Hello Sailor's time in the sun saw them spending time in Ponsonby, LA and Sydney, becoming a legendary live act, and releasing an iconic debut album. This collection features documentary Sailor's Voyage, founder member Harry Lyon's account of the birth of the band, and tracks from Hello Sailor, both together and apart. Some of the solo songs were incorporated into the group's live set after they reunited. Included are 'Blue Lady', 'New Tattoo' and 'Gutter Black’, later reborn on TV's Outrageous Fortune.
Low-tech legend Chris Knox is an accomplished musician, cartoonist, critic, filmmaker, and jandal wearer. As this collection demonstrates, his genius takes flight in the DIY aesthetic of his music videos. As Flying Nun founder Roger Shepherd says in his backgrounder, “this is a unique and important collection of work perfectly illustrating what is possible with the barest of resources and a free-wheeling imagination”. Russell Brown adds his view here. Alongside music videos, the collection also includes interviews with Knox and profiles of bands Toy Love and Tall Dwarfs.
This edition of the 1987 Inspiration series on Kiwi artists looks at potter James (Jim) Greig, and his search for the “spark of life” found in clay. The Peter Coates-directed documentary visits Greig’s Wairarapa studio to interview him and his wife Rhondda, also an artist. Greig’s influences are surveyed: the work of Kiwi potter Len Castle, nature, orphanhood, and Japan (where his work achieved renown). The film captures the visceral process of making large works for a Wellington City Gallery exhibition. Greig died of a heart attack, aged 50, while this film was being made.
A look at the world of body piercing, from the everyday to the extreme. In the documentary an expert suggests that people pierce their bodies for three reasons: for aesthetics, for their ego, or to enhance their sexuality. A range of views about piercing are expressed, from those who love it to those who find it ugly or intimidating. Watch for Dean (who clearly loves his piercings) who bungy jumps with large meat hooks piercing the skin on his back. Piercing was another topic-based documentary made for TV3's Inside New Zealand series.
In this 1985 Kaleidoscope edition, reporter Terry Carter meets many of those behind Auckland's 80s construction boom, and examines a cityscape where old landmarks are rapidly being demolished and replaced by mirror glass high-rises. Interviewees include property developers of the day like Mainzeal and Chase Corporation’s Seph Glew; a councillor who argues that commercial interests are dominating; and architect Ivan Mercep and interior designer Peter Bromhead, who critique the buildings’ architectural and civic qualities and their “Dallas TV set” aesthetics.
Chris Knox mines his immediate, 1981-era surroundings for this elaborate stop-motion clip. Record players go crazy, sleeping bags swallow people, and hardly anyone on screen seems to have a face. On the telly are Springboks and protests, plus the Ready to Roll top 20 countdown. And all this unravels a full two decades before editing programme Final Cut Pro made homespun hip again, and directors like Michel Gondry (The Science of Sleep) started popularising the craft aesthetic.
'Odyssey' is the second single for Ruby Frost (a musical persona created by Auckland singer-songwriter Jane de Jong). With a wink and nod to the DIY craft aesthetic, director Veronica Crockford-Pound’s video presents West Auckland's Bethells Beach as an alien landscape inhabited by exotic, glitter-faced creatures. Accordingly the subject matter of this electro-pop odyssey is more of the space variety than Homeric; but, for all of the astral imagery, the journey in question is actually about de Jong rediscovering her creativity after difficult times.
Three-piece alt-rockers Decortica arrived, as the title suggests, looking to make a statement with 2008 debut album, A New Aesthetic. Recorded in Raglan under the guidance of esteemed producer David Holmes (Jakob, Battle Circus and Gramsci), the post-grunge album has been described as a "bold proclamation" aimed at "embracing the ideals of dynamism and questioning dated concepts". Two of its singles 'Peace May Come' and 'Macchina' were staples in music channel video rotations throughout the latter half of 2008.
Platetechtonics continues a collaboration between Salmonella Dub and director Steve Scott. The everyman from Salmonella Dub video Problems features, in this case in a more cartoon-like form. But the cheery aesthetic belies a cautionary tale of genetic modification, mutations and monsters. A hooky brass section functions as a warning alarm for our hallucinating protagonist, shortly before monsters of his own creation overrun his Eden-like home planet. Micro and macro cross section views highlight the consequences of our scientist's wayward experiment.
Utilising split screen and a home movie-style aesthetic, this video for this Benny Tipene single practically screams summer. Starring Tipene and friends out on a road trip in the sun, the video has the crew playing in the grass, swimming and sailing, and eating fruit by the water. The single saw plenty of airplay off its December 2013 release, helped in part by its use in a Coca-Cola advertising campaign at the time. The song appeared on EP Toulouse, which was nominated for Album of the year at the 2014 New Zealand Music Awards.