The City of No

Television, 1971 (Full Length)

It's Wellington in the 1970s and Bob (Jeremy Stephens) is having a midlife crisis. Square-peg Graham (Bill Johnson, who later played Mr Wilberforce in Under the Mountain) tries to convince Bob to quit his bohemian lifestyle (and his lover/muse Carol) and return to his wife Jean. But is Graham really acting in his mate's best interests? Featuring a young Sam Neill as the epitome of handsome, unfettered youth (flared jeans, bushy beard) this early, well-received TV drama was one of several produced by the NZ Broadcasting Corporation to tackle 'difficult' contemporary issues.

To Live in the City - 24 Years On

Television, 1991 (Full Length)

Something of an antipodean Seven Up! (a series of life-chronicling British documentaries) this documentary picks up on the stories of four young Māori — now middle-aged — 24 years after they moved to the Wellington as part of a Māori Affairs Department redeployment program. It makes liberal use of the original film to contrast the cowshed to cubicle journeys; and revisits Ripeka (now in Hamilton), Moana (Guam via Japan), Grace (Wellington), and Phillip (Brisbane), who reflect on the paths their lives have followed, and on their Māori culture and where 'home' is.

Queen City Rocker

Film, 1986 (Excerpts)

There's panic on the streets as 19-year-old tearaway Ska (Matthew Hunter) comes to terms with love and death in Auckland's 80s urban underworld. After an ultimately tragic attempt to 'rescue' his prostitute sister, Ska plots revenge at a rock gig ... with riotous results. Directed by Bruce Morrison when broken glass was still on the ground from the Queen Street riot, the film was inspired by a story from 16-year-old Richard Lymposs. In this teen spirit-infused excerpt, street-fighter Ska saves rich girl Stacy (Kim Willoughby), and meets her classy parents.

Series

Super City

Television, 2011–2013

Creating and playing all of the main characters in Super City made for a "physically exhausting" experience for Madeleine Sami. But the hard yakka paid off, with the first season winning Sami a best actress gong and rave reviews. The show weaved the storylines of very different Aucklanders (five in season one, and four new characters in season two): including a ditzy Indian cheerleader, an Iranian male taxi driver obsessed with Māori culture, and a homeless woman. Taika Waititi (Boy) directed the first series; Oscar Kightley (Sione's Wedding) took over for season two.

Exit to the City

The D4, Music Video, 2001

This classic video takes a band, then throws them in the back of a moving vehicle as they try to play their song without falling over. Greg Page, a music video veteran ('Verona', 'Stop the Music'), remembers that "the concept was enormous, but sadly unrealised. But what we ended up with was a piece of magic I've never quite been able to reproduce." He talks about making this and another D4 video in a single weekend, here.

Turn Out the City Lights

OdESSA, Music Video, 2007

Sally Tran's characteristic attention to detail, a kooky concept and delightful fairytale flavour shrewdly enrich the artist's track, while conscientiously keeping the entire production largely recyclable.   "There are four different sets in the video and we moved from one to the other in quick succession, shooting the whole thing in a few hours. Everything you see in the video is made of cardboard. Even the instruments (and our bow-ties!). The drums were particularly impressive." Matt Pender - Feb 09  

Last Night in the City

Knightshade, Music Video, 1989

Recorded after their new label Mushroom Records Australia demanded ballads, 'Last Night In The City' is a moment of a departure from the hard rock that Knightshade were known for. But the song proved to be their biggest hit, clawing its way to number nine on the New Zealand singles chart in December 1989. The video has the band playing in a moodily-lit recording studio and features a double neck guitar à la Jimmy Page, a mystery woman, and lead singer Wayne Elliott lamenting lost love. The song was produced by American recording veteran Jim Faraci (Ratt, Poison). 

Collection

Wellington

Curated by NZ On Screen team

In 1865, Wellington became the Kiwi capital. In the more than 150 years since, cameras have caught the rise and fall of storms, buildings, and MPs, and Courtenay Place has played host to vampires and pool-playing priests. Wind through our Wellington Collection to catch the action, and check out backgrounders by musician Samuel Scott and broadcaster Roger Gascoigne. 

Artist

Avalanche City

When Avalanche City recorded its first album, it was literally as a one-man band. That one man was Dave Baxter; in a small country hall north of Auckland, he assembled Our New Life Above the Ground. Initially released as a free download, the album took off thanks to 2011 single Love Love Love, which topped the New Zealand charts after TV2 picked it up as the soundtrack to its station promos. The album was then rereleased by Warner Music. Second album We Are For the Wild Places followed in 2015, and spawned a second chart-topper, 'Inside Out'. To boost the live sound, a full band of musicians is added.

Collection

Auckland

Curated by NZ On Screen team

From the icons (Sky Tower, Otara Market, Rangitoto, The Bridge), celebs, clans and stereotypes (Jafas), to the streets (Queen St, K Road), and Super City suburbs (Ferndale, Mt Raskill, Morningside), this collection celebrates Auckland onscreen. Reel through the moods and the multicultural, metro, muggy charms of New Zealand’s largest city. In this backgrounder, No. 2 director Toa Fraser writes about Auckland as a place of myth, diversity and broken jaws.