Hard News by Russell Brown

62

Beautiful Images

Having taken the boys along to the preview of James Cameron’s would-be 3D Christmas blockbuster Avatar, I can see why the likes of Cameron, Jackson and Lucas are excited about the new technology on which it is based. The images on screen were often strikingly beautiful, and the technology offers an extraordinarily rich new palette for cinematic painters.

Cameron is presently having his catalogue “dimensionalised” and Jackson is nagging Warner to do the same for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It will be interesting to see how the converted films look in comparison to the dedicated works like this one. The hold-up is the cinema hardware – both expensive digital projectors and the necessary screens (literally silver screens).

Although people are already talking about home 3D imaging being the next frontier for the lounge, it seems likely that for some years yet 3D will be the preserve of the cinema. Offering big-ticket cinema as a location-based spectacle certainly seems a better way to deter piracy than bringing down the law on file-sharers.

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Congratulations are due all round, I think, for the debut of 7 Days on Friday. When we looked at the local comedy scene on Media7 this year, one of the conclusions was that we could do with a panel show. On British TV, there are almost too many of these (I’m particularly enjoying Charlie Brooker’s new one, You have Been Watching), but they’re a good way of identifying and developing comic talent.

7 Days has its roots in Off the Wire, the comedy news quiz for radio where the producers, the Down Low Concept, cut their teeth. There have been bids to get the format to TV before, but the Down Low lads lost out for funding to Out of the Question, a deeply unfunny show for Prime, produced by Touchdown and featuring Holmes and Hosking. (And I say “deeply unfunny” as someone who wrote for it.)

7 Days was funny. It helped that, unlike Off the Wire in its Radio NZ incarnation, it clearly doesn’t have a bunch of cardigan-wearing internal censors hovering over it. And given that the hardest show in these formats is always the first one, I trust it’ll get funnier yet.

You can watch it here.

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When Chris Knox suffered his stroke this year, he had completed just enough shooting on the new series of New Artland for producer Gemma Gracewood to artfully juggle things around and make a season of it. That season launches on Thursday evening at the Montecristo Room in Nelson St, with a party that doubles as a fundraiser.

There will be a live art auction and a silent auction whose proceeds will go 100% to The Stroke Foundation of New Zealand to support art therapy and other stroke rehabilitation services.

TVNZ 7 is covering the hard costs of the event (food, entertainment, labour and so on) and the venue and PA hire, alcoholic beverages and the services of the MCs for the evening, the performers (SJD, Kingsland Vinyl Appreciation Society and the Korean group Mandang Hannuri) and the auctioneer have been donated.

You can see most of the lots (including a Karl Maughan, a Ronnie van Hout and a Reuben Paterson) here at the Webb’s auction website, but there will be a few more on the night, including some rock ‘n’ roll taonga. The MCs will be Gemma and myself.

It’s invitation-only only, but I have three double passes for Public Address readers (especially those who think they might be bidders). Hit “Reply” and email me with New Artland in the subject line, and I’ll work out who gets them.

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