund as Ward’s films.
Some images capture detail that by nature is only fleeting when seen in his films – including his vision of the afterlife in What Dreams May Come. Others, including Rain of the Children, are a reminder of his knack for creating images that even decades later, viewers remember. A man of images Vincent Ward creates in film, sketches and paintings.
Tom Cardy, Dominion Post
The Past Awaits is jam packed with breathtaking images from Vincent’s many films over the years as well as some very personal insights and anecdotes from behind the closed doors of the Hollywood studios.
The writing is very good, it draws you in but it is done so succinctly and there is quite a lot of poetry in there.
The images are extraordinary, I could think of dozens that have stayed in my mind, there is one of the little girl in Vigil, she has this dark blue balaclava on and there is this splatter of blood across her face and it’s a painting, it’s like a painting. When I looked at this I thought, Vincent Ward is a painter, a painter with light maybe but a painter.
Eva Radich, Upbeat, Radio New Zealand Concert