Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Telling stories about us

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  • Paul Campbell,

    It's a pity the Documentary festival isn't leaving the North island - of course here in Dunedin we're annually treated to a one-of-a-kind documentary festival when the students doing the Natural History Film Making course at the Uni present their work (some samples here)

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2125 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Just listening to Phil Wallington talking to Jim Mora about this...good stuff

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2305 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    ...part Weiner Herzog...

    Who he?
    Werner Herzog surely...

    or is the River dog
    really a Wiener her dog?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4843 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    ...part Weiner Herzog...

    Who he?

    For those who don't Facebook, confirmation that you're not missing much.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3434 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Who he?
    Werner Herzog surely...

    Ha ha! Spelling from the original, but I've corrected it to save her blushes.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18824 posts Report Reply

  • Jan Farr,

    Lucky you! Looks like a brilliant festival. Have you heard if there's any chance it might travel south?

    Carterton • Since Apr 2008 • 394 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    he's a Berliner :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16605 posts Report Reply

  • Graham Dunster,

    Quota doesn't seem to be dumbing down the Oz industry.

    Keith Hunter makes some pretty good docos - is he represented at the festival?

    Did you ask Geoff when we'll be able to buy 'Skin Deep' again? Be nice to see his earlier work available legally again.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2009 • 139 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    One of the best documentaries I have ever seen is Gerard Smythe's Out of sight out of mind about the de-institutionalisation of Templeton. For some fortuitous reason it did get a screening on free to air TV, just before Christmas 2004. However, I doubt that a recent documentary in that genre, Mental Notes, about psychiatric institution survivors, will get a TV release. For some reason programmers think we just want to watch reality TV shows.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2074 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    One of the best documentaries I have ever seen is Gerard Smythe’s Out of sight out of mind about the de-institutionalisation of Templeton.

    Gerard's work is such a strong argument for for the non-formatted auteur documentary in New Zealand. I haven't seen that one, but his Alun Bollinger doco was magic.

    For some fortuitous reason it did get a screening on free to air TV, just before Christmas 2004. However, I doubt that a recent documentary in that genre, Mental Notes, about psychiatric institution survivors, will get a TV release. For some reason programmers think we just want to watch reality TV shows.

    To be fair, that's probably because a large promotion of those of us in the all-important target demographics do want that. Which isn't to say that a strong documentary can't hold an audience -- it's just hard getting the audience to watch in the first place.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18824 posts Report Reply

  • JacksonP,

    My favourite on NZ On Screen, as I’ve probably mentioned before, is the Robin Morrison Doco Sense of Place.

    The 1981 From the Road also amazing, and includes his Gallipoli Veterans.

    I stumbled across one recently though, which I found quite fascinating, about the Mikhail Lermentov story. There’s a lot on there once you start looking.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 2134 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    That weed doco featuring Dakta Green on TV3 a few months back was pretty good, and it had a few surprises in store.

    Even so, the moment reality TV jumps the shark can’t come soon enough. We need someone like the Chasers crew or Jay Pryor to deconstruct the shit out of it. I’m thinking Roman gladiator revivals and live vigilante snuff à la The Running Man, with the shock value of Cannibal Holocaust. Jeux de la Mort came close, but no cigar.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4232 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Graham Dunster,

    Quota doesn't seem to be dumbing down the Oz industry.

    worked better than nothing to get NZ music on commercial radio too.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16605 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    To be fair, that's probably because a large promotion of those of us in the all-important target demographics do want that.

    Yeah, nah. Do we actually get the choice? If you don't have access to Sky or TelstraSky, or one of the few places that Freeview actually show (j/k) then this crap is all you get. It's a self-fulling prophecy - "this crap is what they watch so we'll give them more of this crap".

    Most of the "reality" crap is purchased because it's cheap to make, and therefore (theoretically) cheaper to purchase. It's there to bookend ads, so the programmers don't care if it's any good or not. Most people will watch whatever is put in front of them, and they're encouraged to do so by the hype and bullshit that the channels throw at them about upcoming shows. Even otherwise intelligent people seem to tweet about shit like Project Runway or Masterchef Rotovegas or somesuch, so they must be watching it, god help them.

    We don't, in our house. Telly watching time is tea time - 8:30ish - and none of it is "reality television" and never has been. There's some stuff we'll watch in realtime (Homeland was awesome!) and when there isn't, we'll pick up something we've recorded that was broadcast at an inconvenient time. I do wonder sometimes why we have cable TV and a large screen when we watch so little, but I like to enjoy the stuff I do watch and I can always hook a computer up to the screen when I want to. Mainstream TV is pretty much "bread and circuses" as far as I can see, with sweet FA bread involved.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    On the other side, the chattering classes, said “we need to do more in-depth docos.” But the problem with that is they were so deep they disappeared. No one saw them. It devalued the form. They were earnest, preachy, polemical.

    I've heard one problem is that when you ask people what sort of programmes they want to see on TV, they'll say quality documentaries. But when it comes to what they actually watch, it's different. If you've been having a busy day, you might not feel like watching a serious doco. You might just feel like blobbing out and watching a CSI or a Law and Order.

    I'm really excited about the new GC series, but I also like a good doco. There were a lot of good ones in the NZ Film Festival last year. They're still being made - and these days it's possible to make a really good looking doco on a low budget - but it seems it's harder to get the docos broadcast on the telly.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1855 posts Report Reply

  • Jos, in reply to JacksonP,

    The sound track to Blues for Robin is one of my all time favourite CDs Tom Ludvigson and Greg Johnson. Lovely, haunting.

    Whakatane • Since Jan 2012 • 855 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Jos,

    Are we talking Robin Morrison, Jos?
    I was lucky enough to share time, and a book project, with him- I'd be delighted to be able to buy this CD - cheers!

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Bizarro world....

    For some reason programmers think we just want to watch reality TV shows.

    Ain't it a sad indictment that documentaries aren't considered reality, but contrived schadenfreude-heavy "reality TV' shows are...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4843 posts Report Reply

  • Jos, in reply to Islander,

    Yes Islander, I bought mine at Parson's many years ago, couldn't believe they had it in stock.
    :)

    it says CD MANU 1453

    1993 ODE Record Company

    Whakatane • Since Jan 2012 • 855 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Jos,

    Kia ora Jos - thanks for this- I'll search- cheers n/n Keri

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Jos, in reply to Islander,

    Whakatane • Since Jan 2012 • 855 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Jos,

    Thanks indeed Jos!
    I'm working from a family computer but have emailed the site to myself- cheers!

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Ackroyd, in reply to nzlemming,

    Most people will watch whatever is put in front of them, and they're encouraged to do so by the hype and bullshit that the channels throw at them about upcoming shows. Even otherwise intelligent people seem to tweet about shit like Project Runway or Masterchef Rotovegas or somesuch, so they must be watching it, god help them.

    What a load of condescending rubbish.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 155 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Rees,

    Here in the UK we caught the tail end of an interesting doco about Otago medical students and their cadavers. Couldn't tell if it was NZ or British made. Anyone see it?

    Wales • Since Nov 2006 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Islander,

    Are we talking Robin Morrison, Jos?
    I was lucky enough to share time, and a book project, with him- I’d be delighted to be able to buy this CD – cheers!

    Blues for Robin is for sale on Amplifier, as either a download or a CD.

    Amplifier has been steadily making available the Ode catalogue -- which includes many records that pretty much disappeared on release. This is a good thing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18824 posts Report Reply

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