Other Voices, Other Rooms

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GUEST PHOTOGRAPHER JONATHAN GANLEY consider the work and relevance of Ansel Adams

Jonathan Ganley  |  28 Mar 2013  |  4 min read

“I have often thought that if photography were difficult in the true sense of the term – meaning that the creation of a simple photograph would entail as much time and effort as the production of a good watercolour or etching – there would be a vast improvement in total output. The sheer ease with which we can produce a superficial image often leads to creative disaster... > Read more

GUEST WRITER SARAH JANE ROWLAND explores a Hollywood treatment of mental illness

25 Feb 2013  |  2 min read

Much of the hoopla surrounding Anatole Litvak’s 1948 drama The Snake Pit focused on the treatment of its subject matter. It was one of Hollywood’s first attempts to tackle mental illness sympathetically, backed by extensive background research and a sincere performance from lead actress Olivia de Havilland as a young woman institutionalized after a nervous breakdown.... > Read more

GUEST WRITER SOMSAK LANTANA offers poems of elegant and honest simplicity

18 Feb 2013  |  3 min read

My friend Somsak (James) Lantana from Thailand is not just an excellent chef, but also a very generous one. He has previously shared recipes with me and we posted one for Thai chicken (superb!) which appeared here. His fish dish (here) is unbeatable and also equally easy to make. But there is more to James than those skills. He has increasingly indulged in his passion for photography,... > Read more

GUEST WRITER STEVE GARDEN considers the spiritual complexities of Terrence Malick's controversial film The Tree of Life

Steve Garden  |  11 Feb 2013  |  9 min read  |  1

Note: there is no synopsis of The Tree of Life in the following article. It has been written with the assumption that those reading it have seen the film. Opening quote: “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the Earth?” (Job 38:4, 7) Image one: a formless warm light in a dark void. Voiceover: “Brother. Mother. It was they who led me to your... > Read more

GUEST WRITER OWEN WOOD consider the strangeness of the South

21 Jan 2013  |  2 min read

Traveling around America's South off the highways and interstates is, as many will tell you, a sometimes frightening experience. Not because of the bad characters -- although there are plenty of those -- but more because of something unspecified. In his documentary Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus the singer-songwriter Jim White encapsulates this feeling in words which rang with truth... > Read more

The Wound That Never Heals

GUEST WRITER MATTHEW BARNETT considers the art of putting science to song

14 Jan 2013  |  5 min read  |  1

One of my favourite TV shows is The Big Bang Theory. Admittedly this could be a case of damning with faint praise. Rising above the veritable array of “reality” TV shows that seems to make up the majority of prime-time viewing (involving food, alleged talent, or extreme inability to control a motor vehicle) requires very little effort. However, I believe Big Bang is... > Read more

GUEST MUSICIAN PAUL McLANEY on pinning down the elusive musical dream

9 Nov 2012  |  3 min read

In the majority of recording situations I have been in, either by accident or design, the initial idea or inspiration for a piece of music is necessarily altered by the filter of musicians and collaborators through which it passes. That is not to say the original thought is diluted; in many instances it is magnified. But nonetheless it is altered via the thoughts, deeds, abilities and... > Read more

Lose Sight of Love (extract only)

GUEST WRITER OWEN WOOD sees the writing on the walls

23 Oct 2012  |  6 min read  |  2

At some time in the mid Nineties when I was working in Parnell, there was an open air carpark just off the main road. The back wall was perhaps two storeys high and painted white. One day, right at the very top in letters at least a metre high, this sentence appeared: "SHORT PEOPLE GIVE ME THE SHITS". It was clever, funny and looked impossible to accomplish without a ladder.... > Read more

Graffiti Crimes

GUEST MUSICIAN DANIEL BOOBYER on being old school and making a vinyl record

19 Oct 2012  |  3 min read

My new release Time Killed The Clock was sort of an unplanned birth. It mysteriously crept into existence with the first track of the same title being recorded on my trusty Pioneer cassette deck that was pulled from a skip several years ago - yes, I did say cassette. At the time I already had another album in the works to follow up my first release Dripping With (2010). This... > Read more

Shake Your Dirty Chain

GUEST WRITER SARAH JANE ROWLAND goes back to Berlin of the Cold War

8 Oct 2012  |  3 min read  |  2

Nunnally Johnson’s Cold War drama Night People (1954) opens with the words "Berlin Today" superimposed over a shot of the four flags of the city’s occupying forces. The French, British and American flags of the capitalist west stand together; the Soviet hammer and sickle stands alone smaller, less prominent, giving the bad guys of this film an unequal billing.... > Read more

GUEST ARTIST ANGELA KEOGHAN opens her portfolio of the quirky and cute

5 Oct 2012  |  2 min read

When New Zealand artist/photographer Angela Keoghan this week won the 2012 award for best album cover for her work on Bannerman's Dearly Departed (right), you looked again at it and realised how subtle and engaging it is. And of course she had previously done the artwork for his Dusty Dream Hole album the previous year, which had been a finalist in the same category. Keoghan's... > Read more

GUEST WRITER OWEN WOOD looks at when genius gets the blues

24 Sep 2012  |  3 min read

The flawed and ultimately doomed genius Truman Capote once wrote, "When God hands you a gift, he also hands you a whip; and the whip is intended solely for self-flagellation". When we consider the nature of genius, it often seems to beat itself up up. Jack Kerouac, Jackson Pollock, Jim Morrison and others did it through belligerent alcoholism; Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Amy... > Read more

Joliet Bound

GUEST WRITER JAMES BLICK considers the art, craft and pitfalls of travel writing

23 Sep 2012  |  4 min read

“White sand? Tick. Turquoise sea? Tick. Sunset cocktails? Yep.” That was the opening line of a travel newsletter that dropped into my inbox the other day. I wouldn’t have given it a second thought, except that I was part way through home & away, a new collection of award-winning Kiwi travel writing (New Holland $35). As a young travel writer still... > Read more

GUEST WRITER DON McGLASHAN on the power of songwriters in a cold climate

17 Sep 2012  |  4 min read  |  6

What follows is Don McGlashan's speech at the Apra Silver Scroll Award in Auckland on September 13, 2012. We print it here with Don's permission and it's our privilege to do so, as much for its inspirational quality as its political truth. Welcome to another Silver Scrolls - the special night in the year where we celebrate music and the people who write it. I want to talk about... > Read more

GUEST WRITER GREG HAMMERDOWN survives a 24-hour hard rock road trip in Central America

27 Aug 2012  |  9 min read  |  3

We’re two hours into what turns out to be a 24 hour road-trip, and already I’ve had beer, white rum, lemonade, orange juice and ice, either spilt or splashed over me, as refreshments get passed overhead to the five Metallers who have taken up occupancy of the rear seat. The bus loudly changes gear, momentarily drowning out the distorted sound of Slayer’s Reign In... > Read more

Luz del Norte

GUEST WRITER ANGELA SOUTER returns to Malaysia for a different experience again

24 Aug 2012  |  7 min read

How often do we go back to countries we have visited previously? Sometimes life is too short and money too tight, but my husband and I decided to go back to Malaysia recently and sample more variety after a visit to Kuala Lumpur a year ago. He had visited Langkawi and found it a pleasant laid back environment somewhat reminiscent of peaceful visits to Greek islands, with incredibly... > Read more

GUEST WRITER JEFFREY PAPAROA HOLMAN on the bard of the public bar

Jeffrey Paparoa Holman  |  13 Aug 2012  |  4 min read

“The stage is good . . . it’s part of my page”. Somewhere, in one of the many clips of Sam Hunt coming off stage that flicker through the DVD The Purple Balloon And Other Stories, a documentary about the man who must be New Zealand’s best-known poetic identity, the artist in focus comes out with this defining statement, implying to my ears at least that the... > Read more

Hey, Minstrel

GUEST WRITER SARAH JANE ROWLAND sees power corrupt in stark black and white

6 Aug 2012  |  3 min read  |  2

Robert Rossen’s tightly directed 1949 drama All The King’s Men is a story of the moral and political corruption of an honest hick swayed by an unchecked ego and greed for power. It is a dialogue-driven film with punchy lines that still sound sharp today, and it is shot in clearly defined black and white. Rossen also wrote the screenplay adapted from Robert Penn... > Read more

GUEST WRITER NICK SMITH confronts musical prejudice and pure emotion

30 Jul 2012  |  2 min read  |  2

Musical prejudice or snobbery is always with us. Fans are forever dismissing whole swathes of music for reasons that seem ephemeral. A common one is it's popular; another one is it’s old. The latter reason particularly grates. To dismiss as rubbish all music older than 10 or 20 years seems a tad rash when you consider that Neanderthal man carved flutes, oral tradition hands us... > Read more

Lamento della ninfa

GUEST WRITER GREG PARSLOE looks at when Grand Prix drivers would crash and burn

19 Jul 2012  |  1 min read

In those years between 1961 and '73 – when Grand Prix drivers “wore lucky charms instead of seat belts” – those behind the wheel seemed expendable. A conveyor belt of new talent signed up and was unleashed on circuits with little or no safety precautions. This was a terrifying era when the accepted face of Grand Prix racing was something we can barely comprehend... > Read more