The Chills: The Triumph & Tragedy of Martin Phillipps

2020 • 95 minutes
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About this movie

Martin Phillipps and The Chills are among the founding pioneers of the iconic Dunedin Sound, a musical movement of the late 80s that inspired seminal musicians around the world and ushered in a vibrant alternative culture in New Zealand. Finding fame in Europe with the otherworldly song ‘Pink Frost’ and on US college radio with the chart-topping ‘Heavenly Pop Hit’, The Chills came tantalizingly close to conquering the international musical world. But an uncompromising vision and constant pressure to succeed saw eccentric songwriter Phillipps fall into decades of debt and addiction in his hometown of Dunedin. Now 54, Phillipps has been given a dire medical prognosis, forcing him to confront a lifetime of hoarding, alienating band-members and indulging in substance abuse while he still can. The Triumph & Tragedy of Martin Phillipps is a cautionary but life-affirming tale of what happens after the glory, about learning to cope with past decisions and the radical act of reinvention. This unique story exemplifies the nature of regret, the acceptance of unfulfilled dreams and rediscovering a creative lifeline.

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