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Artists on Screen Collection

Curated by Mark Amery

For this screen showcase of NZ visual arts talent, critic Mark Amery selects his top documentaries profiling artists. From the icons (Hotere, McCahon, Lye) to the unheralded (Edith Collier) to Takis the Greek, each portrait shines light on the person behind the canvas. "Naturally inquisitive, with an open wonder about the world, they make for inspiring onscreen company."


Len Lye - Motion Maestro

Curated by the NZ On Screen team . 4 Items

This Spotlight collection celebrates the work of legendary New Zealand kinetic artist Len Lye. For some Lye sound and motion magic and priceless footage of the artist getting in the mood for making, watch the opening 20 minutes of Lye documentary Flip & Two Twisters. Bounce along to his jazzy...


Artists Prepare: Sam Hunt and Gary McCormick

Short Film, 1980 (Full Length)

Artists Prepare was an NFU series that featured prominent performance-based artists of the time. The edition follows poets Sam Hunt and Gary McCormick (the "John Travolta of New Zealand poetry") on tour in the Nelson region as they give poetry readings, talk to high school girls, drink whiskey, and muse about poetry and life - while Minstrel, Hunt's dog, lies patiently under bar tables. Ultra-tight stovepipe jeans, rock-star scarves, scenes in a milk bar and out on the open road in a Valiant evoke a time when poetry and heartthrob weren't antonyms.

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Artists Prepare: Chris Cree Brown

Short Film, 1980 (Full Length)

Artists Prepare was an NFU series that featured prominent performance-based artists of the time. In this episode 'sonic artist' Chris Cree Brown, discusses composing with new media and how he orchestrates particular sounds into formal compositional structures. Some sounds are made instrumentally, while others are recorded from his environment. In 1980 few classically-trained musicians in New Zealand experimented with synthesized sound and the gloriously large and sturdy equipment Brown uses to create his music will be of sure anthropological interest to many musos.


Land of My Ancestors - Darcy Nicholas Artist

Television, 2007 (Excerpts)

This documentary looks at Māori painter/sculptor Darcy Nicholas. Nicholas grew up in the Taranaki, among extended whanau. “We didn’t have much money, but we had a lot of aroha and a lot of land to play in”. It looks at Nicholas’s relationship to his Māoritanga, and at how he took on the mantle of helping organise Toi Māori: The Eternal Flame - the first touring exhibition of Māori weaving. He and other participants recall their experiences of travelling to America, and weaving “a map of friendship” with native American tangata whenua.


Artists Prepare

Short Film, 1980

Artists Prepare was a series of six programmes made by the NFU and screened in the Kaleidoscope programme on TV2 during July and August 1980. It featured prominent performance-based artists of the time with each episode exploring their particular creative process and performances of their work. The subjects were: Limbs Dance Company, composer Chris Cree Brown, mime artists Robert and Jane Bennett, songwriter-singer David Ngatae, poets Sam Hunt and Gary McCormick and singer Malcolm McNeill.

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Brent Hansen - Top Five

Curated by the NZ On Screen team . 5 Items

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 ...


Number One Hits: 1980 - 1989

Curated by the NZ On Screen team . 18 Items

The 1980s was the decade the music video boom began. Kiwi music was well represented when it came to number one singles, as you can see below. In February 1980 Jon Stephens became (and remains) the only Kiwi to knock themselves off the top of the charts, when ‘Montego Bay’ replaced ‘Jezebel’ at n...

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Neil Finn

Curated by the NZ On Screen team . 13 Items

With Split Enz, Crowded House and time as a solo artist, Neil Finn is one of our most celebrated singer-songwriters. This Spotlight collection includes Finn's remake of 'Blue Smoke', breakthrough singles for Split Enz and Crowded House ('I Got You', 'Don't Dream it's Over'), a 2001 tour where the...


Ralph Hotere on Screen

Curated by the NZ On Screen team . 3 Items

This Spotlight collection showcases Ralph Hotere (Te Aupōuri), one of New Zealand's most celebrated artists. Hotere was rarely seen on screen, and famously tight-lipped about his work, but he can be celebrated in two key films: Sam Pillsbury’s observational 1974 film Ralph Hotere (descrbed as a “...