It seems a fascination with going fast is built into human DNA. Covering distance in the shortest amount of time has long captured our imagination. From muscle-powered freaks of nature (thoroughbred horses, falcons, Peter Snell) to motorhead mayhem, from Formula 1 legends to front-running design innovation, this collection celebrates the particularly Kiwi 'need for speed'.
A classic case of the little movie that could, Second-Hand Wedding is a feel-good tale of garage sales, and the ties that bind. Worried that her mother’s zeal for bargains might ruin her big day, Cheryl (Holly Shanahan) delays unveiling her wedding plans. When Mum (Geraldine Brophy) finds out the information second-hand, she does not react well. Both actors won NZ Film and TV Awards for their work, and the Kapiti Coast-set film was a bonafide Kiwi hit: breaking out from its independently made origins into the all-time Top 10 for NZ films at the local box office.
The third part of this NFU series on aviation in New Zealand jets off post-World War II, where wartime aircraft and crew provided a base for the National Airways Corporation (later Air New Zealand). The romance of travelling via flying boat made way for mass global air travel; and NZ tourism and airports rapidly became more sophisticated. Presenter Peter Clements looks at how the NZ environment spurred innovation (ski planes, top-dressing, heli deer hunting), and traces the lineage of contemporary garage aircraft makers to DIY first flyers like Richard Pearse.
In the late 1980s, Kiwi inventor John Britten developed and built a revolutionary racing motorcycle. He pursued his dream all the way to Daytona International Speedway; in 1991, as an unlikely underdog, he 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. But when they get to Florida, another all-nighter is required to fix an untested vehicle which includes at least ten major innovations.
This documentary uses archive footage and interviews to tell the story of motor-racing legends Bruce McLaren, Denny Hulme, and Chris Amon. The trio topped podiums in the sport's 'golden age' — one of those eras when unlikely Kiwi talent managed to dominate a truly global sport. The Team McLaren racing team that four times Grand Prix winner Bruce McLaren founded in 1966, has been the most successful in Formula One. That same year McLaren and Amon teamed up to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and in 1967 Hulme was Formula One world champion.
Rockers D4 were signed to Flying Nun in 1999, a year after making their mark as a pulsating live act playing at the now legendary Frisbee Leisure Lounge parties. Led by Jimmy Christmas (now frontman for Luger Boa), the Auckland 'garage punk' rockers began making waves overseas when they scored a slot at the famed SXSW Music Festival in Texas in 2002. NME raved about their debut album 6Twenty: "Primordial and fun [it is] one of the great, grubby milestones of the current garage renaissance". The band announced they were taking "time out" in 2006, having released two albums.
Suzanne Paul made a splash on our TV screens as the Queen of Infomercials in the 1980s. She soon had her own TV show called Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?, followed by a range of other popular primetime programmes. Despite breaking a rib in the final episode, Paul won the third season of Dancing with the Stars.
The Datsuns’ origins are in Trinket – a high school band in formed in Cambridge in 1997. They renamed themselves in 2000 and made an immediate impression in Britain – hailed by the English music press and recording sessions for John Peel’s BBC radio show. John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin produced their second album and Lars Ulrich of Metallica has also praised them. Dolf de Borst says of their music, “It can be too light for people into heavy metal, and too heavy for people into straight garage - we purposefully make it so it doesn't fit into one place”.
The Datsuns came roaring out of Cambridge in 2000 with a hybrid of heavy metal and garage rock that quickly earned them international attention, and a major label deal. For this single from their self-titled debut album, they acquired the services of English music video director Robert Hales (who had worked with Stone Temple Pilots and Nine Inch Nails). For this black and white, live performance video, Hales lets the band’s music and their swaggering energy do the talking (with plenty of slow motion shots to accentuate those long flowing locks).
This raw and rowdy video gives a fleeting insight into the all-too-short life of Darcy Clay. Recorded on a primitive 4-track tape machine, 'Jesus I Was Evil' was a demented fusion of country and garage rock that, combined with Clay's fetching Evel Knievel-style onesies, heralded the arrival of an eccentric new voice. Darcy's school friend David Gunson agreed to shoot the video for a few hundred dollars and a bottle of alcohol - neither of which materialised. Nonetheless, the wry humour and energy Gunson captured stands as a fitting testament to his subject.