Film in Elsewhere

Keep up to date with RSS Feed iconRss or subscribe to my weekly newsletter.

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)

SESSIONS FOR ROBERT J, a doco by STEPHEN SCHIBLE

13 Jul 2013

When Eric Clapton released his 2004 album Me and Mr Johnson – a tribute to Robert Johnson – it seemed rather belated. After all, from the time he was a teenager he'd been listening to Johnson's songs and transported a number of them into his various bands and albums over the following decade. Ironically then, when he went into the studio with his cracking band – which... > Read more

THIS BAND IS SO GORGEOUS a doco by DUNSTAN BRUCE

8 Apr 2013

There's certainly something about Western bands going to China that makes sense. Wham! going to China? Dance-pop and nice ballads? Yes. The Rolling Stones in China? Okay, legendary Western decadent rockers, check the set list and let them through. Yes. But, really? British punk band Sham 69 in China? The band – now in their 50s – that sang If The Kids Are... > Read more

FOREVER a doco by HEDDY HONIGMANN

16 Mar 2013

Because I was a bit of a fan -- but only a very small bit I have to admit -- when I went to Pere Lachaise in Paris, the famous cemetery, I visited the grave of Jim Morrison. It was a desultory experience but taught me a valuable lesson: never judge a music (or musicians) by the fans. Around his grave were a litter of young people, most in some strange state of deep melancoly that could... > Read more

INSIDE OUT IN THE OPEN, a doco by ALAN ROTH (ESP-Disk DVD)

6 Mar 2013

The problem with Ken Burns' excellent Jazz doco series for those who embrace the broad church that is jazz, was not what was included (that was largely unimpeachable) but what was excluded. Burns -- and perhaps more specifically his advisor Wynton Marsalis -- left out large areas of contemporary jazz. Marsalis was no fan of fusion, jazz-funk or free jazz (yet has rapped in recent times) and... > Read more

Ictus

CROWDED HOUSE; LIVE FROM THE ARTISTS DEN (download)

10 Feb 2013

A little heads-up for Crowded House fans, a digital download is available (details below) of their appearance at New York's beautiful Masonic Hall Grand Lodge to celebrate the release of their Time on Earth album in 2007. Superbly filmed for the US public television series Live from the Artists Den, the show has Crowded House playing material from the album but also dipping in to what might... > Read more

THE ROLLING STONES; CROSSFIRE HURRICANE a doco by BRETT MORGEN (Shock DVD)

21 Jan 2013    1

In a voice-over at the end of the new, officially sanctioned but nonetheless ragged and candid Rolling Stones bio-pic Crossfire Hurricane, Mick Jagger says in a voice between amusement and disbelief that where once they were hated, now they were loved. On the screen is the largest stage ever built for a live concert and a crowd of breathtaking dimensions – it's an outdoor show... > Read more

Carol

CHARLIE IS MY DARLING, a doco by PETER WHITEHEAD (Abkco DVD)

8 Dec 2012

As the Rolling Stones commemorate, celebrate and commercialise their 50th year, they are certainly being well served by books, the Grrr! compilation, and on film with Crossfire Hurricane and now the reissue of this, a long out-of-print doco about their lightning fast trip to Ireland in late '65, just weeks after the release of Satisfaction and it topping the charts globally. It is a... > Read more

It's Alright

MARLEY, a doco by KEVIN MacDONALD: Mystic vibration still blowing

7 Dec 2012

For many years – over a decade in fact – Bob Marley's Legend compilation was a massive seller in New Zealand, and many of those copies were on cassette. Lord knows how many copies were dubbed off during that time either. It's popularity on tape was because people could play it in a car or on the ghetto-blaster at a backyard barbecue. And of course because it was an... > Read more

Soul Rebel (1969)

VINCENT VAN GOGH; PAINTED WITH WORDS, a film by ANDREW HUTTON

6 Dec 2012

When Van Gogh's famous painting Sunflowers sold in 1987 for the then-record sum of US$39.9 million -- or as Robert Hughes noted, "in real money some 5.8 billion yen" -- it was read as yet another symbol of the vulgar commodification of art as a commercial investment. The private consortium had bought more than a painting, it had bought cultural cachet. Buying famous art --... > Read more

PRODUCED BY GEORGE MARTIN, a doco by FRANCIS HANLY

2 Dec 2012    1

Sir George Martin's career will always be defined by the eight years he spent with the Beatles, but there were years before that 1962 audition and many decades after their final sessions in 1969. A young and aspiring classical musician, he had been inspired the Warsaw Concerto ("I wanted to be Rachmaninoff II"), served in the airforce in the Second World War and won a place... > Read more

She Loves You

TOY LOVE: PULL DOWN THE SHADES (Real Groovy DVD)

17 Nov 2012

Anyone still wondering why all the fuss over thirtysomething years gone Toy Love -- the legacy award induction, double albums on vinyl, one of which has been the first New Zealand vinyl album to chart in decades -- need only tune in for this collection of video clips (Bride of Frankenstein animated by Joe Wylie), live footage which is manic in intensity (the Sweetwaters appearance) and stuff... > Read more

DIANA VREELAND; THE EYE HAS TO TRAVEL, a doco by LISA IMMORDINO VREELAND

12 Nov 2012

Oscar Wilde once observed that fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable we have to change it every six months. And the cynical observer of the egos and absurdities in the fashion world would doubtless agree. But a world without fashion? That would be so intolerable we'd want it back in six months. In the rarified air of high style, some characters stand out -- sometimes for all the... > Read more

BOB DYLAN AND THE BAND; DOWN IN THE FLOOD (Chrome Dreams/Triton DVD)

25 Oct 2012    1

Towards the end of this long, thorough and very interesting but unsanctioned doco, Sid Griffin – musician, writer and curator of the archives of the Dylan/Band sessions in Woodstock – says of this rare conjunction of individuals that you had a Jewish guy from the Mid West, some musicians from Canada and a guy from the South. “That's pretty much North America right... > Read more

Million Dollar Bash

THE UPSETTER; THE LIFE AND MUSIC OF LEE SCRATCH PERRY, a doco by ETHAN HIGBEE and ADAM BHALA LOUGH

15 Oct 2012

Salvador Dali once said “The only difference between a madman and myself is I am not mad”. That's the kind of pithy aphorism you might also expect from the mad production/musical genius Lee Scratch Perry, a man who redefined the possibilities of reggae, was in the vanguard of inventing dub (and therefore sampling, remixing etc) and was a crucial figure in the careers of Bob... > Read more

MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR, REVISITED (2012): Another clue for you, the scapegoat was Paul

5 Oct 2012

In the Beatles' Anthology documentary, when The Greatest Story Ever Sold reaches 1968 and their disparate double album The Beatles (aka The White Album) some -- like producer George Martin and Ringo -- say that much Beatles music was too much . . . and that The White Album should have been cut back to a single album. Or two separate albums: "The White and The Whiter",... > Read more

Flying