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Cowboys of Culture

Television, 1990 (Full Length)

Cowboys of Culture is director Geoff Steven's personal perspective on the Kiwi cinema renaissance of the 1970s. It traces the development of the local film industry from the ‘she'll be right' days when filming permits were unknown, and all that was needed to get a picture up were a Bolex camera, enthusiasm and ingenuity. Raw they might have been, but the films (Wild Man, Sleeping Dogs, Goodbye Pork Pie, Smash Palace) represented a vital new cultural force. The film features interviews with the major players, and clips from their movies. 

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Māori Arts & Culture No. 1 - Carving & Decoration

Television, 1962 (Full Length)

This 1962 National Film Unit production is a comprehensive survey of the history and (then) state of Māori carving. Many taonga are filmed on display at Wellington’s Dominion Museum, and the design aspects of ‘whakairo’ are examined, from the spiral motif to the origin of iconic black, red and white colouring. Finding reviving tradition in new “community halls”, the film shows the building of Waiwhetu Marae in Lower Hutt in 1960, recording the processes behind woven tukutuku panels and kowhaiwhai patterns, as the tapping of mallets provides a percussive presence.

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Booze Culture

Television, 1994 (Full Length)

This documentary confronts attitudes to alcohol consumption in NZ. Interviews with those who see major problems (including police, ambulance, youth workers, Family Planning and Women's Refuge) and those who don't (brewers, advertising agencies, sports groups and publicans) are interspersed with often-graphic footage of excessive alcohol use. The challenging depiction of the culture piqued Lion Breweries, who complained to the Broadcasting Standards Authority. The BSA rejected their assertion that the programme was salacious, but did agree it "lacked balance".

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Culture?

The Knobz, Music Video, 1980

In the tradition of novelty songs, ‘Culture?’ was catchy to the point of contagion. Fuelled by carnival keyboards, it was The Knobz response to Prime Minister Rob Muldoon’s refusal to lift a 40% sales tax on recorded music (originally instituted by Labour in 1975), and Muldoon's typically blunt verdict on the cultural merits of pop music (“horrible”). The giddy, hyperactive video comes complete with Muldoon impersonator (Danny Faye), and casts the band as the song’s 'Beehive Boys'. In the backgrounder, Mike Alexander writes about his time as the band's manager.

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Spotlight

Albert Wendt - Pacific Laureate

Curated by the NZ On Screen team . 3 Items

Professor Albert Wendt has Aotearoa’s highest honour: admission to the Order of New Zealand Merit (a status restricted to 20 living people). Celebrate the Samoan-born writer’s contribution to the culture via excerpts from screen adaptations of his classic novels: Flying Fox in a Freedom Tree and ...

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Spotlight

NZ Novelty Songs

Curated by the NZ On Screen team . 8 Items

The ‘novelty song’ occupies a peculiar niche in pop culture, with a definition as loose as baggy trousers. Taking in everything from comedy to dance crazes, global examples range from 'Disco Duck' to 'Crazy Frog', Weird Al Yankovic to 'Gangnam Style'. The novelty song is both disposable and (anno...

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Spotlight

NZ Screen Dogs

Curated by the NZ On Screen team . 18 Items

New Zealand has a fine tradition of Kiwi canines on screen. So what better way to celebrate than a Spotlight collection of our favourite screen dogs: from Spot to Dog, plus "Bugger", Hairy Maclary and more. Dogs are a part of the NZ idiom — we love rooting for the underdog — and played key roles ...

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Spotlight

The Māori Strum

Curated by the NZ On Screen team . 10 Items

The ‘boom-chucka-boom-chucka’ “Māori strum” turned a British song – Ten Guitars – into an unofficial Kiwi national anthem. It’s the backbone of kapa haka performances, and has even been the subject of academic study. Here’s a selection of New Zealand songs that all incorporate a Māori strum. And ...

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Interview

Gary Scott: From Kiwi culture to cults...

Interview - Ian Pryor. Camera and Editing - Alex Backhouse

Producer/director Gary Scott has spent time in the newsroom, the museum, and on location. Trained as an historian and journalist, Scott has been producing with Wellington company Gibson Group for more than a decade - though he began his screen career as an assignment editor, in the stressful world of primetime TV news. Alongside his TV work at Gibson Group, Scott also helps the company develop multi-media experiences for museums.

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Collection

25 Years of Shortland Street

Curated by NZ On Screen team

After countless romances, breakups and revelations — plus the odd psycho and crashing helicopter — Shortland Street turned 25 in May 2017. Made on the run, sold round the globe, the Kiwi soap opera juggernaut has provided a launchpad for dozens of actors and behind the scenes talents. Alongside best of clips, the very first episode, musical moments and favourite memories from the cast, Shortland star turned director Angela Bloomfield writes about how the show has changed here, while Mihi Murray backgrounds how it began — and how it reflects New Zealand.