“You get the impression that Wellington wants an audience but doesn’t want to be seen to be trying too hard to get one”. This report surveys 1982's local music scene, framing tensions between an energetic politically-conscious underground, and commercial rock and pop (i.e. Auckland). Not all is positive, with complaints about lack of venues and promotion, and violence at gigs. Interviewees include Mocker Andrew Fagan, Nino Birch (Beat Rhythm Fashion), Dennis O’Brien, Ian Morris, promoter Graeme Nesbitt (in Radio Windy sweatshirt) and punk singer Void (Riot 111).
Ella Yelich-O’Connor was born in Takapuna in 1996 and raised on Auckland’s North Shore. Showing a keen interest in performance as a child, she signed with Universal NZ while in her early teens and was paired with producer Joel Little. Her tale of suburban teenhood, 'Royals' (released in mid 2013) became a massive breakout hit, topping the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States. Debut album Pure Heroine showcased her distinctive vocal style and cemented her global superstardom. Sophomore album Melodrama, recorded in NYC, was released in 2017. It topped album charts worldwide, including the US Billboard 200.
A graffiti artist (Ropata Matthews) gets sprung by the cops while tagging. But his younger brother ends up being the fall guy and at the receiving end of long arm of the law. The hero heads into the Tamaki night, and with spray can and marker signs his views on politics (including on one of the infamous Iwi/Kiwi billboards from the 2005 National Party campaign). Ultimately he’ll need more than words to repay his brother. Co-written with Savage, the film was the first dramatic short directed by actor Tearepa Kahi (Mt Zion). It was invited to play at the Berlin and Clermont-Ferrand Film Festivals.
Also known as Aishah and the Fan Club, pop band Fan Club released a run of pop singles in the late 80s and early 90s that charted both in New Zealand and Aishah's native Malaysia ('Don’t Let Me Fall Alone' made the US Billboard Hot 100). The group was formed while Wan Aishah binti Wan Ariffin was studying in NZ. In 1991 the band collected International Artist of the Year at the NZ Music Awards. Aishah went on to a solo career in Malaysia and guitarist Paul Moss went on to judge TV singing contest Malaysian Idol. Fan Club released two albums: Sensation (1988) and Respect the Beat (1989).
"Ever wondered what the well-dressed man wears next to his skin?" In this early 60s advertisement, the bloke is a businessman — played by 30-something Peter Harcourt — and the answer is tighty whities, aka Jockey undies. An era of selfies and Dan Carter Jockey billboards was decades away, and originally the Pacific Films-made ad was rejected for television screening, before later being passed on appeal. Harcourt acted regularly in Wellington theatre; his wife was actor Kate Harcourt, and he fathered actor Miranda and journalist Gordon.
Papatoetoe-born hip hopper David Dallas (Samoan, European) began his career in duo Frontline. Since going solo, he has released three albums: Something Awesome (2009), The Rose Tint (2011) and Falling into Place (2013). Something Awesome won the Best Urban/Hip Hip Album Tui in 2010 and was shortlisted for the Taite songwriting prize, and the acclaimed Falling into Place was nominated for five Tuis in 2014. Rose Tint was released in the US on NYC’s Duck Down Music label. In Feb 2014 he was featured by Billboard as a Kiwi artist who could make “a Lorde-like leap”.
Filmed on a 15,000 km journey through China in 1979, this documentary captures a country in transition: one where billboards are emerging on the streets of Shanghai, while commune workers still toil in the countryside. The film compiles images of people and landscape to observe China's then-recent emergence from the repressive Cultural Revolution; including memories from long-term resident, Kiwi Rewi Alley. Named after a description by Alley of China, it was made alongside companion documentary: Gung Ho: Rewi Alley of China.
This Alister Barry-directed documentary is about the National Party and the 2005 election; it was made in conjunction with Nicky Hager’s book written from leaked party e-mails. Barry follows novice MP, and then leader, Don Brash through a hyper-charged era in NZ politics as National attempts to reconcile a political agenda with electability, and to unseat Helen Clark’s Labour government. Speechwriters, advertising agencies, pollsters and party donors all feature, as do Brash’s infamous Orewa speeches, Exclusive Brethren “attack” pamphlets and Iwi/Kiwi billboards.
Why is New Zealand's landscape and flora and fauna so unique? In four-part series Moa's Ark, renowned English naturalist David Bellamy, with his impassioned enthusiasm and trademark beard (of "old man's beard must go" fame) goes on a journey to discover the answer. Directed and produced by Peter Hayden, this 1990 TV series was produced by Television New Zealand's award-winning Natural History Unit (now independent production company NHNZ). Read more about the series here.
The work of Kezia Barnett has been showcased in galleries, short films, music videos, and projected on to four-story high billboards. Since graduating from Elam in 1998, Barnett has made award-winning videos for Goodshirt and Sarah Brown. She also directs commercials around the world; her efforts won her the 2005 Young Director of the Year award at Southern Hemisphere advertising awards The Kodak Gongs.