Andrew Brough was the McCartney to Shayne Carter's Lennon when Straitjacket Fits led the southern charge during Flying Nun's late 80s golden age (notably on single 'Down in Splendour'). After leaving the Fits, Brough rolled back into the spotlight in 1995 with Bike. 'Save My Life', from their debut EP, was a songwriting finalist at the 1996 Silver Scrolls, and Bike were nominated as most promising new band at the NZ Music Awards. Album Take In The Sun affirmed Brough's status as an eminent crafter of yearning, liquid guitar pop.
Long before Ghost Chips, even before "don't use your back like a crane", life in Godzone was fraught with hazards. This collection shows public safety awareness films spanning from the 50s to the 70s. If there's kitsch enjoyment to be had in the looking back (chimps on bikes?!) the lessons remain timeless. Remember: It's better to be safe than sorry.
This badass collection features a select list of titles that were withheld from our TV screens when first made, or caused trouble in other ways. Moral offenders include heavy metal band Timberjack’s town belt satanists, Hell’s Angels bikers, and a ‘no nukes’ Spike Milligan. Also in the list is The Neville Purvis Family Show, which did manage to screen, but got in hot water after an infamous use of the ‘F' word (not included here). Other offenders include meat-is-murder music video AFFCO, and Headlights’ drunk babes at the milk bar.
'Circus Kids' was the lead single from Bike’s sole long-play record Take In The Sun, and is a prime example of the layered, classically-inspired arrangements and pop songcraft that frontman Andrew Brough had touched on in his previous band Straitjacket Fits. In this elegantly gothic promo, an innocent young boy goes a-wandering and discovers the seedy underbelly of circus life - all rendered in lush black-and-white by director Jonathan King, and veteran cinematographer Neil Cervin.
"I had a vision of Shayne Carter in mirror shades playing a policeman. He agreed on the condition he wouldn't shave his mo. Of course it just added to the moment. Ian Hughes (playing the father) brought his new puppy, Olive, along because he had no-one to look after it, so we integrated it into the action. In fact much of the fun stuff he does was him just improvising on the day." Jonathan King - March 09
This CGI animated short stars the Easter Bunny and Santa, but its take on festive spirit is far from cuddly. 'Tis the season to be addled in writer Wayne Ching’s twisted tale of an embittered bunny (voiced by English comedian Harry Enfield) whose remorse for Santa’s presents is “fuelled by vodka and anti-depressants.” A tattooed Santa channels Withnail and I’s Uncle Monty, and the rhyming couplets are more AO Grinch than child friendly. Directed by Alan Dickson and made by Kiwi animation house Yukfoo, the black comedy screened at Tribeca and SXSW film festivals.
In this National Film Unit-produced 'documentary' a circus sets up at the beach. Made for the Ministry of Works to stir debate about the use of coastal land, director Michael Reeves' wiggy treatment of the subject situates the film in the 'frustrated auteur meets sober commission' NFU tradition. Ringmaster Ian Mune is a seaside Willy Wonka canvassing claims to the coast. Demands of development, recreation, and housing are dramatised — including a bizarre look at stranger danger in suburbia, and a graphic illustration of the risks of off-mains sewerage treatment.
This animated series for young Kiwis visits Ferguson farm, to hang out with Massey Ferguson the talking tractor, and some of his mechanical friends (Massey Fergusons are an icon of Kiwi farming; Sir Edmund Hillary even took them to the South Pole). In this first episode, Murray loses his wedding ring. Massey Ferguson suspects magpies are the culprit, and with the aid of his friend Sallycopter, helps Murray become lord of the ring once more. The series was created by broadcaster Jim Mora (Mucking In) and Brent Chambers from company Flux Animation.
In the late 1980s, Kiwi John Britten developed and built a revolutionary racing motorcycle. He pursued his dream all the way to Daytona International Speedway in Florida. In 1991 the underdog inventor came second against the biggest and richest manufacturers in the world. Britten: Backyard Visionary documents the maverick motorcycle designer as he and his crew rush to create an even better bike for the next Daytona. After arriving in Florida, another all-nighter is required to fix an untested vehicle with many major innovations. Costa Botes writes about the documentary here.
Made for TV2, The Adventures of Massey Ferguson aims to show children what life is like outside the big cities. In this episode the little farm near Kumara Cove — to a red tractor named Massey Ferguson, and his farm vehicle friends —has dried up in the summer heat. It is up to Massey to track down some water, with a little help from Gracie the quad bike and Beaut the Ute. Despite suggestions that it might be worth trying a Native American rain dance or water divining, Massey opts to set out and find the water himself. The fate of the farm rests on his wheels.