Film in Elsewhere

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

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THE CHILLS: THE TRIUMPH AND TRAGEDY OF MARTIN PHILLIPPS, a doco by JULIA PARNELL and ROB CURRY

3 Apr 2019  |  4 min read

About two-thirds the way through this revealing, sometimes disturbing and occasionally (unintentionally) funny 95-minute doco Martin Phillipps is seen going through his scrupulously archived Chills clippings and comes on one from '92 written when he returned to New Zealand after announcing onstage in the US – to the surprise of his bandmates – that the Chills would be no more.... > Read more

HOTEL MUMBAI, a film by ANTHONY MARAS

12 Mar 2019  |  2 min read

On the far wall of the luxurious lobby of the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai/Bombay there is a list of names. To see it you have to get through the strict security outside – cars checked for concealed explosives, bags scrutinised – and then walk past the casually wealthy sitting in the spacious and airy lobby where staff are impeccably dressed and attentive. The list of 32... > Read more

TWO TRAINS RUNNIN', a doco by SAM POLLARD

11 Mar 2019  |  2 min read

This extensive 90 minute doco turns back time to America in the early Sixties when segregation was endemic, Northern white folk singers were becoming engaged by obscure and rare country blues by Southern black artists and the Civil Rights movement was on the rise with Martin Luther King at its head. At that time activists and music lovers converged in the Southern states. The two trains... > Read more

THE EYES OF ORSON WELLES, a doco by MARK COUSINS

13 Feb 2019  |  2 min read

Many decades ago when taking a class in film analysis to a group of enthusiastic young people, I was at a loss as to how introduce Orson Welles, his art and work was so diverse and massive. By chance it was made easy: I threw up an image of the older Orson on the screen and immediately a voice from the darkness said, “Hey, that's the Nashua 120 guy!” Yes, Orson Welles did a... > Read more

BIG PACIFIC, PRIME TV SERIES, and a book by REBECCA TANSLEY

10 Dec 2018  |  3 min read

There are maps which show us our world in different ways; the size of countries relative to population or poverty; the planet at night so we can see where people huddle under lights and so on. But few views are more dramatic and a reminder of our place on Earth than if you turn a globe so that just about everything you see is the Pacific Ocean. Over to one edge there is a sliver... > Read more

PRIME ROCKS; BUDDY HOLLY – RAVE ON (2018): And the songs will not fade away

30 Nov 2018  |  2 min read

It's probably taking it a bit far to say (as someone inevitably does in this doco) that Buddy Holly's influence is still evident today. Nothing in the charts would support that contention. But that is not to deny his enormous impact. He not only wrote his own songs in the late Fifties at a time when few pop artists did but he also played and produced most of them. And his musical and... > Read more

PRIME ROCKS: OASIS - SUPERSONIC, a doco by MAT WHITECROSS

21 Nov 2018  |  5 min read

This two-hour doco screening in the Prime Rocks series on December 5 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 Knebworth. Everyone, the... > Read more

PRIME ROCKS; CARPOOL KARAOKE; WHEN CORDEN MET McCARTNEY (2018): You don't know how lucky you are, boy

17 Nov 2018  |  2 min read

It goes without saying that Paul McCartney is a clever one, but he's also canny and has a keen business sensibility. Aside from the misstep in letting Michale Jackson swoop in and grab control of the Lennon-McCartney catalogue (while he and Yoko were bickering about how much to pay, apparently) he has made very few mistakes in his his business dealings. And he certainly looks after number... > Read more

PRIME ROCKS, CLASSIC ALBUM (2018): Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' Damn the Torpedoes

2 Oct 2018  |  1 min read

Prime commemorates the anniversary of Tom Petty’s death with this special encore. Damn The Torpedoes, the third album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. It's probably no longer true because the musical landscape has changed so much, but from the Seventies onward there was a saying in rock culture: The Difficult Third Album. It was called that because, as the cliché went, you had... > Read more

AMY WINEHOUSE'S BACK TO BLACK, a Prime Rocks Classic Album doco

10 Sep 2018  |  2 min read

When Amy Winehouse died in July 2011 there many of us who didn't cry, we were too angry to shed tears for this extraordinary talent which would be now denied us. Winehouse should have lived a long life and given more and more of the creative gifts which were all over her classic album Back to Black of 2006 which won her a Grammy and hearts everywhere . . . those who got past the achingly... > Read more

THE SOUND OF HER GUITAR, a doco by BILL MORRIS

6 Aug 2018  |  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

THE BEATLES' YELLOW SUBMARINE RECONSIDERED (2018): Fantasia for the pot generation

19 Jul 2018  |  4 min read  |  2

Movie producer Al Brodax said it began with a 3am phone call from John Lennon: Wouldn't it be great if Ringo was followed down the street by a yellow submarine?" That -- allegedly/mythically -- was the start and (aside from them knocking off a few songs for the soundtrack and a short appearance before the credits) the end of the Beatles' involvement with the animated movie Yellow... > Read more

It's All Too Much

MAORI METAL, a doco by DAVID FREID

5 Jul 2018  |  <1 min read

You have to love this short (18 minute) film which starts with a warning: "The following film contains heavy metal. Viewer discretion is advised". It shines a spotlight on the formidable New Zealand metal band Alien Weaponry who are, as of this writing, taking their astonishing te reo hard rock to the world . . . and frankly we think they could be the Next Big Thing out of this... > Read more

THE SIXTIES: THE BRITISH INVASION; a Prime television documentary

1 Jun 2018  |  2 min read

As this hour-long doco proves, just because there isn't anything new to say doesn't mean you don't say it . . . with footage. One of the executive producers of this Sixties series, Tom Hanks, has long been infatuated with his own times and so inevitably attention turns the greatest musical – and arguably – cultural phenomenon – of that decade, the Beatles and then the... > Read more

THE SEVENTIES; WHAT'S GOIN' ON (Prime TV documentary)

2 May 2018  |  1 min read

Over a decade ago Elsewhere wrote about a collection of Seventies clips from Britain rock programme The Old Grey Whistle Test and concluded that, if nothing else, it was a decade of very strange and new hairstyles from massive Afros and dreadlocks to Ziggy, glam dye-jobs and on to punk jags and Mohawks. And every hairstyle was emblematic of a new style of music. In some circles the... > Read more

THE EIGHTIES: VIDEO KILLED THE RADIO STAR, a television series on Prime

16 Mar 2018  |  2 min read

If – and it is a very big “if” – the Sixties were Swinging and the Seventies was The Decade That Taste Forgot, what then of the Eighties? The Decade Defined By Sound and Vision? Linn drums, synthesizers, the key-tar, CD technology making everything brighter, cleaner and somehow more soulless, the Sony Discman . . . And MTV which emerged as a white-bread... > Read more

ROLLING STONE: STORIES FROM THE EDGE, a TV doco series by ALEX GIBNEY and BLAIR FOSTER

25 Feb 2018  |  4 min read  |  1

When Jann Wenner launched Rolling Stone magazine in late 1967 his avowed intention was to take the emerging rock culture and its artists seriously as voice from and for the counterculture. He was also candid enough to admit however that, as an uber fanboy, he also wanted to meet his his idols like John Lennon and Mick Jagger who by that time were well on the way to becoming something... > Read more

GRACE JONES, BLOODLIGHT AND BAMI, a doco by SOPHIE FIENNES

21 Feb 2018  |  3 min read

It sometimes seems that anyone who ever encountered the extraordinary Grace Jones, or had even just been in an airport when she has walked through, has a story to tell: Of her sunbathing naked on a beach outside a swanky hotel in Barbados (or was it Jamaica?); her arriving punctually four hours late for recording sessions or photo shoots; her imperious demeanor and cast of minions . . .... > Read more

DAVID BOWIE: THE LAST FIVE YEARS, a doco on Prime Rocks by FRANCIS WHATELY

1 Feb 2018  |  2 min read  |  1

You could probably pick any five years in David Bowie's artistic life and find them of interest, but of course special resonance is attached to his final five because of the musical surprises they threw up . . . and of course his unexpected death in 2016. The title of this 90 minute doco is slightly misleading however in that it doesn't exclusively focus on those final years when he... > Read more

CHASING TRANE; THE JOHN COLTRANE DOCUMENTARY a doco by JOHN SCHEINFELD (Rhino DVD/BluRay)

29 Jan 2018  |  1 min read

If 1967 was a great year in rock music – debut albums by Jimi Hendrix, the Doors, Velvet Underground and others, and of course Sgt Pepper's – it was a bad year for jazz. In July that year the great John Coltrane died of liver cancer at age 40. A saxophone genius alongside Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins and others in the jazz pantheon, Coltrane came to wide... > Read more