I managed to fit in a couple of appearances on Radio New Zealand National in the busy late-December period.
Firstly, The Listener’s Helene wong and I joined Simon Morris on the Arts on Sunday for a chat about the state of New Zealand cinema in 2013 prompted by the recent New Zealand Film Awards (or “Moas”).
Then, just before everyone broke for the Christmas break I paid Kathryn Ryan a visit at Nine to Noon
to discuss my highlights of the year and Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
Update: I have some confirmed circulation figures from the paper itself. Even more depressing.
We interrupt normal – slightly stuttery – programming to bring you news of some changes in the Wellington media scene that might have an impact on the content that you see here.
The Capital Times newspaper will be ceasing publication on – I think – 10 April. The reviews that I re-publish here were all written for them and it is their Monday morning deadlines that I meet every week. Broader discussion of the impact on Wellington’s local media – it leaves only Fishhead as an independent print publication serving the city – and trends in traditional versus digital media in the struggle for advertising yadda yadda, will be better off elsewhere, but the impact on me personally? That belongs here.
The first question is simply “to be or not to be”. The Capital Times is a recognised Wellington media institution with a decent circulation and a large audience. I was told that they print over 15,000 20,000 copies each week and the readership is estimated at between 40,000 and as much as 60,000. That’s significant, and made it worthwhile for me to write for and for exhibitors and distributors to support me by giving me tickets, previews and screeners.
I was expecting to come out of Operation 8 fired up but instead I emerged depressed and dispirited. I knew that New Zealand’s default political setting was benign complacency but I hadn’t realised that the full force of a – frankly – barely competent police state was being brought to bear on the few of us who were actually agitating and protesting for a more progressive society.
Operation 8 is Errol Wright and Abi King-Jones’ unashamedly partisan telling of the 2007 “Urewera 18 17” scandal in which disparate protest groups across New Zealand (with the focus on Tuhoe’s independence movement) were violently raided, imprisoned and – now about to be – given a trial without a jury. It’s a shocking litany of state arrogance and ineptitude, all the more depressing for commencing under a Labour Government.
Lynn Freeman’s Arts on Sunday show returned from the Summer break yesterday but film correspondent Simon Morris was given an extra week off (something to with Matinée Idle I suspect).
Because of that, I was asked to fill in and spent a pleasant half an hour chatting with Lynn about what’s been happening over the last couple of months (plus at the end another little ride on my anti-film; pro-digital hobbyhorse):