Bat Fly

Fatcat & Fishface, Music Video, 2007

The Listener called the kids music of Fatcat & Fishface “like Tom Waits’ toy cupboard. The perfect antidote to Barney”. This ditty (from 2004’s Pretty Ugly album) came from a collaboration with the Department of Conservation and bypasses the cuddly usual suspects — kiwi etc — to celebrate the unlikely charms of the bat fly. The blind, flightless fly lives symbiotically on the native short-tailed bat: “So what if I like guano … I like it for a snack / There’s nothing like guano … from a bat!” The stop motion animation by Carlos Wedde is suitably Tim Burton-esque.

Artist

The Bats

Flying Nun legends The Bats formed in 1982. They are known and respected around the world, having played with many of the top indie bands internationally. As well as their acclaimed live gigs, the band are also well-reviewed recording artists, again both locally and off-shore. The band’s family tree weaves back through The Clean and Toy Love, and band-within-the-band, Minisnap, which features the three ChCh-based members of The Bats - Paul Kean, Kaye Woodward and Malcolm Grant. The fourth Bat Robert Scott lives in Dunedin.

Collection

More Legendary NZ TV Moments

Curated by NZ On Screen team

This collection celebrates more of the legendary TV moments that Kiwis gawked at, chortled with, and choked on our tea over. In the collection primer Paul (Eating Media Lunch) Casserly chews on rapper Redhead Kingpin’s equine advice to 3:45 LIVE! and mo’ memorable moments: from a NSFW Angela D'Audney to screen folk heroes Colin McKenzie and the Ingham twins.

Made Up in Blue

The Bats , Music Video, 1986

A simple performance-based video for this perfect south seas pop song. Craft-work decorates the frames, and the flickering moody street scenes look genuinely artful but were apparently caused by a camera jam in the clockwork Bolex used to shoot the clip. The video was filmed in London and edited at TVNZ Christchurch.

North by North

The Bats , Music Video, 1987

Flaming torches and streaming ribbons hanging off the front of the car are not your usual Kiwi road-trip accessories, but they're perfect visuals for this classic Bats song. Not to mention the iconic whirling burning guitar on the roadside. Alongside the imagery of motion, fluid camerawork tracks the band performing in front of a DIY Jackson Pollock-esque backdrop. Alister Parker (Gordons, Bailterspace), John Chrisstoffels, and Paul Kean (The Bats) are the directorial team. The song featured in Harry Sinclair movie Topless Women Talk About Their Lives.

Block of Wood

The Bats , Music Video, 1987

The trademark warm, jangling sound of veteran Flying Nun band The Bats masks a Robert Scott lyric about emotional numbness on this song from their debut album Daddy's Highway. Director Jonathan Ogilvie's clip features a chainsaw of Damocles and the ventriloquist's dummy from the album cover — and a poignant Christchurch location. The distinctive, triangular ANZ Bank Chambers (where the band members play on the balconies) and surrounding buildings at the intersection of Manchester, High and Lichfield streets were devastated in the city's earthquakes.

Afternoon in Bed

The Bats , Music Video, 1995

The Bats in a suitably enigmatic mood in a video directed by John Chrisstoffels that is as mysterious as the song itself. What was said that is causing the protagonist so much reflection is never really clear - and neither is the reason why the unidentifiable figure with the spade is burying cutlery and a barometer on a hillside high on Godley Head overlooking Pegasus Bay. Elsewhere the band perform at King Edward Barracks (now a parking lot in central Christchurch) and in their practice room, as well as with some of their favourite toys.    [This video is made available by The Film Archive]

Primeval New Zealand

Television, 2012 (Full Length)

This award-winning documentary from NHNZ reveals new information about the origins of the iconic kiwi. Presenter Peter Elliott travels the country investigating how "evolutionary mutants" — like giant meat-eating snails, kiwi, and tuatara — evolved over 20 million years in the face of massive tectonic upheavals and extreme isolation.  Elliott answers why Aotearoa has the "weirdest creatures", such as birds that don't fly and mammals that do. Company Weta Workshop used computer graphics to create images of extinct creatures for this TV One documentary.  

Ash: Ashley Thorndyke - Work in Progress

Short Film, 1995 (Full Length)

This film records the devising of a “work in progress” by theatre director Ashley Thorndyke (Jason Hoyte). The concept — by Duncan Sarkies (Two Little Boys, Scarfies) — mocks the gamut of thesp and drama school cliches: from ‘wanky’ director to wacky warm-up exercises (animal impersonations, primal screams, Love Boat theme song). Peter Burger, fresh out of Broadcasting School, co-directs, and the willing cast is drawn from the 90s Wellington theatre scene orbiting around Bats and Victoria University. Future Conchord Jemaine Clement memorably learns to get loose. 

The Write Stuff - Sonja Davies

Television, 1997 (Excerpts)

This excerpt from the 22nd episode of Kiwi literature series The Write Stuff features unionist and peace campaigner Sonja Davies (1923 - 2005). Davies had just released Marching On, the follow-up to her acclaimed 1984 autobiography Bread & Roses. Presenter Alison Parr asks Davies about her experience in Parliament, as well as personal tragedy and gardening. Davies reflects on achieving change, her dislike for the aggression of the debating chamber, and the values her grandparents taught her: "compassion and responsibility, caring for others more than you care for yourself …"