Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Dame Fiona Kidman has written a family epic that also covers this country's history during a time of huge change. In All Day At The Movies, a young widow comes to Motueka with her little girl to start a new life in the early 1950s, leaving life as a librarian to work on the tobacco fields. Nothing goes according to plan, and decisions she makes will have profound conseqences for all her children throughout their lives. Lynn Freeman talks to Dame Fiona, and Liz Banas reads from the novel. Jul 31, 2016 02:40 pm
If you were to come up with half a dozen Kiwi stereotypes, what would they be? A group of Auckland actors have spent the past couple of years thinking about this and creating masks to represent them on stage. They describe their new work, Leilani, as 'aotearoa del arte'. Commedia Dell'Arte is a form of masked theatre that pokes fun at authority figures and stereotypes using stock characters like Pantalone and Zanni. In the Mahuika Theatre Company production at Auckland's Q Theatre, the stock characters range from a greedy corporate businessman to a crafty K Road streetworker. Lynn Freeman talks to the play's director, Pedro Ilgenfritz, and to actor Irasa Siave about the origins of Comeedia dell'Arte. Jul 31, 2016 02:25 pm
American Walker Evans is a name you'll find in most histories of photography as both important and influential figure from the 1920s to the 70s. He produced images for magazines and art galleries, with a particular interest in photographing the everyday, from tips, graffiti, and shop window displays to postcards. The photo essays he produced for magazines had been rather overlooked until British writer, curator, artist and historian Dr David Campany started his own research into the photographer and his work. David's written a book, and curated an exhibition Walker Evans: The Magazine Work that's just opened in Wellington's Adam Art Gallery. Lynn Freeman talks to David about Walker Evans, and his own early experiences behind a camera. Jul 31, 2016 01:48 pm
If there was one film - you'd think - that never needed to be remade, it's the famous Oscar-winning epic Ben Hur from 1959. But it's back, in a year that's seen cover-versions of other famous films swamp the cinemas - The Jungle Book, Cinderella, a new Magnificent Seven. The most controversial was the new Ghostbusters... So why do it? Have any cover versions of a classic movie been any good? Very few of them seem to have the impact of the original hits. Simon Morris and Lynn Freeman invite Dan Slevin and Megan Whelan to answer the thorny subject - "Remakes - is there any excuse?" Jul 31, 2016 01:34 pm
Tiffany Singh is creating an installation about the plight of refugees in New Zealand - and like the refugees whose stories she'll be sharing, she needs help. Tiffany works a lot with communities to produce public artworks, using materials like prayer flags. This time, it's boats. Over the next few months, we plan to follow Tiffany as she creates her large-scale work for Waiheke Island's Sculpture On The Gulf event in February next year. Lynn Freeman talks to Tiffany and to one of her collaborators, Abann Yor from Auckland Refugee Coalition. Jul 31, 2016 12:48 pm
The National Film Unit closed down in 1990, leaving us hundreds of documentaries, films and TV dramas, tourism promos and newsreels covering wars and sporting events through to very personal stories. It was also a training ground for many big players in our film and TV industries, including actor Sam Neil and directors John Laing, Sam Pillsbury and Hugh Macdonald and cameramen like Lynton Diggle and Brian Brake. NZ On Screen has launched a collection to mark the 75th anniversary of the National Film Unit and its rich and diverse collection. It includes the unit's well known series Weekly Review, Pictorial Parade and New Zealand Mirror, as well as its first film, the 1941 wartime morale booster Country Lads, Snows of Aorangi by Brian Brake - the first NFU film to be nominated for an Academy Award - through to footage of chimps on bikes as part of a government road safety message. In the first of a two-part RNZ documentary about the National Film Unit's history and legacy, Lynn Freeman talks to film historians Simon Sigley and Dr Roger Horrocks: Archives New Zealand also has an online collection of NFU productions, while Nga Taonga Sound and Vision is home to interviews with many NFU personnel. Thanks also to Te Ara on-line Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Jul 31, 2016 12:14 pm