Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Hope and Wire

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  • Hebe, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I felt that commissioning ‘Chimney Book’ and getting it in front of people was an important thing that was within my power to do. I wish you’d been there for the public screening (along with Stanier Black Five’s sound work) at the Great Blend, Ian. It was powerful. My main memory is Bart Janssen and I holding on to Emma while she basically lost her shit in the dark.

    I have no memory of that. BMT? Or too busy to notice maybe. Will search it out.

    [Now I'm a little regretful about putting up that previous post. It feels like admitting failure -- but it is life being what it is. Essential not to let it overwhelm daily life and to reaffirm my strong sense that there are opportunities here to rework my life that are not available elsewhere. ]

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22763 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Creon Upton,

    Like these dudes maybe:

    That’s great. Real. Would have liked more music.

    Where the hell would you start and make it watchable?

    Following 5-6 people/families and/or organisations for 3-5 years and see what happened? Choosing the right ‘discrete and particular’ is part luck, part experience, but it’s the best way into telling the bigger story.

    Top of the Lake, which has to be one of the strongest contenders … for recipient of the much-sought-after Worst Piece of Over-rated Shit in History award.

    So much to watch/read/see/do so little time :)
    I haven’t seen TotL (not keen on Campion’s work apart maybe from Sweetie and Angel.) Plenty of flaws in Hope and Wire, but I’m betting they won’t include the ice-in-the-heart feeling I get from Campion.
    But while inevitable, it’s tough to compare Hope and Wire with Treme. Simon might just be the best writer/creator of TV series alive. Yet Treme still wandered at times and didn’t always deliver.
    What kept me watching was the music, varied and alive while carrying the weight of tradition- and the way music wove itself into the storylines.
    Plenty of music in Chch but we can hardly compete with New Orleans.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2098 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Hebe,

    I have no memory of that. BMT? Or too busy to notice maybe. Will search it out.

    Possibly before your time, yes. I brought Blair, Emma, David Haywood and Stanier Black Five to Auckland for the Great Blend we staged at the Town Hall concert chamber. I'm just cooking at the moment, but I'll dig out links for the videos and the app that CactusLab made for Blair's "Brickface" font, which was made from bricks retrieved from their fallen chimney.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22763 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Cool. No rush :-)

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Russell Brown,

    A long and thoughtful review of Hope and Wire by Philip Matthews.

    Superb.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Hebe,

    But there’s no way this grind is gripping film (or writing).

    Sad to hear. It sounds bloody nightmarish.
    As drama/documentary? maybe. There's a Kafka-esque story that's heartbreaking and enraging. (And you've described it bloody well, only just touching on the way it can eat you up and suck up weeks and months and leave you more worried and upset. Fingers crossed, I guess, for the least worst outcome.)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2098 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    From Philip Matthews review, this jumped out for me.

    the immediate aftermath of a disaster can promote altruism, even utopianism, which disappears once official or elected authority starts to manage the post-disaster recovery. We saw that in Christchurch in the weeks and months after February 2011 when all the certainties were upset and people got to know each other. It was like a holiday from regular life and despite the horror of the event, it was also a weirdly exciting time.

    When a City Falls caught some of it. If Hope and Wire get's it even half-right, it'll be worthwhile.
    And then the way we settled back into routines, new, often harder. The talking heads on TV were more and more those in 'authority' until the voices of the 'ordinary people' faded to a background murmur.
    We're going to miss the next two screenings- will have to check on how it's gone here. At worst, maybe it's given Chch writers and film-makers a nudge?!

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2098 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Hebe,

    It feels like admitting failure – but it is life being what it is.

    Oh Hebe. What it is is stinky shit. The louder you get that out there, the more you scream, the more likely it is , someone who can help will hear. I hope that's tonight for you. That this Government doesn't give a toss for anyone struggling mentally or financially is not your failure, it is theirs and theirs alone. Bastards.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Take your rage out on those who withdrew the rape crisis centre’s funding.

    and also for Sofie, re:

    this Government doesn’t give a toss for anyone struggling mentally or financially […]. Bastards.

    Apologies in advance if this is too black, but …
    it does take someone as unempathetic as Paula Bennett to hear the phrase “rape crisis centres” and think “Yes! I can do that!"…

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1901 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to linger,

    Linger ,don't get me started on that piece of slime. Words I would use for her would offend too many here.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    FWIW , I have sent a message to Campbell Live. They have responded with interest about updating ChCh and the woes. I hope something comes of it. So, Cantabrians send forth your emails to them , they only want ph nos so they can follow up. give them the heads up they are asking for.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    When I came to live in Chchch just over a decade ago I was struck by how little tolerance there was for the kind of homelessness and beggary that was so apparent on the streets of Sydney. Not any more.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Looking at the comments (I know, I shouldn't have) there's still not much tolerance.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1901 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to linger,

    Looking at the comments (I know, I shouldn’t have) there’s still not much tolerance.

    What I mean is that in the Christchurch of ten years ago, something would have been done about visible homelessness, even if the motivation arose from nothing more noble than a sense of civic tidiness. I'd assumed that once cities reached a certain critical mass then a tolerance developed for people reduced to sleeping rough. It seems I was wrong, as the population hasn't grown significantly in the last decade. Somehow I'm guessing that the new ruthlessness is a different beast from the entrenched toytown snobbery that's always been a feature of this place.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Creon Upton, in reply to TeAtaoTu,

    But for me it’s the politics or at least the lack of political traction; in Wellington last week it became apparent that nobody, esp the journo’s and pollies gets the Anger. The visceral fury of Christchurch citizens.

    Best way to dominate a political struggle? Deny its existence.

    And politics seem to be inevitably polarising, so what I take from a lot of the comments here is the feeling that if this show doesn’t foreground that struggle in a perceptive way, and doesn’t appropriately articulate the experiences you describe, which have defined it – including the ugly and banal ones, like ennui and malaise and voiceless frustration, but also the deeper and more mysterious ones, like a collective loss of place, of terra firma, of a cultural landscape – then that can only mean that, as a political representation, it is part of the whitewash and is speaking in the enemy’s voice (to be slightly malodramatic).

    Christchurch • Since Aug 2007 • 68 posts Report Reply

  • Creon Upton,

    I’m not so convinced by the view that’s been expressed by a few people above that individuals will inevitably be frustrated at not finding their individual experience represented. I feel quite strongly – while acknowledging that I can only speak for myself – that the experience has been primarily a collective one, and that that’s its defining feature – that its collectivity contains within abundant space all the individual stories there are, and that they are known without having to be known.

    I also think it needs to be said that trying to dramatise this thing in this way was and must be an enormous artistic challenge, one in which failure is pretty much guaranteed. So if you like your victories Pyrrhic…

    Christchurch • Since Aug 2007 • 68 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    When Labour get in, we should push to have the Mission and other Centres being acceptable for a postal address for receiving a benefit and advocate to have someone ready to help people get paperwork done for that. There is a campervan in Seattle that has been decked out as a shower for the homeless. It drives around ,parks up and connects to the fire hydrants then anyone can have a shower. I liked the idea and thought it could be implemented here.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Those comments, stopped reading after a few but the cop (once blue, always blue), he would have a fairly good idea of the streets and the empathy in his words were there. Actually surprised me.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Creon Upton, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Blair Parkes’ excellent ‘Chimney Book’ video

    is awesome.

    Christchurch • Since Aug 2007 • 68 posts Report Reply

  • Creon Upton, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    it’s tough to compare Hope and Wire with Treme

    Very.

    Yet Treme still wandered at times and didn’t always deliver.

    I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on this. I thought it was basically flawless.

    What kept me watching was the music, ... - and the way music wove itself into the storylines.

    And how the music was basically a character? And how it was given so much space and time? I loved how Treme was an unabashed celebration of all the stuff that makes life actually worth living, none of which is tv.

    Christchurch • Since Aug 2007 • 68 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Creon Upton,

    I also think it needs to be said that trying to dramatise this thing in this way was and must be an enormous artistic challenge, one in which failure is pretty much guaranteed. So if you like your victories Pyrrhic…

    That’s pretty much why I’m looking for cinematic qualities to place my judgement on.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4356 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    I was thinking about whether fiction or non-fiction tells our story better (I believe we need a hefty helping of both) and I recalled that one of my childrens' first reactions to the earthquakes was to wish to see an episode of Dr Who set around our quakes. Their instinct, which I think reflects the very core of what sets us apart as human, was to use story to make sense of what was happening around them.

    Do I think Hope and Wire is flawless? Not by a long shot but I do think it has some merit. The characters may be drawn with broad strokes but I do want to find out where the story takes them. My experience was that the earthquake did expose some secrets (not in my relationship but in some organisations I was involved with) and I'm hoping that future episodes explore that in more depth.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 719 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    Hebe, I'm really sorry about your situation. So many Chch people are dealing with worse stress now than during the quakes, and with no energy or emotional stability left.
    It's (relatively) easy for those outside Chch to empathise with our fear and distress from a natural disaster. So much harder to explain the exhaustion and despair after years of battling, and the impossibility of "moving on" with no money and a damaged house.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3890 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Lilith __,

    It’s (relatively) easy for those outside Chch to empathise with our fear and distress from a natural disaster.

    Actually it's not Lilith. What you got is people like me that are furious with the way you have been treated, with donations held for recovery going to pet projects, with having ourselves experienced trauma in one way or another, with having empathy for all the pile of shit that is suffocating you. It's not easy. I've just had a kid I know in psychiatric help because she wanted to die and failed. I've had a kid I know who wanted to succeed in leaving this planet on Friday and she succeeded. I've got a bunch of kids I know dealing with that and I'm seeing a pattern with these kids emotions. None of it is easy for us on the outside . We are all in this together. We all feel your pain in different ways. We understand that you have been treated appallingly. We ,here , are getting a sense of how one woman has tried to convey her feelings and she is being taken to the cleaners because she isn't from Chch. She has made an effort to help, in her way. Nothing bad about that. It's personal and different for every New Zealand citizen. It's our Country that has sunk into the centre of Earth. We all live here. 6 degrees of separation anat.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

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