Originally published on November 2, 2017
New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi is, without a doubt, experiencing quite a ride with his newest film, THOR: RAGNAROK (which has already accumulated a 96% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes from early screenings). With the latest installment from the Marvel Cinematic Universe set to come out to the public tomorrow, I figured that now would be the wisest time to share this throwback of Waititi’s; back to when he had the pleasure of giving a TEDx talk.
Recorded in Doha, Qatar in 2010, the same year his film BOY was released, Waititi goes in depth on a lot of different aspects on his life, his influences, and his thoughts – all with the same dry sense of humor that long time fans of his will recognize. I would not do the talk justice by just summarizing what he said, so as he did at the beginning of it, let me just name a few highlights:
• He’s all kinds of creative; filmmaking came down the line.
• He has no idea if art is important.
• He finds inspiration in the naïve and other places.
• He tells two jokes; one of them in great detail.
• He’s obsessed with rugby and babies (his favorite of the tiny humans).
Perhaps from the bullet points alone, it all might sound kind of random, and in some ways, it is. If there’s anything to take away from this talk is that success for Waititi is to communicate and share ideas with others. Taking the literal translation of the Maori phrase “tena koe” (“there you are”), he also believes that just being on this earth is success in of itself.
It’s been seven years since Waititi delivered this TEDx talk, and I hope that the points he made then on creativity, success, and inspiration carries through with him on projects even beyond THOR: RAGNAROK.