Muse by Craig Ranapia

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Muse: Hooray for Wellywood (Really!)

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  • Steve Parks, in reply to Islander,

    just where do you think the influence for that sign
    is coming from? Hmmm?

    Personally, I quite liked most of Jackson’s earlier films, especially Heavenly Creatures. I thought the LOTR trilogy was okay (although despite that I have no interest in The Hobbit). King Kong was rubbish, and I haven’t seen The Lovely Bones, but strongly expect it to be rubbish as well.

    All of that is entirely irrelevant. Jackson could have made the five best Hollywood films ever, each of which I’d watch over and over again, and I’d still be against the proposed ‘Wellywood’ sign. The problem per se is not that Jackson has made Hollywood films in Wellington, and it’s not the content of those films. The problem is Wellington Airport’s daft excursion into ‘tourism promotion’: taking a fairly lame epithet and trying to turn it into an indelible sign of the city.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1122 posts Report Reply

  • Scott A,

    Thanks, Steve.

    Let us from Wellington explain this once again:

    - this is not about film making
    - this is not about Peter Jackson
    - this is not about cultural sideshows

    This is about Infratil deciding, on behalf of an entire city that a significant piece of landscape is to be permanent home of a dad joke! Or, as Queen of Thorns wrote very well, the equivalent of a George Clooney moustache.

    And don't raise the straw man of Moa, or the Asteron building, Craig. You can't justify the sign on Moa's advertising, you know that. And you also know you can't find the opposition to the Asteron building, as compared to the opposition to the WELLYWOOD sign. Straw men like that are easily burnt.

    The wilds of Kingston, We… • Since May 2009 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Scott A,

    This is my fucking city you’re fucking mocking with your gnome equivalences. To put it bluntly.

    OK, Scott, I’ll shut the fuck up about the city I’ve lived in for two-third of my life and still adore no matter how often it breaks it my heart. And just between us that kind of domesticated jingoism was something I didn’t miss while desperately homesick for years after my partner moved us up here because no matter how wonderful Welly is it’s no place to be unemployed in your late 50s. For that matter, it’s no less noxious in Super-Shitty Dorkland. (See what I did there?)

    There’s so much that wonderful about Wellington, along with stuff that drives me nuts. Which, in the balance of things, make it remarkably similar to everywhere else. And, yes, my visceral loathing of a harmless garden ornament is absurdly disproportionate to the nature of the aesthetic offence. (I also used to be a spectacular bore about the Sky Tower. Don't ask for examples.) Which is exactly how I feel about what I consider an over-reaction to a fucking sign. Please feel free to put the counter-argument, but if you really want to play “STFU JAFA”, you’re going to be playing by yourself.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Scott A,

    *sigh*

    You say over-reaction. I say justified reaction.

    You may talk about a city you lived in half you life, I talk about a city I've lived in all my life. That doesn't matter to me. It is neither here nor there.

    But, for me, it comes down to you telling me to "get over it." That itt is just a colourful gnome. You are telling me how to feel about my living space, my city. That a sign like this is just like an annoying garden ornament in a neighbour's lot.-

    No, it isn't. Not at all. It is my heartland, my home. You can call this an over-reaction (but, please note, as I'm sure you have, I've rounded on Moa for their campaign). But i still feel so strongly against this sign, this thing that will sit over Evans Bay. And "stop over-reacting" isn't helping, in fact, it is exactly what Infratil keep saying...

    The wilds of Kingston, We… • Since May 2009 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Finally, Scott, do I have your permission to keep mocking a brewery based in Blenheim and run from Auckland that thinks dyke-baiting and offering booze for criminal offending (“no questions asked”) is clever?

    Don’t even get me started on troll marketing with the chutzpah to invoke the “civil disobedience” practised at Parihaka, Montgomery and during the Salt Satyagraha. I thought this was tacky enough…

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks, in reply to Kracklite,

    I also liked the Sherlock revision a lot. At least that first episode.

    I have also, just recently, by DVD, discovered that Matt Smith is definitely my favourite Doctor since Tom Baker.

    I slightly preferred David Tennant. (While we're at it, here's my take on the 10th Doctor's death, and the Doctors' "regenerations" in general.)

    But Smith is good, too, and new showrunner Steven Moffat is the most consistently interesting DW writer, for sure. I'm only watching series 6 on broadcast tv, but the first episode, The Impossible Astronaut, is the best season opener the Doctor's had. Moffat's credited on the Tintin script - I might have to watch the darn thing just for that alone.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1122 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Scott A,

    You may talk about a city you lived in half you life, I talk about a city I've lived in all my life. That doesn't matter to me. It is neither here nor there.

    It really mattered to you when you decided to come in my house and tell me to STFU because nobody outside Wellington has anything to say about the matter, Scott. I think the most constructive response from my end is "we really need to agree to disagree and move on".

    But just for the record, I have a lot of sympathy with folks who complain about Public Address being rather Auckland-centric and for various practical reasons, it's going to take a while before that substantially changes in my corner. But I don't put geoblocks on discussion, and I'm not going to be very patient with Auckland based PASers who try.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    Come to think of it, the most die-hard supporters of the Wellywood sign point to the fact that Parisians were initially up in arms about the Eiffel Tower, but later came to embrace it. One big difference: the Eiffel never pretended to be an ersatz imitation of anything.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4060 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to DeepRed,

    One big difference: the Eiffel never pretended to be an ersatz imitation of anything.

    It was still widely loathed by the “creative community” of Paris (Maupaussant supposed took his lunch every day in the tower’s restaurant because it was the only place in Paris you couldn’t see the damn thing) and the only reason it wasn’t demolished when its permit expired in 1909 was because the City of Paris found it rather useful as a radio mast.

    But, no, I'm not entirely convinced it's a particularly useful helpful exhibit for either the prosecution or the defence. (Though part of me would love to see someone try to get resource consent for a 325m tall lattice tower in the middle of Wellington. Just for the sheer entertainment value.)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    (Though part of me would love to see someone try to get resource consent for a 325m tall lattice tower in the middle of Wellington. Just for the sheer entertainment value.)

    Or a Skytower built over a casino!

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1155 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    -pation.

    ...Rupert Graves very nicely plays him as The Brig to Cumerbatch’s Third Doctor...

    Kewl. Casting is surely an art in itself. I've sometimes wondered what Star Trek would have been like with Stephen Fry as Spock, The Stig as Sulu and Anthony Hopkins as Bones (or Beans as he'd be renamed...).

    Definitely looking forward to the DVD set with all the extras and commentaries.

    BTW, The Truman Show was filmed here. I prefer Portmeirion.

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 955 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    325m tall lattice tower in the middle of Wellington. Just for the sheer entertainment value

    Bah, if we’re going to be shamelessly derivative, we need the genuine audacity and virtuosity embodied in this:

    It can even include cycle tracks.

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 955 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Kracklite,

    Kewl. Casting is surely an art in itself

    That it is. Apparently, the first actor who auditioned for Watson had more luck with Moffat a week later. :)

    "We’d already cast Benedict Cumberbatch [as Sherlock Holmes] and the very first person we saw for Dr Watson was Matt, who came in and gave a very good audition.

    “But he didn’t have a chance in hell of getting it ’cos he was clearly more of a Sherlock Holmes than a Dr Watson. There was also something a bit barmy about him – and you don’t actually want that for Dr Watson, you want someone a bit straighter.”

    Moffat added that he felt that Smith was “clamping down on his barminess” for the audition.

    I’d really like to see Smith’s Who audition tape one day…

    Definitely looking forward to the DVD set with all the extras and commentaries.

    Quite -- would be very interested in seeing the 60 minute tabloid-enraging pilot version of 'A Study in Pink' -- which is an extra on the UK-US DVDs but wouldn't assume would wash up in R4. (For that matter, I'm still pissed the backdoor pilot of Being Human isn't on the series one DVDs.)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    (Though part of me would love to see someone try to get resource consent for a 325m tall lattice tower in the middle of Wellington. Just for the sheer entertainment value.)

    Well, the District Plan specifically allows the Council to consider "a building of exceptional height in comparison to every other building". But the plan also says that, on top of all the usual considerations of wind, shading and urban form:

    Developing an exceptionally tall building would bring with it certain responsibilities. Such a building would become a landmark feature in the Wellington skyline, and a prominent feature in all future images of the city. As such the building should be truly iconic and display a quality of design that befits its status as being one of, if not the most visible building in Central Wellington.

    Personally, I would very much doubt that a replica or parody of a famous building would meet this requirement. But it would be interesting to have to make that decision. So far, I haven't had to do that.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1039 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard, in reply to Sacha,

    I guess there would be nothing to stop owners putting a big sign on their cbd office block saying "Absolutely Poxily Wellington" then.

    Nope, or at least nothing in the RMA. We assess billboard applications based upon the assumption that we can't control the content, so we would assume the worst, at least regarding the visual impact of the content. We have no discretion over the semantic content of a billboard (one-off, unique signs may be differenr), but there are (I think) advertising standards that would cover notions of offensiveness.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1039 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I agree with you, Craig. It's not what I'd put on a sign, but it's not obscene, or anything else actionable. It's bad taste, and a bit silly, but that's pretty much half of what I see in public every day I drive around my town. Advertising usually is quite tacky.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Tom Beard,

    We have no discretion over the semantic content of a billboard (one-off, unique signs may be differenr), but there are (I think) advertising standards that would cover notions of offensiveness.

    There is the Advertising Standards Authority - though that opens a whole other argument about whether industry self-regulation is just setting the foxes to guard the hen house then being surprised at the mounds of bloody feathers about the place.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Sure it's tacky and derivative .... but surely it's also a an attractive nuisance ... everyone and hir dog is going to want to tag it or burn it down, or steal a "W" for the flat kitchen's wall or ....

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2031 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to DeepRed,

    One big difference: the Eiffel never pretended to be an ersatz imitation of anything.

    I'm not so sure. It would seem to have been designed to outdo the Washington Monument.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • mattgeeknz, in reply to BenWilson,

    The difference between this and a billboard (and most public art) is that the borders of this sign's canvas extend far beyond the physical dimensions of the sign itself. This can be done with with wit: as with Banksy's graffiti on the Berlin Wall, with billboards altering the visual shape of the buildings they're on using optical effects, or with billboards talking to each other (Hell Pizza have done this several times). But the scale of this is much, much larger, and this isn't witty, no matter how many times Steve Fitzgerald mugs for the camera and explains the joke.

    The sign is on airport land and is probably within Council rules, but the canvas is massive and encompasses a big chunk of Wellington. Do we have the right to vandalise a sign on private land, or to physically stop them from putting whatever they like on that land? No. Do we have the right to voice displeasure at a corporate artwork that purports to say something about Wellington as a whole? Absolutely.

    Also advertising is transient. If you don't like a billboard you can take solace in the fact that it won't be there for more than a few months. This is permanent.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2010 • 22 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Scott A,

    This is about Infratil deciding, on behalf of an entire city that a significant piece of landscape is to be permanent home of a dad joke! Or, as Queen of Thorns wrote very well, the equivalent of a George Clooney moustache.

    And don't raise the straw man of Moa, or the Asteron building, Craig. You can't justify the sign on Moa's advertising, you know that. And you also know you can't find the opposition to the Asteron building, as compared to the opposition to the WELLYWOOD sign. Straw men like that are easily burnt.

    Damn, Scott, I can't get rid of you.

    First, if you're going to come here and tell anyone what they really think you're not going to get a friendly reception. That shit will play over at the SubStandard and Kiwibog. Not here. Not ever. You do me and everyone the else the basic courtesy of assuming all arguments are made in good faith.

    Yes, Scott I'm more fucking outraged by fugly buildings like the Asteron Center and the calculated vandalism of heritage buildings than that stupid sign. And I'm seriously offended by troll marketing. Damn skippy I have a fucking big problem with inciting criming offending (or pandering to homophobia) to sell better -- it's wrong even if YOU don't like the intended target.

    I can't help but get that your mileage varies significantly, but your imputation of bad faith on my part is crossing the line from tiresome to downright offensive.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5920 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Have I really made a mistake reconciling myself to the simple reality that the Sky Tower isn’t going anywhere?

    Do I really really need to get laid?

    Ha (and sorry but unable to view said cock and balls due to being @W - in the NSFW schema)

    I do think those questions you raise there are the interesting ones though, this is a classic discussion of personal property rights coming up against broader property rights and social design. Gnomes make for a good logical argument at one end of that argument; painting an entire hillside with the word FUCK is another (although I'd be inclined to let both slide personally so maybe not). Defined colour, material and height of houses in the Lakes District are an interesting middle ground to compare to this sign.

    I think one interesting point here is that a lot of dissenters (myself included) would probably applaud if one of those amazing works by Anish Kapoor or Neil Dawson had been taken out of Alan Gibbs' private estate and placed on that hill. So it opens that whole nasty "what's art" can'o'worms - although I still think that the broader community would have had a say in something that intrudes so significantly on their own properties and environment.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1720 posts Report Reply

  • JackElder,

    Ironically, I would massively prefer a giant garden gnome on the top of the hill. Provided it wasn’t one of those Tui gnomes. This is speaking as someone who has conducted dawn raids on the neighbours’ garden to retrieve a gnome that had been stolen from our front doorstep (long story).

    Let’s not be disingenuous about why Jackson can get big movies there – cheap skilled labour.

    The number of awards won by companies in the Weta group (e.g. list of awards won by Weta Digital) would suggest that companies are coming to NZ because of the quality of the work.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to mattgeeknz,

    Matt:

    I’m really sorry if this sounds condescending, and it’s not mean to be, but doesn’t it all boil down to I don’t like it? I’m very sorry if you got the impression I’m trying to crush anyone’s dissent. Hello, you did read my pan of Black Swan, right? :)

    But I reserve the right to find much of the reaction, at best, disproportionate to the nature of the offence as I see it. (Which is no way abrogates anyone's right to exercise their freedoms of speech, assembly and to seek redress under the law.) At worse, it’s verging on the downright creepy and offensive.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

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