Film in Elsewhere

Unusual or interesting DVDs, cult and classic films, movie reviews, genre overviews and interviews.

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JACKIE, a film by PABLO LARRAIN (Universal DVD/BluRay)

1 Jun 2017  |  2 min read

On the footpath at the bottom of the infamous “grassy knoll” in Dallas, beneath the former Texas Book Depository Building from which some say Lee Harvey Oswald shot President John F Kennedy, a group of portly middle-aged men stand selling their conspiracy theory books, magazines and newspapers. There’s no point in trying to engage them in a discussion we discover... > Read more

CLASSIC ALBUM: PET SOUNDS a tele-doco on Prime Rock

7 Apr 2017  |  <1 min read  |  1

Much as we love this Beach Boys' album – except Sloop John B, no one can convince us that it fits the theme – we must surely have reached peak Pet. There have been the expanded reissues, Brian Wilson (and others) interviewed repeatedly about it, the touring edition and even the Wilson bio-pic Love and Mercy which had a large dollop of the recording of the album as its... > Read more

MOLLY MELDRUM PROFILED (2017): Video star killing them at radio

6 Mar 2017  |  3 min read

On this side of the Tasman, Ian “Molly” Meldrum probably means as much to rock aficionados as Karyn Hay means to Australians. All that might be about to change however with the doco Molly;The Real Thing screening on Prime Rocks this Tuesday (8.35pm) . . . and it is followed next week in the same time slot by the two-part docu-drama Molly about Meldrum's colourful life.... > Read more

The Real Thing, by Russell Morris (prod Meldrum)

THE WRECKING CREW, a doco by DENNY TEDESCO

19 Dec 2016  |  3 min read

While no one would doubt the genius of Brian Wilson, he – like Duke Ellington and classical composers – needed others to realise his music. Initially (and remarkably briefly when it came to recording sessions) he had the close harmony, Chuck Berry-meets-surf guitar format of the Beach Boys. But as his musical dreams became more Technicolor and widescreen he required... > Read more

THE ROLLING STONES; HAVANA MOON (Sony DVD/2CD)

8 Dec 2016  |  1 min read

Much as we who have grown up and old with the Rolling Stones might laugh at the sight of Mick Jagger dancing like some skinny mannequin being electrocuted, others see the Stones spectacle differently. In places like Cuba where they played in March 2016, the Stones were as much a symbol as a show. It was the rightwing writer PJ O'Rourke who said something along the lines that the... > Read more

MAVIS! A doco by JESSICA EDWARDS

5 Dec 2016  |  2 min read

In an interview with Elsewhere a couple of years ago the Memphis-based writer Robert Gordon noted, “I see my kids in school -- they are now in 9th and 11th grades -- and man, they don't know which was further ago, unfortunately, the Civil Rights movement or World War I.” But before we bemoan once more how shallow or ill-educated young people are today it's worth noting what... > Read more

EIGHT DAYS A WEEK; THE TOURING YEARS, a Beatles doco by RON HOWARD (Universal DVD/BluRay)

28 Nov 2016  |  2 min read

Just as there were predicable howls of disapproval from the jazz elite when Clint Eastwood announced he was making a bio-pix of Charlie Parker (Dirty Harry taking aim at Bird?), so too were there was a chorus of disbelief when it was learned that Ron Howard – Richie Cunningham in Happy Days! – was making a doco of the Beatles' touring years. What the naysayers didn't take... > Read more

QUEEN; FROM RAGS TO RHAPSODY a band-sanctioned doco. Director uncredited

21 Nov 2016  |  2 min read

There are artists you “get” (round here everyone from the Beatles and Supremes to Yoko Ono, Ornette Coleman and Sonic Youth). And there are those you just don't . . . Elsewhere freely concedes it did not “get” the mega-mania attached to Queen. Some great songs and quite a few very good one, hilarious video clips, stunning guitar from Brian May and of course... > Read more

SUPERSONIC a doco by MAT WHITECROSS

10 Oct 2016  |  5 min read

This two-hour doco  -- in New Zealand cinemas for this coming weekend only (details below) --  was made by the team behind the moving Amy Winehouse film . . . with Noel and Liam Gallagher as executive producers, given separate screen credit. Given their long breakdown and the more recent solo careers of Liam and Noel, it sensibly starts where it ends, with their 1996 triumph at... > Read more

THE BEATLES; THE TOURING YEARS (2016): So you still wanna be a rock'n'roll star?

30 Aug 2016  |  4 min read

Near the end of the Beatles' Anthology John Lennon – his voice from beyond the grave – says with a pithy reflection, the Beatles were a great little rock'n'roll band. If that seems an understatement you need only isolate their music from the studio years after 1966 when their songs became more complex and throw the spotlight on their touring years beforehand.... > Read more

OCCUPIED, SERIES 1: A series by ERIK SKJOLDBJAERG and KARIANNE LUND (Madman DVD/Blu-ray)

20 Aug 2016  |  2 min read

So this is how the end of your freedom begins, not with a zombie invasion or some future described in that cliché “dystopian”. It begins with the suddenness of an invasion, or an encroachment by stealth. Either way you wake up and the government you once had is now in the hands of others, those from beyond your borders. So your democratically elected... > Read more

MIRAGE by EDWARD DMYTRYK (Madman DVD)

29 Jul 2016  |  1 min read

In his subject-shifting epic Brownsville Girl of 1986, Bob Dylan sang, “I'm standin' in line in the rain to see a movie starring Gregory Peck, Yeah, but you know it's not the one that I had in mind.
He's got a new one out now, I don't even know what it's about. But I'll see him in anything so I'll stand in line”. The one he had mind, mentioned at the start of the... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE FILMMAKER QUESTIONNAIRE: F. Theodore Elliott

23 May 2016  |  5 min read

Auckland-born filmmaler F. Theodore Elliott's independent debut feature Baseball has an interesting vignette quality about it. Characters, ideas and images appear and are gone, some to return, others to be left behind. Shot over two years and with an esemble of young amateur actors, it has a dream-like quality in places . . . a dream you can only piece together at the end and set in... > Read more

SONGS OF LAHORE, a doco by SHARMEEN OBAID-CHONOY and ANDY SCHOCKEN

20 May 2016  |  1 min read

Every now and again a New Zealand musician will complain how hard it is to make music here. Well, sometimes it is. Although the problem today is it's never been easier to make it but getting it to people or selling it has rarely been harder. However these things are relative, as this doco about a group of musicians in Pakistan illustrates. When their version of Dave Brubeck's... > Read more

THE SOUND OF HER GUITAR, a doco by BILL MORRIS

19 May 2016  |  2 min read

This charmingly low-key, often movingly honest documentary about New Zealand singer-songwriter Donna Dean takes her from a childhood in a state house in Glen Innes under blue Pacific skies (she ackowledges the drinking and violence between her parents) into Texas clubs and bars and radio stations singing her distictive and mature country music to appreciative audiences. Dean and her... > Read more

Pretty Buttons

BASEBALL, a film by F. THEODORE ELLIOTT

16 May 2016  |  1 min read

From the flickering typed-out titles, this strangely compelling 80 minute debut feature by Auckland filmmaker Elliott warns you of its lo-fi and homemade quality, and that it is a labour of love which is populated by friends. Because it is episodic -- some characters speak direct to camera with stories or abut ideas which seem disjointed and there is voice-overs which sound like short... > Read more

LEE SCRATCH PERRY'S VISION OF PARADISE, a doco by VOLKER SCHANER (DVD)

15 May 2016  |  2 min read

Salvador Dali once said, “The only difference between a madman and myself is that I am not mad”. The revolutionary reggae producer and musical constructionist Lee Scratch Perry might well say the same. But Perry – whose brain is wired very differently from most people and who speaks in terms of visions, dreams, magic and Biblical revelations – would doubtless... > Read more

SOUNDBREAKING, a television doco series by JEFF DUPRE and MARO CHERMAYAFF

29 Apr 2016  |  2 min read

If you listen to the debut solo album Mind of Mine by former One Direction star Zayn Malik – and you should, it's mostly very good – what strikes you immediately is how well produced it is. But isn't that true of all hip-hop albums these days, other than those which are willfully lo-fi? You don't have to be sound boffin to identify the difference between the aural... > Read more

THE CONNECTION, a film by CEDRIC JIMINEZ (Madman DVD)

25 Mar 2016  |  1 min read

The French title of this drugs'n'crime thriller largely set in Marseilles in the Seventies is the clue: It is La French. Add that to the English mistranslation and you get the link, this is a stylish-looking flipside and companion to the classic French Connection of '71 in which the story goes back to the source of the drugs pouring into the US which Popeye Doyle (Gene Hackman) and pals... > Read more

AWAKE; THE LIFE OF YOGANANDA, a doco by PAOLA DI FLORIO and LISA LEEMAN (Madman DVD)

7 Dec 2015  |  3 min read  |  1

In the early Seventies those who didn't have their noses buried in the escapist fantasies of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings were reading more interesting and philosophically challenging books like Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, The Dice Man and Paramhansa Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi. First published in 1950 – two years before Yogananda's death -- and... > Read more