Episode 30: Savage Islands (1983)

May 18, 2017

Racism ho! Ever the gluttons for punishment, Hayden and L.J. sit down to watch big-budget pirate epic Savage Islands, an attempt to turn the story of real-life slaver and rapist Bully Hayes into an Indiana Jones-style adventure romp. What could possibly go wrong?


Episode 29: Strata (1983)

May 4, 2017

High on a volcanic plateau, a writer is interviewing a volcanologist in order to write a biography. In the valley below, a mis-matched group of travellers (recently escaped from quarantine) attempt to reach civilisation. These are the two strands that intertwine to make Strata, Geoff Steven's 1983 follow-up to Skin Deep. A bold attempt to emulate some of the qualities of Eastern European cinema, will Strata turn out to be as much of a hidden gem as Steven's earlier work?


Episode 28: Patu! (1983)\Bastion Point: Day 507 (1980)

April 20, 2017

The 1981 Springbok rugby tour is one of the defining moments of recent New Zealand history, and Merata Mita's Patu!, a document of the anti-tour protests, is a crucial snapshot of that moment. Hayden and L.J. look back at one of the great New Zealand documentaries and discuss technique, impact, and controversy. And to make it a Merata Mita double-feature they also watch Bastion Point: Day 507, an early short she co-directed with Gerd Pohlmann and Leon Narbey about the forced eviction of occupying protesters at Bastion Point in Auckland.


Episode 27: War Years (1983)

April 6, 2017

As an excuse to talk a bit more about the National Film Unit, Hayden and L.J. take a look at War Years - a 1983 documentary composed almost exclusively of NFU newsreel footage.


Episode 26: Utu (1983) - Part 2

March 23, 2017

We wrap up our discussion of Geoff Murphy's Utu this week by taking a look at the historical incidents that inspired the film, as well as exploring the production process, and breaking down the differences between the three different cuts.


Episode 25: Utu (1983) - Part 1

March 9, 2017

In our longest episode yet, we lovingly pull apart Geoff Murphy's 1983 kiwi western Utu - discussing the film's odd tonal shifts, arguing over performances, picking apart its politics, and pondering how so many messy parts could create a cohesive whole.


Quick Thoughts: Pork Pie

March 3, 2017

Since we laid out our hopes and expectations for the Goodbye Pork Pie remake back in our episode about that film, we thought we'd quickly check in to share our thoughts on how Pork Pie turned out. Is it a satisfying update for our modern age? Spoiler alert: no.


Episode 24: The Governor (Part 3)

February 23, 2017

Our look at the 1977 mini-series The Governor comes to an end as Hayden and L.J. discuss the production of the show, the budget controversy and ensuing enquiry, and what the TV landscape looked like at the time, as well as the show's lasting importance and the logistical problems preventing it from being commercially screened or released.


Episode 23: The Governor (Part 2)

February 9, 2017

Our coverage of the 1977 TV epic The Governor continues with a detailed discussion of the final three episodes: 'He Iwi Ko Tahi Tatou', 'The Lame Seagull', and 'To The Death'.


Episode 22: The Governor (Part 1)

January 26, 2017

As preperation for our upcoming look at Utu, we ring in 2017 by dissecting the (in)famous TV mini-series The Governor. A sprawling historical drama covering over half a century, The Governor explores the life and career of Sir George Grey - twice Governor and 11th Premier of New Zealand, and arguably the most influential figure in the country's early colonial years. Split into six self-contained feature-length parts, the series explores Grey's legacy and personality by examining the impact he has on the lives of others. This week we discuss the first three episodes: 'The Reverend Traitor', 'No Way To Treat A Lady', and 'The Mutinous Lieutenant'.