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john clarke

Review: Senna, Hanna, Footrot Flats - The Dog’s Tale, Final Destination 5 and The Double Hour

By Cinema, Reviews

Despite my pos­it­ive review for TT3D last week, I’m not a huge motor­s­port fan. In 1996 I worked on the last Nissan Mobil 500 race around the water­front and couldn’t see the appeal of watch­ing cars go belt­ing around the same corner over and over again. In that race you couldn’t even tell who was win­ning, it was all such a blur. In fact, the only time I’ve ever watched Formula 1 was when I chan­nel surfed on to some late night cov­er­age one Sunday night in 1994 just before going to bed. Two corners (about 30 seconds) later, Ayrton Senna was dead. It was pretty freaky, let me tell you.

So, I knew (as all audi­ences must) that Asif Kapadia’s bril­liant doc­u­ment­ary Senna was going to end in tragedy. What I didn’t know was how riv­et­ing it was going to be from begin­ning to end. Senna works because it is first and fore­most a por­trait of a com­pel­ling char­ac­ter – a cha­ris­mat­ic, con­fid­ent but humble young man who under­stood the risks he took and fought to bal­ance those risks with his innate desire to race and race hard – but when the polit­ics of Formula 1 took the con­trol of those risks out of his hands there you could see there was only going to be one result.

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An Anniversary

By Newtown, Personal, Wine

According to TreeHugger, wine in 3 litre card­board casks is sig­ni­fic­antly more envir­on­ment­ally friendly than the equi­val­ent volume in glass. I was pleased to read this as, in my final year of drink­ing, when I was giv­ing it a bit of a nudge, pretty much all my con­sump­tion was from those cheap casks of Country Medium you get at the front of the New World in Newtown. So, I’m glad to con­firm that, even then, I was doing my bit for the planet.

Yesterday, Friday, marked two years sober, two years which have eas­ily been the most pro­duct­ive of my life. To cel­eb­rate (and while we are on the sub­ject of the envir­on­ment) here’s John Clarke and Bryan Dawe dis­cuss­ing an envir­on­ment­al cata­strophe: “The Front Fell Off”.

John Clarke & Bryan Dawe – The Front Fell Off (Bob Collins)


“On this auspiciouness ... this auspicacious ... this bloody great big occasion ...”

By meta

In the absence of a post of any sub­stance in the last fort­night, or so, I thought I would point you towards some­thing free-of-charge (actu­ally, you already paid via the meth­od we use to keep NZ On Air alive): the John Clarke/Sam Neill inter­view on Kim Hill’s Saturday morn­ing pro­gramme from Saturday 8 April. Apparently, due to the influ­ence of tem­por­ary pro­du­cer Mark Cubey, SatMng is now avail­able for podcast.

Describing it as a Podcast is a stretch, how­ever, as when you down­load the mp3 files (or sub­scribe via the rss) feed the files turn up with titles like “sat-4436F0EE-032” which is not help­ful if you want to play these pieces in the order in which they were transmitted.

But, in total, I have to applaud this entire pro­ject. In my life (I have no lifestyle) time-shifting is essen­tial or all your good work is for nought. The only piece of media (apart from All Blacks and West Ham games) that I insist on watch­ing live is Top Gear (on Prime at 7.30pm on Sundays) which enter­tains me bet­ter than any tele­vi­sion since The Magic Roundabout when I was a young­ster. Don’t start me on Sunday’s Bugatti episode…

So, the concept that great radio (or tele­vi­sion when they get around to it) is avail­able for me to listen to at any time of the day or night makes me very happy.

A couple of years ago I went to a great deal of trouble to try and record Charlie Gillett’s weekly “Sound of the City” pro­gramme off BBC Radio London’s realMedia feed so that I could listen to it at work (with all the inter­rup­tions it might take a whole day). But I had to cheat on the BBC deal and pay for some soft­ware that would let me record the show. I’ve been mean­ing to try and auto­mate the pro­cess so I could wake up with Charlie Gillett’s Saturday night pro­gramme in iTunes on my Sunday but I have been a bit distracted.

But, if any­one thought for a moment that listen­ing to radio (vir­tu­ally or real) hampered music sales I can point to Charlie Gillett and this file: the first track off Rufus Wainwright’s album Want One, of which I would not have heard unless I had been chan­el­ling Charlie. And it cost me NZ$34.99 and I regret not a cent of it.