Film in Elsewhere

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SURVIVORS, REVISITED (2014): A television series from past about the now-future

18 Aug 2014    2

One of the more smug, not to say stupid, comments on television recently came from an expert speaking about the likelihood of the Ebola virus in West Africa making it to New Zealand. The essence of what he said was that the country’s geographical isolation would protect us. This opinion followed the statistic which said that this easily communicable and often... > Read more

SKEPTICS: SHEEN OF GOLD a doco by SIMON OGSTON

28 Jul 2014

When this film -- Simon Ogston's stylish, thorough and often moving documentary about New Zealand's Skeptics -- appeared briefly in cinemas a year ago it vindicated longtime Skeptic fans who, rightly, believed them to be one of the most important bands ever to emerge in New Zealand. Uncompromising, intelligent, visceral and often compellingly thrilling, the Skeptics existed in a context of... > Read more

A HARD DAY'S NIGHT, REMASTERED AND REISSUED (2014): All they had to do was act naturally

16 Jul 2014    1

At the same time as the Beatles were filming their first feature A Hard Day's Night, the once-great Elvis Presley was cranking out mindless Hollywood movies such as Fun in Acapulco and Kissin' Cousins. The King of Rock'n'Roll had gone soft and although his films were still successful at the box office, few would acclaim them as high art. His British counterpart Cliff Richard... > Read more

I Should Have Known Better

NEBRASKA, a film by ALEXANDER PAYNE (Roadshow DVD)

9 Jul 2014

The story of America is entwined with the myth of the road. From Daniel Boone and “Go West, Young Man” wagon trains through Jack Kerouac, Easy Rider, Springsteen's lyrics and onto Little Miss Sunshine and Road Trip, the songlines, trails and highways of America have been where people have found redemption and truth. Stories told about the road are of discovery and, just as... > Read more

GREG CAMALIER INTERVIEWED (2014): The sound of soul and the Swampers

7 Jul 2014

For a small, out of the way town which only had a population of about 8000 back in the Sixties and Seventies, Muscle Shoals in Alabama sure made its mark on the world. Situated by the Tennessee River and in the crosshairs of the racial divide, Muscle Shoals was home to the famous FAME recording studio founded by Rick Hall where Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Percy Sledge and dozens... > Read more

SONNY ROLLINS; BEYOND THE NOTES a doco by DICK FONTAINE

30 Jun 2014

When the great jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins came to New Zealand in 2011, it was my pleasure to do a phone interview with him beforehand . . . and then see him in concert. I'd only seen Rollins twice previously and each time they were polar opposite performances, so it was impossible to know what to expect. And similarly interviewing him. Some musicians can be tetchy subjects,... > Read more

TAR, a film by 12 DIRECTORS

26 Jun 2014

A visual ode to memory, love, loss of innocence and the spectre of impending death because of the events at Three Mile Island, this film is an elusive construction drawing on the poems of the award-winning American writer CK Williams. Written and directed by 12 New York University film students, it singles out a few key poems and periods in the poet's life -- non-chronological and with... > Read more

CUTIE AND THE BOXER a doco by ZACHARY HEINZERLING (Madman DVD)

22 Jun 2014

Cantankerous, alcoholic, irresponsible and so convinced of his own genius that he saw his wife Noriko as a lesser person there to serve his artistic and emotional needs, there's not a lot to like about painter and sculptor Ushio Shinohara. When he arrived in New York from Japan in the Sixties he was a child of the Tokyo avant-garde and his style of painting which we might call Abstract... > Read more

GOOD VIBRATIONS a film by LISA BARROS D'SA and GLENN LEYBURN

8 Jun 2014

Those of us lucky enough not to have lived in Northern Ireland during the period the Irish euphemistically refer to as “The Troubles” could never know what that must have been like. Sectarian division and violence, roadblocks and checkpoints, assassinations and bombings, intimidation and factionalism . . . As John Lennon put it, “if you had the luck of the Irish,... > Read more

Just Another Teenage Rebel

B.B.KING; THE LIFE OF RILEY a doco by JON BREWER

4 May 2014

A few weeks ago a review of a lousy BB King concert in St. Loius went viral. But the comments about his rambling show, him forgetting lyrics or simply lost as to know what to do would come as no surprise to anyone who saw an equally bad concert in Auckland in 2011. My review here begins, "Few things are more sad, uncomfortable and disappointing than witnessing a once-towering talent in... > Read more

Sweet Little Angel (1964)

SONG OF THE SOUTH, a doco by Tom O'Dell (Sexy Intellectual/Triton DVD)

20 Nov 2013

As with Jimi Hendrix, the great Duane Allman -- dead at 24 after a motorcycle accident in 1971 -- wasn't with us for a long time. But what a mark he made in just those four years from when he first became known. He had only played guitar for 10 years and only in the last three of his short life had started playing slide guitar to create the sound he is synonymous with. It was a short... > Read more

Little Martha

UTU REDUX, a film by GEOFF MURPHY

19 Nov 2013

New Zealand landscapes lend themselves to the visual and emotional language of film: the black sand shore of The Piano; the towering Southern Alps inhabited by horsemen and warrior orks in Lord of the Rings; the menacing glower of sky and mountains in Vigil; the glimmering beauty of the East Coast in films like Boy and Whale Rider . . . And landscape was a visceral character in Geoff... > Read more

THE ROLLING STONES: SWEET SUMMER SUN; HYDE PARK LIVE (Shock CD/DVD)

18 Nov 2013

Recently a music blogger asserted boldly the Stones had never done a decent version of Satisfaction live which – unless he'd seen the thousands of Stones shows since mid 65 – illustrates the folly of mistaking a live recording with a live performance. Which is why the two hour film on this double CD/DVD set is so important. It's not a live concert just a film of one, but... > Read more

Paint It Black

REEL KIWI UNDERGROUND: Local films that make a noise

27 Oct 2013

The phone call from Simon Ocston is gratefully received because he was the guy who made that fascinating doco about New Zealand's Skeptics, Sheen of Gold. And when he says he is putting on a short film festival of similarly noisy features and footage in Auckland, we cannot help but take notice. Then he mentions the Chants R&B film Rumble and Bang by Jeff Smith, and footage by Jed Town... > Read more

WAR OF THE WORLDS, a doco by CATHLEEN O'CONNELL (2013): A million to one, they said

27 Oct 2013    1

At midday on March 12, 1913 in Columbus, Ohio someone broke into a run down the main street. By coincidence a few other people happened to be running in the same direction. Within 10 minutes everybody was running. Someone heard the word "dam" and panic spread: the dam had burst. Run! According to James Thurber's book My Life and Hard Times, thousands joined in the stampede... > Read more

THE POINT by HARRY NILSSON (MVDvisual DVD through Southbound)

25 Oct 2013

Despite the very best efforts and intentions of critics and writers -- Elsewhere among them -- the wayward genius of Harry Nilsson still goes past most people. His work has been occasionally reissued (most recently a whopping 17 disc set of his complete RCA recordings) and certain albums are available cheaply, but still most people only know him as the Grammy-winning guy who had that hit... > Read more

Think About Your Troubles

THE WICKER MAN, a film by ROBIN HARDY: The pagans in our presence

23 Sep 2013    2

Paganism survived in Britain long after the arrival of Christianity. In the middle of last century when cleaners got to top of Exeter Cathedral -- which was completed in the 15th century -- they found some unusal carvings in the roof bosses which hols beams together. They were of a man with leaves for a beard and hair. This was the pagan figure of Jack O'Green, sometimes known as the... > Read more

Willow's Song

EVA CASSIDY; TIMELESS VOICE: The songbird gone

19 Sep 2013

She may have sold more than 10 million albums, but when she died of cancer in '96 at just 33, Eva Cassidy was virtually unknown outside of small circle who had seen her playing in clubs around Washington DC. The live album she recorded barely created a ripple and it wasn't until many years later – when a tiny record company pulled together a collection and managed to get a song... > Read more

THE STORY OF FILM, a doco series by MARK COUSINS

28 Aug 2013

Some weeks ago in the New Zealand Herald their writer-at-large Peter Calder had an interesting column about movie theatres converting over to digital projection from 35mm prints. As he noted, the technology for film projection had been “fundamentally unchanged since the first public film screening in a Paris cafe in 1895: sprockets on a roller catch the film by holes along its... > Read more

GARBAGE; ONE MILE HIGH, a doco by ERICA FERRERO

31 Jul 2013

The thing I remember most about interviewing Shirley Manson from Garbage is that I just don't remember much at all. I have recently been told it was probably in '97 and I know that it was in Melbourne. But the rest is slightly foggy. The friend who reminded me of the year was there too and says I turned up at Auckland airport very late and hung over (me?) and because everyone else had... > Read more

Queer (dub mix)