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simon morris

Radio Updates

By Audio and Cinema

I man­aged to fit in a couple of appear­ances on Radio New Zealand National in the busy late-December period.

Arts on Sunday podcast iconFirstly, 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”).

Nine to Noon podcast iconThen, 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.


Unwelcome changes

By Asides

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.

Pg1-iss3821-bigThe 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.

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Review: Operation 8, Hook, Line & Sinker, Tracker, Source Code, Your Highness and Babies

By Cinema and Reviews

Operation 8 posterI 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.

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“At the Movies”

By Asides, Audio and Cinema

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):