NZ On Screen is a treasure trove of titles from Aotearoa's screen history. From time to time we've asked people to select their personal Top Five titles on the website. Click on any of the pictures below to sample a wide and varied list of titles as chosen by a wide and varied list of people: including A Dog's Show, Shortland Street, Len Lye, Outrageous Fortune, Billy T James, Boy — and music from 60s rock to Chris Knox.
Actor Amanda Billing's Top Five titles on NZ On Screen are a varied selection. Billing — who spent a decade playing Shortland Street’s Doctor Sarah Potts — gets her ticket clipped to go Off the Rails, and is charmed by errant dogs, laconic sheep, cheeky kea, Bruno Lawrence, Velvet Dreams and sweet lovers. Billing ended up stretching her Top Five to seven clips, adding a warning note that NZ On Screen “is a wonderful rabbit hole. Enter with plenty of time up your sleeve.”
Actor, singer and dancer Shane Cortese picks his five favourite titles on NZ On Screen. Cortese’s choice choices are Outrageous Fortune (“a show I’m immensely proud to have been a part of”), The World’s Fastest Indian, Home by Christmas (“great New Zealand stories are out there, and with courage and intent we can get them made”) and 80s band-on-the-make gem Heroes (a nod to his Chicago theatre director Michael Hurst). And Nobody Else comes within a country mile.
Screenwriter James Griffin (Sione’s Wedding, Outrageous Fortune) is especially well placed to make some picks for NZ On Screen’s Top Five series, thanks to writing credits stretching from Gloss to 800 Words. Griffin’s choices range from early sitcom Buck House (“the thing that made me want to write comedy”), to 60s music video Love, Hate, Revenge; from the “train wreck” 1987 Gofta Awards ceremony, to a parental plug for Serial Killers. And for a retro writerly cameo check out the young man with the red glasses, in the second clip of Funny Business.
Mark Hadlow's screen career spans everything from 1979 TV series Children of Fire Mountain, to embarking on a quest to the Lonely Mountain as Dori in The Hobbit. We asked him to scratch his dwarf's beard, and choose his Top Five titles on NZ On Screen. Hadlow's picks include Billy T as both the Tainuia Kid and in his TV sketch show (which Hadlow acted in); 2010 feature film Boy (making “the soul and spirit of New Zealand” easy to understand); and 1980s cop show Mortimer’s Patch (“it stands the test of time”). Finally, get between the sheets with Anika Moa, 'In the Morning'.
Kiwi Brent Hansen helped make Radio with Pictures downunder, then headed MTV in Europe. His Top Five titles on NZ On Screen aptly begin with two music video gems: Len Lye’s Swinging the Lambeth Walk and the “auteur chutzpah” of Tall Dwarfs’ Turning Brown and Torn in Two. Then there’s Two Cars One Night (“one of my favourite short films of all time”), a profile of artist Tony Fomison, and three-screen epic This is New Zealand. “I saw this as a schoolboy in the Cinerama in Christchurch. The chopper shots to Sibelius’ ‘Karelia Suite’ are forever etched on my brain.”
Shavaughn Ruakere presents her NZ On Screen Top Five, as part of a series where Kiwi screen personalities pick their favourite titles on NZ On Screen. The former Shortland Street actress chooses the first episode of the soap (Guatemala, aerobics, n’all); along with a classic Christmas episode of What Now?, the madcap kids show she cut her presenting teeth on. There are also nods to Kevin Smith and friend Clarke Gayford (in honour of her having endured for the umpteenth time the story of “that time I went to Antarctica”). Plus Ruakere shows she’s Sensitive to a Smile.
Paul Stanley Ward had a hell of a time picking his top five. That's probably because after working at NZ On Screen for over a decade, he got to know the website's treasures intimately. Ward was NZ On Screen's founding editor back in 2008, but eventually began concentrating on writing. A man of words and a man of nature, he compiled a list of ten favourites, before being asked to apply the hatchet. The titles lost along the way include classic sci-fi series Under the Mountain, deer hunting documentary Airborne, and King Kapisi music video Sub-Cranium Feeling.