Film in Elsewhere

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CROWDED HOUSE; LIVE FROM THE ARTISTS DEN (download)

10 Feb 2013  |  1 min read

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  |  3 min read  |  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  |  1 min read

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  |  1 min read

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  |  2 min read

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  |  2 min read  |  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  |  1 min read

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  |  2 min read

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  |  2 min read  |  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  |  2 min read

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  |  6 min read

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

THE UNFORGIVEN, a film by JOHN HUSTON (Triton DVD)

16 Sep 2012  |  2 min read

Not to be confused with Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven -- or the excellent if short-lived outlaw-rock band of the same name -- The Unforgiven from 1960 is one of John Huston's ambitious Westerns, cast perhaps a little in the shadow of John Ford's classic The Searchers of four years previous. In both films the action takes place in that netherworld between the civilised (European, back east)... > Read more

CHRIS MARKER (1921 - 2012): Film maker and photographer; Darkness at the break of noon

1 Aug 2012  |  3 min read

Few poems of the 20th century have as much emotional resonance and visceral power as T.S. Eliot’s The Hollow Men. Published in 1925 when the trench horrors of World War I had been fully revealed, the poem conjured up a philosophical ennui as Old Europe was trying rebuild out of ashes and despair. Book-ended by much-quoted lines -- it opens “We are the hollow men, we are the... > Read more

THAT'S COUNTRY: Liner notes for the DVD

27 Jul 2012  |  3 min read

“Tell me, how come a city I've never heard of – Christchurch – in a little country way down the bottom of the world makes the best country music television show in the world?” – American country legend Roy Acuff to That's Country host Ray Columbus. It's often said television brings the world in to our living rooms, but... > Read more

THE RONNIE WOOD SHOW, a chat-radio/film series hosted by Ronnie Wood

9 Jul 2012  |  1 min read

Christopher Sandford's recent book about the Rolling Stones, Fifty Years, clarified a little of what we all wonder about: what do these people do when they aren't being Rolling Stones? Which is most of the time. Jagger globetrots, hobnobs and takes care of his many businesses; Richards hangs around the house(s) and pops out to do guest spots on albums with friends; Charlie Watts breeds... > Read more

Lucky Man

I NEED THAT RECORD! a doco by BRENDAN TOLLER (Gryphon/Southbound DVD)

21 Apr 2012  |  3 min read  |  2

With today being Record Store Day and attention turning to how cheap books and CDs etc are on-line (not to mention downloading), this indie doco about "The Death (or Possible Survival) of the Independent Records Store" across America is an insightful look at the changing times we live in. The argument here is that indie record shops -- wall to ceiling vinyl, indie CDs, posters and... > Read more

ELITE SQUAD; THE ENEMY WITHIN by JOSE PADILHA (Madman DVD)

22 Mar 2012  |  1 min read

When it comes to a bit of the old glamorous ultra-violence, Hollywood might as well give up trying. The mainstream American audience has little stomach for violence which is so visceral that you don't know whether to look away, scream with horror or burst out laughing. At a screening recently of The Raid -- a real gut-tightening thriller made in Jakarta by the Welsh director Gareth Evans... > Read more

GOD BLESS OZZY OSBOURNE, a doco by MIKE FLEISS and MIKE PISCITELLI (Eagle Rock DVD)

8 Mar 2012  |  1 min read

Given that Ozzy Osbourne is unnaturally candid -- as is his wife Sharon -- and that much of what he did is already in the public domain, the only real question that this up-close, thorough and years in the making doco fails to answer is . . . why does Ozzy appear on the cover in a drawing where he looks like he has stepped out of Twilight, The Crow or True Blood. Ozzy is a unique character... > Read more

WALLANDER, SERIES 1 and 2, the television series based on books by HENNING MANKELL (BBC DVD)

23 Feb 2012  |  2 min read

Since two of my sons moved to Stockholm a couple of years ago I have taken a greater interest in a country I only know for gifting the world smorgasbord, Abba, Roxette and their unique take on alt.country-folk with bands like Baskery and First Aid Kit. So what have I come across in my increasing curiosity? Well, not long after they moved there some Al Queda lunatic tried to blow up... > Read more

MR MOJO RISIN', THE STORY OF LA WOMAN a doco by MARTIN R SMITH (Shock DVD)

31 Jan 2012  |  3 min read

Door singer frontman Jim Morrison might not have always been the great poet he imagined himself, but he certainly knew his way around a self-mythologising acronym. Hence "Mr Mojo Risin'", the name he came up for himself around the time of what would be the Doors final flourish in the studio, LA Woman of 1971. The remaining Doors -- guitarist Robby Krieger, keyboard player Ray... > Read more

LA Woman (alternate take)