Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: My Year in Culture

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  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The irony there being that all the above are treasures in the sea of rubbish that is most current British television.

    Um, yes. Anyone else remember when Sunday evenings on One used to be a showcase for 'quality' British drama? Now if you want to see the good stuff, looks like you better have a Sky package that includes UKTV or a serious line of credit that can sustain binge shopping at JB HiFi...

    Oh well... guess I can always watch I, Claudius and Pride and Prejudice back to back, one more time...

    And there's always Torchwood: The New World to look forward to -- for all the people who've said to me that Doctor Who/Torchwood wouldn't "travel", Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner have pulled some serious American talent (Jane Espenson writing three episodes, Bill Pullman's casting just confirmed).

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12046 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn, in reply to Hadyn Green,

    Serving up drinks icy cold is an excellent way of avoiding immediate comment. I'd be rather suspicious at a tasting....

    I was once brought an extremely chilled bottle of chardonnay in the restaurant of a well-known Hawkes Bay winery. It was sent back. Puzzled looks all round - staff obviously gobsmacked that we wanted wine we could taste, and me and my fellow diners amazed that anything like this should happen in the first place.

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Kebabette,

    Misfits - show of the year. Some smart person on twitter said Misfits was the best, and Warney the worst. Can't argue with that.

    I've seen the first two episodes of the new series and gosh darn it, it's getting even better. Smartarse curly boy Nathan is probably the best thing on tv.

    Other cultural delights of 2010:
    The Hurts Better than love - being a sucker for a tidy bit of 80s synth-ery, this had me all a-drool. Androgyny, ballet and suspenders.

    I was very keen to get my hold of the new Bryan Ferry album Olympia. Turns I like all the remixes far more that the album versions. Especially good - the Peter Kruder, Tim Goldworthy, and Carl Craig remixes of U can dance.

    Christchurch • Since Feb 2007 • 188 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Jacqui Dunn,

    chilled bottle of chardonnay

    Serving temperature is 9-10 degrees I believe, so pretty lukewarm for a white. (Although my slightly curmudgeonly take on Chardonnay is "best served not at all").

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7390 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Kebabette,

    Misfits – show of the year ... I’ve seen the first two episodes of the new series and gosh darn it, it’s getting even better.

    Ep 4 is dazzling. It does things I've never seen a TV show do before.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Chardonnay is “best served not at all”

    Phtthhhttt! You just haven't had any good stuff, Gio.

    And, congratulations, sir!

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    The only downside of the exhibition? The people who spent more time pointing their damn camera phones at the works than simply looking and contemplating what they had to say.

    Substitute the word "exhibition" for "21st Century"...

    Exhibitions, concerts, weddings, parties... life.... I can't understand people who essentially miss a gig because they decide to capture all two hours on a 1"x1" Nokia screen. Which presumably no-one ever sees, because it is shaky, distorted and to all intents unviewable.

    I've told my Beloved that I'm banning cameras/cameraphones from the ceremony bit of our wedding, because as someone who's done a couple of stints as official wedding photographer, I hate the fact the front row of every ceremony is just a row of aunties squinting at LCD screens. Spend good money on a proper photographer, give everyone physical/CD/email copies of a few key pics, no need to capture your own. Pay. Attention. To. Us.

    Beloved of course thinks I'm being a dick about it, but I'm interested in your feedback.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1130 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Damian Christie,

    Exhibitions, concerts, weddings, parties... life.... I can't understand people who essentially miss a gig because they decide to capture all two hours on a 1"x1" Nokia screen. Which presumably no-one ever sees, because it is shaky, distorted and to all intents unviewable.

    When I took my son to Italy with his spanking new birthday present camera two months ago we took off from Dubai and flew over one of those artificial islands they have that look like plants, it was really quite a sight. When Joseph went to take the picture he found that the batteries were dead and I fully expected him to be quite disappointed but he said "Oh well, it will just have to be a memory". Good man, I thought.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7390 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn,

    no need to capture your own

    Felt that way through a world trip. Couldn't be bothered getting my own shots of views/buildings/what-have-yous, when there was all that atmosphere to soak up.

    Go for it, Damian.

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Kebabette,

    And a blooming watershed year in terms of gigs (for me who doesn't get out much). Amanda Palmer, The Pixies, Rufus Wainwright and Leonard Cohen.

    Christchurch • Since Feb 2007 • 188 posts Report Reply

  • Kebabette, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Can't hardly wait, have to hit up my neighbour for 3 and 4.

    Christchurch • Since Feb 2007 • 188 posts Report Reply

  • Tamara,

    I really enjoyed rufus wainwright. And the Civic was just perfect for him.

    New Zealand • Since Oct 2010 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I thought Leonard Cohen was excellent. Although Justine and I hadn't been to a "proper" concert (defined as something you have to buy tickets for) without kids since 2001, so it could have been James Blunt and we might have enjoyed him anyway.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7390 posts Report Reply

  • Tamara,

    And the Pixies, thanks Kebabette, I was struggling to remember whether that was this year or last year. Quite a lot has happened this year really.

    New Zealand • Since Oct 2010 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Jacqui Dunn,

    And, congratulations, sir!

    Thank you!

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7390 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    The year started off thrillingly with Al Green at The Civic. Haven't seen or heard anything to surpass this yet. The Great Blend was a bunch of fun.

    On TV, Prime's 50 Years of Television was damn good as was Mad Men, Media 7 and lots of other shows beginning with M.

    Film highlights were Gaylene Preston's Home By Christmas, an outdoor screening of La Dolce Vita, The Secret in Their Eyes , Once Upon A Time in the West , The Four Lions, The Runaways, and Winter's Bone

    So much music but I did discover The Felice Brothers .

    Saw the Annie Leibovitz photo thing in Sydney but was a bit unmoved by it--except for the enormous photos of Monument Valley.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2327 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to andrew r,

    Gary Sullivan - dimmer/ solid gold hell/ jpse ,on the fall at the power station the other night - "best gig I've seen in years, a very long time since I've felt that from a band"

    Fair enough. It really seemed to me like the worst Fall gig I've ever seen. And that's six -- or seven if you count the ballet production of I Am Kurious Oranj (which I actually quite liked).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    Saw the Annie Leibovitz photo thing in Sydney but was a bit unmoved by it–except for the enormous photos of Monument Valley.

    I went to the Leibowitz show at the Wellington gallery several years ago. Couldn't find the soul in it anywhere.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I went to the Leibowitz show at the Wellington gallery several years ago. Couldn't find the soul in it anywhere.

    Perhaps because you'd pretty much seen it all in Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair and American Express adverts? I don't mean to sound like I'm sneering at commercial work, but it's hard to find much evidence that Leibowitz has ever taken a photo for its own sake.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12046 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna,

    I went to the Leibowitz show at the Wellington gallery several years ago. Couldn’t find the soul in it anywhere.

    Was that the one in 1997? I remember reviewing it for Art History class.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 727 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce, in reply to Damian Christie,

    I hate the fact the front row of every ceremony is just a row of aunties squinting at LCD screens

    Couldn't agree more. You think weddings are bad, you should see the parents at a school performance or dance recital.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 352 posts Report Reply

  • Jacob Powell,

    Music: I been lovin Brothers by The Black Keys and the Mos Dub remix album by Max Tannone. Phoenix Foundation's Buffalo has really grown on me over the last few months too and is getting a lot of play at ours at the mo (including regular requests from our resident 2yr old?!)

    TV: Glad Misfits got a 2nd series. Can't remember if I've seen up to 3 or 4 so far, but it is nicely refreshing viewing. Not quite sold on The Walking Dead thus far, has some good points but stretches the rules of its 'world' quite a bit after treating them quite seriously in the same episode. Hanging out for Being Human S03 next year & HBO production of George Martin fantasy book Game of Thrones being shot in Ireland at present.

    Film: though fests were a little underwhelming for me this year some great fare still to be consumed. Exit Through the Gift Shop was as fun as the little seen Russian Lessons was devastating. David Michôd's Animal Kingdom reminds, in its sparseness, of Hillcoat/Cave's The Proposition from 05. And for the trash quotient Ant Timpson screened the mind boggling, excellently awful Gone With the Pope rescued from its cinematic grave by Grindhouse Releasing only this year. This was like 5 confounding exploitation shorts all crammed into one head trip feature - an experience that remains one of the highlights of my year...but whether it can be called cultural or not, who can say!?

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 21 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    The Arrival, I reckon. Here's what I said at the Arts festival, and I gather some people share my enthusiasm.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1096 posts Report Reply

  • binary.heart, in reply to Damian Christie,

    Absolutely agree.

    Since Nov 2007 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • Samuel Scott,

    but it’s hard to find much evidence that Leibowitz has ever taken a photo for its own sake.

    you might be right, but her commercial stuff in the 70s was pretty bloody good (the nude Lennon clinging to Yoko shot...slightly iconic). I do not like the stage managed Vanity Fair extravaganzas at all, they're money yucky.

    South Wellington • Since Feb 2008 • 304 posts Report Reply

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