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Barry Barclay passes

By Cinema and NZ

200802191519.jpg I’ve just seen the news that film­maker Barry Barclay has passed away. 63 is no sort of age really.

Ngati was one of the first NZ films I ever saw and it left a great impres­sion on me.

He will be missed.

Dom-Post film review­er Graeme Tuckett has almost com­pleted a doc­u­ment­ary for Maori TV on Barry’s life and work which I expect will also screen at the Festival this year.

Recommended Reading: Jane Campion on Janet Frame

By Asides, Cinema, Literature and NZ

A little late, but still recom­men­ded, Jane Campion remem­bers Janet Frame and mak­ing An Angel at My Table, in The Guardian:

Each room and even parts of rooms were ded­ic­ated to a dif­fer­ent book in pro­gress. Here and there she had hung cur­tains to divide up the rooms like they do in hos­pit­al wards to give the patients pri­vacy. On the desk where she had last been work­ing was a pair of earmuffs.

I can­’t bear any sound,” she explained. “The double bricks haven’t worked. I think I will have to move.”

A Wireless Love Affair

By Personal and Wellington

Howard Hesseman is Johnny Fever in WKRP in CincinattiWhen I was six­teen or so, I was called in to the Careers’ Teacher’s office (next door to the wood­work room) for my one and only “careers” meet­ing. Mr Farquhar remin­isced briefly about a couple of former pupils who were good enough to rep­res­ent Essex at crick­et and Arsenal at foot­ball, as if he had any­thing to do with either achievement.

He asked me what I wanted to do. “I want to be a disc jockey on the radio, sir,” I said. “You want what?” he replied. “I want to be a disc jockey on the radio. I already volun­teer at the Newham General hos­pit­al radio sta­tion. And that was how Mike Read star­ted. Lots of people who are on the radio star­ted that way, sir.”

Slightly bemused, he said “Wouldn’t you be bet­ter off try­ing some­thing a little more … real­ist­ic?” I told him I’d pretty well thought it all out and I knew how I could go about it. At the time I was devour­ing books on radio and even read­ing Billboard to try and find out more about the busi­ness I wanted to be in. “WKRP in Cincinatti” didn’t screen in England but if it did I would have been video-ing it every week and play­ing it back frame by frame.

Look, you seem like quite a bright young lad,” said Mr Farquhar. “Take these pamph­lets away with you and have a look at them. They’re for a Management Trainee Scheme at London Transport and it obvi­ously won’t suit every­one here but you could do a lot worse.” I said “thank you” and walked out and that was the extent of my voca­tion­al guid­ance at school.

Two years later I was in New Zealand, broad­cast­ing sev­er­al times a week from the Kelburn stu­di­os of Radio Active. Three years after that I was work­ing for ZMFM on Victoria Street, pulling the mid­night till dawn shift five nights a week. I was a pro­fes­sion­al DJ on the radio, just as I said I would be. But after that, radio and I par­ted com­pany (com­mer­cial radio, repet­it­ive pro­mo­tions and mind­less playl­ists will do that to you) and I was spend­ing more of my time hanging out with act­ors, writers and dir­ect­ors rather than alone in a room with a pile of records.

I’ve always wanted to go back to it, and I’ve always believed that it was the one thing I could safely say I was really good at. But I wanted to do it on my terms, for fun. I got the chance tonight thanks to VBC who have offered a weekly Monday night slot to the Wellingtonista and my name popped up on the roster. If you were listen­ing, I apo­lo­gise for my only passing acquaint­ance with the English lan­guage (there was a lot going on) but I hope you enjoyed the music.

My attempt at record­ing the stream failed, which is a bless­ing in dis­guise, but I have added the playl­ist here so you know what you missed.

I’m hooked on radio again. I want to build a stu­dio here in the home office and make radio for people and thanks to the Internet and pod­casts (and inspired by the likes of Jesse Thorn at The Sound of Young America) it may actu­ally be pos­sible. In the mean­time, I’ll crop up on the Wellingtonista show every now and then, slowly get­ting used to the slightly eccent­ric VBC tech­no­logy, get­ting my fix.

Playlist after the jump.

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A few thoughts about the Oscar Noms

By Cinema and Wellington

Firstly big ups to Mike Hopkins of Wellington for anoth­er Sound Dept. nom­in­a­tion, this time for Transformers. Mike already has two Oscars for LOTR: The Two Towers and for King Kong.

When I said in my end of year round-up that 2007 had not been a good year for “great” films I had an ink­ling that there were a few good­ies wait­ing to come down the pipe. Of the Best Picture con­tenders, only Atonement had been released in New Zealand at time of writ­ing. All the oth­ers are due out dur­ing the next four weeks. Juno (a sur­prise Best Picture nom) sneaks this week­end; Michael Clayton and No Country for Old Men open with it next week and There Will Be Blood is down for 14 Feb.

There are plenty of oth­ers com­ing in the next few weeks: In The Valley of Elah (Tommy Lee Jones, Best Actor); Gone Baby Gone (Amy Ryan, Best Supporting Actress); The Diving Bell and The Butterfly (Julian Schnabel, Best Director) are all likely to be worth the wait.

Interestingly, there are a few films nom­in­ated that don’t have NZ release dates at present: The Savages (Laura Linney, Best Actress); Persepolis (Animated Feature); none of the doc­u­ment­ar­ies (apart from Sicko) and none of the Foreign Language features.

At GreenCine Ronald Bergen sum­mar­ises all the films that were in the frame for Foreign Language Feature and picks out those that were overlooked.

At Time, Richard Corliss notes that all of the Best Picture nom­in­ees were made for less than US$30m and four of the five were from the “Indie” sub­si­di­ar­ies of the majors (i.e. made inde­pend­ently and picked up at mar­ket or developed inde­pend­ently and fun­ded by a major).

The full list of noms can be found at