Diamonds on China

The Narcs, Music Video, 1985

This follow-up to 1984 Narcs hit ‘Heart and Soul’ marked the first single off the trio’s second album. Recorded with US engineer Tim Kramer, 'Diamonds on China' got to 15 on the New Zealand charts. Influenced by Brit pop band Go West, 'Diamonds' is full of punchy guitar and synthesizers. Prolific music video director Fane Flaws showcases massed horns, street racing video games, his own distinctive illustrations, and drumsticks hitting the skins "like diamonds on china". Flaws' efforts resulted in one of his first accolades: Video of the Year at the 1985 NZ Music Awards.

Child of the Rainbow Warrior

Television, 1995 (Full Length)

Blackmail, lies and secrecy feature heavily in this TV3 documentary, which follows the teenage daughter of the photographer killed in the 1985 bombing of Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior. Marelle Pereira was just eight when her father Fernando died after French Secret Service agents set off two bombs in Auckland. The boat was set to protest nuclear testing in French Polynesia. Now 18, Pereira and her mum travel to French Polynesia, France and Aotearoa to ask why the French carried out the attack. Pereira interviews Rainbow Warrior crew and former Kiwi PM David Lange. 

Intrepid Journeys - Peru (Ewen Gilmour)

Television, 2004 (Full Length Episode)

In Peru, beauty and poverty go hand in hand. Westie comedian Ewen Gilmour begins his Peruvian journey in Lima, the capital - which he describes as a "sprawling, largely chaotic urban mess". Locals offer drugs and warn of muggers, but there are lighter moments when Gilmour entertains an enthusiastic audience in the city's historic centre, despite speaking only un poco Español. Later the former stonemason is impressed by the precision stonework in the ancient hilltop city of Machu Picchu, and visits locals who live on floating islands of reeds, on Lake Titicaca.

Two Days to Soft Rock Cafe

Television, 1983 (Full Length)

This Feltex Award-winning documentary dives, abseils and squeezes under the mountain — Mt Arthur in Kahurangi National Park — to record the exploration of the subterranean world of the Nettlebed Cave System. At nearly one kilometre underground the system is New Zealand’s deepest cave, and a mecca for cavers from around the world. The cavers relay their motivations and anxieties as they negotiate the uncharted water-carved limestone labyrinth. Directed by Ian Taylor, it screened in the Lookout series. Claustrophobes beware: there are no lattes at Soft Rock Cafe.

Mis-drop

Short Film, 2014 (Full Length)

A helmet cam records the claustrophobic reactions of a rookie mercenary (Elliot Travers) as an interplanetary combat raid goes wrong in Ferand Peek's debut short. Peek produced the one-shot DIY Gravity in Wellington over five years. Audio was recorded first, then Travers (shot in a special rig), then CGI effects were forged with the help of Miramar/Weta filmmaking crew. The result was touted by io9 doyen Annalee Newitz: “All we see of the world around him are reflections in his helmet, and yet the suspense is incredible. Plus, the story [is] surprisingly moving.” 

Artist

MarineVille

Wellington band MarineVille formed in 2000 around songwriter and guitarist Mark Williams and developed a sound capable of encompassing lush textures and edgier noises over careful pop songs and occasional sprawling epics. Their third album, Foul Swoop, described by Williams as having “strings, horns, rockin' tunes and dark ballads”, was hailed by Grant Smithies as “a gloriously abrasive mix of rumbling bass, overdriven guitars and half spoken vocals”. Soon after its release, they were joined by bass player Denise Roughan (ex-Look Blue Go Purple and 3Ds).

Hold Me 1

Able Tasmans, Music Video, 1990

This Able Tasmans single starts with a piano intro from Graeme Humphreys (aka Graeme Hill ) — the so-called baroque popsters really loved their keyboards. The clip goes on to showcase the instrumental prowess of a band who weren't afraid to throw horns, bagpipes, and strings into the mix. The first vocal doesn't arrive until almost two minutes in! Director Phillipa Anderton captures the energy of the playing by weaving the camera above and around the musicians. The clip's use of colour is also distinctive: most obviously in a set which is revealed to be yellow and deep blue.

Love You Like I Should

Dave Dobbyn, Music Video, 1988

Despite the enduring success of the title track, ‘Love You Like I Should’ was the big hit from Dave Dobbyn’s first solo album Loyal. It’s an upbeat rocker complete with horns which Dobbyn has described as a “rant”. The lyrics echo the album’s themes of love and loyalty but the message of defiance to the “powers that be” seems to hark back to the messy, failed prosecution he faced after the Queen Street riot. The video captures the energy of song and performance as Dobbyn confronts the camera and backing singer Margaret Urlich models her gaucho look.

Smoke

Batucada Sound Machine, Music Video, 2008

An industrial backdrop is the smouldering set for tribal-style dancing, phosphorescent make-up and costuming, and a strong performance from guest vocalist Che Fu. Percussive samba rhythms kick off proceddings and BSM's infamous horn section, the Traxedos, make a flashy appearance, too.  

A Game with No Rules

Short Film, 1993 (Full Length)

A trio of future Kiwi screen stars smoke, smoulder, steal — and worse — in Scott Reynolds' serpentine short noir. Kane (Marton Csokas) and his Zambesi-clad woman on the side (Danielle Cormack) set about ripping off Kane’s rich wife (Jennifer Ward-Lealand) with bloody results. Writer/director Scott Reynolds and longtime partner in crime, cinematographer Simon Raby, serve notice of their talents — and inspirations — with heady lighting, deliberately shonky back projection, and opening titles right out of Hitchcock. Muso Greg Johnson supplies the horns.