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Perfectly Frank - The Life of a New Zealand Writer

Television, 1998 (Full Length)

Biographer Michael King takes us through the life of pioneering writer Frank Sargeson: from puritanical parents to self-discovery in London, through to decades encouraging an emerging tide of New Zealand writers. The documentary’s most priceless moments are the tales told when four of those writers return to Sargeson’s fabled fibrolite bach, in Takapuna. Kevin Ireland calls it an “oasis, this marvellous place where books ruled supreme”. Sargeson’s purposefuly minimalistic writing style, the doco argues, helped NZ literature find its own voice.

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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 ...


Katherine Mansfield

Curated by the NZ On Screen team . 5 Items

Katherine Mansfield was born in Wellington on 14 October 1888. She died of tuberculosis at age 34, after writing a series of short stories that would later be seen as a major advance in the medium. This Spotlight collection is based on some of the screen images Mansfield has inspired. A Portrait ...


Margaret Mahy - Video Pirate

Curated by the NZ On Screen team . 12 Items

This Spotlight collection showcases the life and work of writer Margaret Mahy. The Hans Christian Andersen Award-winner’s characters have delighted generations of children and young people around the world. Many of Mahy's stories have been adapted and she also wrote teleplays. Celebrate her rainb...

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NZ Book Collection

Curated by NZ On Screen team

In the beginning — of both movies and books — is the word. Many classic Kiwi films and television dramas have come from books (Sleeping DogsWhale Rider); and many writers have found new readers, through being celebrated and adapted on screen. This collection showcases Kiwi books and authors on screen. Plus check out booklover Finlay Macdonald's backgrounder.

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Contact - Writing on the Wall

Television, 1981 (Full Length Episode)

Poet, activist and soon-to-be Mayor of Waitemata, Tim Shadbolt explores the often-maligned art of graffiti in this 1981 special for documentary slot Contact. Shadbolt searches for wit and inspiraton from school desks and court holding cells, to the bathrooms of trendy restaurants. Some of these scribbled sentiments — like “Rob Muldoon before he robs you” — have passed into legend. The best material however, comes from a group of high school girls, encouraged by their right-on English teacher during a class of well-supervised rebellion: “castrate rapists — have a ball!”

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Murray Grindlay: Film composer and jingle writer extraordinaire...

Interview, Camera and Editing – Andrew Whiteside

Murray Grindlay first rose to prominence as the lead singer in the 60s blues band The Underdogs. Since then he has written the music for a number of feature films, such as Sleeping Dogs, Once Were Warriors and Broken English; as well as countless TV commercials, including the classics Dear John and the Great Crunchie Train Robbery. Currently Grindlay is producing a web-based kids music show The One Winged-Bee Called Emily.


James Griffin - Top Five

Curated by the NZ On Screen team . 5 Items

Screenwriter James Griffin (Sione’s Wedding, co-creator of Outrageous Fortune,) is especially well placed to make picks for NZ On Screen’s Top Five series, with credits stretching from Gloss to Almighty Johnsons. Griffin’s choice cinq ranges from sitcom Buck House (“the thing that made me want to...

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Silver Scrolls

Curated by the NZ On Screen team . 22 Items

Every year the APRA Silver Scroll is handed out as New Zealand's premier song-writing trophy. This Spotlight collection offers up a selection of past Silver Scroll champs, including classics ‘Anchor Me’ and ‘Not Many’. The awards began back in 1965. Since then winners of best song have included D...

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Frank Sargeson: Cottage Industry

Curated by the NZ On Screen team . 3 Items

Celebrate the work of one of New Zealand's most renowned literary masters, Frank Sargeson, via this Spotlight collection: documentary Perfectly Frank (with biographer Michael King as guide); an adaptation of Old Man’s Story; and an excerpt from An Angel at My Table, in which Frank (played by Mart...