Film in Elsewhere

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

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SOUNDTRACKS: SONG THAT DEFINED HISTORY; SPACE RACE: A tele-doco series on Prime

15 Nov 2017  |  2 min read

From this distance it's hard to explain to people, young people in particular, how engaged many people around the world were with the space race between the Russians and the USA in the Sixties. Kennedy said the US would put a man on the moon but the Russians had got a man, Yuri Gagarin, orbiting the Earth first. It was all on. When Neil Armstrong did walk on the moon in '69 the... > Read more

SOUNDTRACKS; SONGS THAT DEFINED HISTORY, a tele-doco series on Prime

11 Oct 2017  |  1 min read

Some years ago when the Occupy Wall Street movement was in full swing Stephen Stills – of Crosby, Stills and Nash (and sometimes Young) – told Elsewhere that what they lacked was an anthem.  “I kept waiting for a For What It's Worth of the Occupy Movement to show up,” he said referring his former band Buffalo Springfield's hit which captured the Sunset... > Read more

I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO, a doco by RAOUL PECK

18 Sep 2017  |  2 min read  |  1

Some years ago in New York I went up to Harlem and by chance there was an exhibition of photos and memorabilia about James Baldwin. It was interesting to note that among the many people there, were a significant number of college age kids, all of whom seemed quite engrossed in the life and times of this great black thinker and writer. A woman there with her dreadlocks piled... > Read more

NARCOS, Seasons One and Two (Madman DVD/BluRay)

1 Sep 2017  |  4 min read

Just how good is Narcos, this television series about the life and times and murderous regime of the Columbian drug lord Pablo Escobar? Consider this: Recently we were in Stockholm in an air b'n'b and the absent owner had Narcos on his Netflix. One morning I turned on episode one and for the following two weeks would start the day with an episode or two before hitting the... > Read more

THE GENIUS OF JERRY LEWIS (2009): All fall down

22 Aug 2017  |  2 min read

Jerry Lewis is in his early 80s so it’s hardly surprising people don’t talk about him much anymore. His last decent movie appearance was in The King of Comedy in 83 as the arrogant television talkshow host Jerry Langford stalked by Robert DeNiro’s deluded Rupert Pupkin. Lewis was terrific, oozing oily indifference. The last time he rose in public consciousness was a few... > Read more

THE MUSIC OF STRANGERS; YO-YO MA AND THE SILK ROAD ENSEMBLE, a film by MORGAN NEVILLE (Madman DVD/Blu-Ray)

31 Jul 2017  |  1 min read

If Chet Baker and Dean Martin shared one trait it was that of being cursed with gifts which came so easily to them they they treated them with casual indifference. Baker could sing and play trumpet without effort, Martin did the same with singing, acting and clowning around on stage or television. They became so indifferent to their gifts they rarely tried to push themselves beyond... > Read more

SGT PEPPER'S MUSICAL REVOLUTION, a film presented by HOWARD GOODALL

30 Jun 2017  |  1 min read  |  1

Like millions of others, says classical musician Howard Goodall at the start of this hour-long doco, he was spellbound when hearing the Beatles' Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band in June 1967. Goodall has become the go-to guy for benign Beatle comment these days (he popped up in Ron Howard's Eight Days a Week also) and here he appears again as the smart, articulate and well spoken... > Read more

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