Film in Elsewhere

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THE RAMONES END OF THE CENTURY. METALLICA SOME KIND OF MONSTER DVDS REVIEWED (2007)

8 Feb 2008  |  5 min read

The best thing about being in a band? You get to stay up late and make a lot of noise, maybe make some money and become famous. If you want people to notice your group it's a good tip to all dress alike so when you walk in a room you come off like a gang. Black is good.Worst part about being in a band? Well, these two docos about noisy gang members who favoured black, the Ramones and Metallica,... > Read more

THE WHO, THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT DVD REVIEWED (2004)

8 Feb 2008  |  1 min read

The first clip on the exceptional Who bio-doco The Kids Are Alright captures the band at their unpredictable best. It is late '67 and they are being interviewed on the US television show The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour by the very straight Tommy Smothers. They are witty and slightly heretical and - we now know - prankster drummer Keith Moon was drunk. So drunk, he and the stagehands packed... > Read more

OASIS: DEFINITELY MAYBE DVD REVIEWED (2004)

8 Feb 2008  |  2 min read

When Oasis, out of Manchester, started to gain real momentum a decade ago one wag wrote to a Britrock magazine and said this was all very well, but they were dull to watch live: just hold a postcard of them at arm's length and move it about a bit, he said, and that's about it.That was true but he forgot to factor in one thing, that they could also be thrilling.We didn't see them at their best... > Read more

STANDING IN THE SHADOWS OF MOTOWN DVD REVIEWED (2003)

5 Feb 2008  |  1 min read

When music magazines make up lists of great players - best drummer, top guitarist or whatever - one name invariably appears in the best bassist countdown: James Jamerson. At which point most people might fairly ask, "James who?" Which is exactly the problem this exciting, moving, good-natured soul-funk documentary seeks to redress. The late Jamerson - difficult, moody and... > Read more

THE OLD GREY WHISTLE TEST DVD REVIEWED (2007)

2 Feb 2008  |  1 min read

If you want to capture the essence of the 70s in a word it's "hair". At the start of the decade there were Afros and cascades of curls halfway down backs (that's the men) and the long straight stuff with fringes (the women -- and Noddy Holder from Slade). By mid-decade there were dreadlocks, moustaches and big sideburns sprouting everywhere. Then suddenly in came punk and out... > Read more

RUNNIN' DOWN A DREAM, a doco by PETER BOGDANOVICH (DVD, 2008)

1 Feb 2008  |  2 min read

The American actor/director Peter Bogdanovich (The Last Picture Show, Paper Moon etc and Dr Melfi's psychotherapist in The Sopranos) seems an unusual figure to be behind this four-hour doco of the 30-year career of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Unlike Martin Scorsese who did the similarly-lengthed Dylan doco No Direction Home, Bogdanovich hasn't really shown much interest in the... > Read more

SPEAKING WITH SULU: STAR TREK'S GEORGE TAKEI INTERVIEWED (2004)

3 Dec 2007  |  5 min read

George Takei - "it rhymes with okay" - began his career with a minor role as a crew member on the USS Enterprise. But Star Trek became a cult hit and Takei, as Mr Sulu, a star. Since then he has been in dozens of sitcoms, tele-series, movies and theatrical productions, and is involved in civic and political causes. Are you keeping well? Are you worried for me? I am hale and... > Read more

THE BEATLES' HELP! RECONSIDERED (2007): The band in a Bond film

29 Nov 2007  |  4 min read

The Beatles' career was rife with strange coincidences and symmetries, and that's excluding the fact they played in Auckland on my 13th birthday. More pertinent in the greater scheme of things was that their debut single Love Me Do was released on the same day -- October 5, 1962 -- as Sean Connery introduced film audiences to James Bond in the film Dr. No. And the Beatles' second album... > Read more

You're Going to Lose That Girl

BOB DYLAN, AND DA PENNEBAKER INTERVIEWED (2007). Looking back on Bob

19 Aug 2007  |  4 min read

Fortysomething years ago the New York filmmaker DA Pennebaker received an offer he couldn’t refuse -- and which would subsequently define the genre of rock documentaries, rockumentaries if you will. The phone call came from Albert Grossman, the most important manager in music at the time after the Beatles’ Brian Epstein. Grossman -- who later managed Janis Joplin, Todd Rundgren... > Read more

THE BEATLES ANTHOLOGY ON DVD (2003): And the songs remain the same?

1 Nov 2005  |  3 min read

For a record company it was the cross-marketing opportunity of a lifetime. Well, maybe a lunchtime. But it seemed an uncanny coincidence that Neil Innes -- aka Ron Nasty of the Beatles-parody band the Rutles -- was in Auckland last week just days before the Beatles' remastered, digitally enhanced, but-wait-there's-more Anthology series was released on DVD. If it was me I'd be out... > Read more

The Beatles: You Know My Name

WILL SMITH INTERVIEWED (2002): Taking Muhammad to the movies

24 Feb 2002  |  6 min read

He works the crowd brilliantly, stopping to chat informally, shake outstretched hands and pose for photographs with his lovely wife. He smiles and quips, and has perfected that Bill Clinton gesture of pointing and waving into the middle distance of the throng. If you are the chosen one it's as if you've been singled out for special attention. To the outside observer it looks as if... > Read more

THE WHO'S QUADROPHENIA ON DVD (2001): The Mods will ride again

9 Nov 2001  |  <1 min read

Quadrophenia -- the story and music written by Pete Townshend of the Who -- shifted the focus back to pre-Beatles Britain, to the world of Mods and Rockers, of battles on Brighton Beach between the two, and Townshend's famously disenchanted lost boy at the centre of it all. This was a dark world of early British pop culture that cheery Beatlemania erased from memory and it took the... > Read more