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The Unauthorised History of New Zealand - Visitors (Episode One)

Television, 2005 (Excerpts)

Jeremy Wells brings Kenneth Cumberland-esque authority to this 'alternative' version of New Zealand history, made by the same team that produced Eating Media Lunch. TUHONZ plumbs the TV archives to poke fun at the pretence of the past, and present. Some excruciating hilarity is mined from artifacts of visitation to southern shores, from Bill Clinton to the Beatles. Muhammad Ali's fast food tastes down under are examined; the Dalai Lama finds bad karma in Christchurch; Charles and Diana visit in 1981; and of course, much mirth is had with all things ovine.

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The Unauthorised History of New Zealand - Sex (Episode Two)

Television, 2005 (Excerpts)

Jeremy Wells brings Kenneth Cumberland-seque authority to this 'alternative' version of New Zealand history, made by the same team that produced Eating Media Lunch. TUHONZ plumbs the TV and historical archives to poke fun at the pretence of the past (and present). This episode examines artefacts to do with sex and Aotearoa. With tongue planted in check (and elsewhere) Wells revisits everything from pole-dancing in the "hellhole of the Pacific" - colonial Russell; to randy Hutt Valley teenagers "getting laid" in the 50s.

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Series

The Unauthorised History of New Zealand

Television, 2005–2009

In this satire series presenter Jeremy Wells — channelling Kenneth B Cumberland (of Landmarks fame) — examines NZ history in a mock-revisionist manner, poking fun at the pretence of the past. From the makers of Eating Media Lunch, the show is self-described as “the most important series in the history of history”. Each episode tackles the big issues, including ‘Crime’, ‘Visitors’, ‘Trouble’ and ‘Evil’. The show draws its material mostly from television archive basements, with the odd piece of fakery and animation thrown in. Michael King this defiantly ain't!

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Haka - A Musical and a History

Short Film, 1988 (Full Length)

In Haka Māori myth is re-told through a series of stirring haka performances. Men stomp, invoke, and do pūkana (tongue out, eyes wide) amidst spitting mud and fire and ... in Paremoremo Prison and under a motorway. These scenes are intercut with archive imagery of post-pākehā Māori life, from first contact to Maori Battalion, urban drift and protest. The film is a tribute to the raw power, and art, of haka. Ultimately the Once Were Warriors-like message "is positive because of the fierce, irresistible pride of the performances." Peter Calder, (NZ Herald, 1989)

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The Unnatural History of the Kakapo

Film, 2009 (Excerpts)

This documentary tells the tenuous survivor story of the kākāpō: the nocturnal flightless green parrot with "big sideburns and Victorian gentlemen's face" (comedian Stephen Fry). A sole breeding population for the evolutionary oddity (the world's largest parrot; it can live up to 120 years) is marooned on remote Codfish Island. The award-winning film had rare access to the recovery programme and its dramatic challenges. This excerpt sees a rugged journey to the island to search for a kākāpō named 'Bill', and witnesses the "bizarre ballad" of its mating boom.

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Out of the Mist: An Alternate History of New Zealand Cinema

Web, 2015 (Full Length and Trailer)

Savouring the chance to demonstrate that Kiwi cinema is about far more than the usual suspects found on so many top 10 lists, critic Tim Wong provides his own angle on the topic in this film, narrated by Luminaries author and occasional actor Eleanor Catton. Ranging widely — from experimental works, to an often forgotten contender for first Kiwi horror movie — Out of the Mist marked the first of three essay films aiming to “advocate for art on the margins”. Director Wong founded film and arts website The Lumière Reader in 2004.

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History Man

Television, 2004 (Excerpts)

Historian Michael King's opus was a bridge between Māori and Pākehā; he turned Aotearoa's history into an unprecedented publishing bestseller. History Man traces King's own past, to understand the man and his passion for his work. This doco was commissioned only weeks before King and his wife were tragically killed in a car accident. Nevertheless it is a detailed portrait of a much loved and missed New Zealander. It is another collaboration from this producer/director team, whose subjects include Michael Houstoun, Ian Mune and Barry Crump.

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History Never Repeats

Split Enz, Music Video, 1981

A classic music video for a classic song (from the Waiata album) that is very much of its time. Features Noel Crombie's art school-infused clothes, make-up and surreal sets, giant beach balls, a hula hoop, and a young and endearingly-geeky Neil Finn out front. The video was one of the first (the 12th!) broadcast on US MTV after it launched in August 1981.

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Spotlight

Enzed's Greatest Band

Curated by the NZ On Screen team . 15 Items

New Zealand’s first international rock success story — Split Enz — had its screen start four decades ago in NZBC’s New Faces talent quest. For Enz spotters: Split Ends (the iconic z was to come) lost to Bulldogs Allstar Goodtime Band in the final. In one of NZ entertainment’s most famous mis-read...

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Spotlight

Celebrating NZ Poetry

Curated by the NZ On Screen team . 16 Items

This Spotlight celebrates New Zealand's rich history in poetry, with contributions by some of our finest poets — including Allen Curnow, Denis Glover, Sam Hunt, James K Baxter and Cilla McQueen. Also represented is Arts Foundation Icon Hone Tuwhare, from an interview as a 51 year old in Review - ...