Navigation for Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan

Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan for Friday 20 December 2013

1:10 Best Song Ever Written - Ian McNab of Feilding selected 'Shosholoza' sung by Drakensberg Boys Choir.

1:25 One of our great bands, The Exponents on New Zealand Live - Jordan Luck and the other originals back together again for a summer winery tour.

2:10  A Century of Crosswords - Simon Shuker - 100 years ago tomorrow, the very first crossword puzzle appeared in the New York World Newspaper. It was created by British journalist  Arthur Wynne who wanted to do  something different in the games section of the Sunday edition. The printers accidently reveresed the name of the puzzle and called it Word Cross.. but the idea caught on.
The Shuker family has been creating crosswords for New Zealand publications like the Listener, the NZ Herald and the Dom Post since the 1980's. Alan Shuker started the family business and now his son Simon is involved. He often does the more challenging Code Cracker version of the crossword.

2:20 A Letter A Day - Bron Claridge -  Putting words to paper in the form of a letter or a postcard is a dying art and Bron Claridge from Oamaru is undertaking a grand experiment to change that. Every day for the next year, she plans to send a letter, postcard or parcel.  Sometimes she sends notes to people she knows, and sometimes she doesn't. The response so far has been good.

2:25  Moa - Justin Gregory - Episode three of Moa, an adaptation of Quinn Berentson's award winning book about New Zealand's famous giant bird.
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BOOK: Moa: The life and death of New Zealand's legendary bird by Quinn Berentson Pub: Craig Potton Publishing  (1 Nov  2012) ISBN-978-1877517846 [Winner of the 2013 New Zealand Post Best First Book Non Fiction; Winner of the 2013 Royal Society of New Zealand Science Book Prize]

2:35 Reading - Today a story from Lynne Judge-Tocker called "MARAE" and read by Romy Hooper.
An English woman's first introduction to her husband's whanau, is at the tangi of his younger brother.
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Ethereal Journeys 5 ATMOS-CD186© Atmosphere Music Ltd. Tk4 Flowercave by Mark Hawkins.

2:50 Feature album -  Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) - David Bowie (1980)

3:10 One Stop Shop -

Fresh Fast Food - Julie Biuso
Grilled Vegetable Salad with Mint and Pomegranate

Weekend Wine - Belinda Jackson

The festive fizz that's cheaper (and often nicer) than Champagne
Belinda's wine selections
Anything sparkling! From sweet and inexpensive Moscatos to dry Cava from Spain or Prosecco from Italy - all these offer great value. New Zealand Methode Traditionelle is a great choice - some of the best include Nautilus Cuvee Marlborough, No.1 Family Estate, Hunter's Miru Miru and Deutz. I also tried and enjoyed the Akarua Methode Traditionnelles the ther day - a white and a very pale pink. If you like Sauvignon Blanc, try a sparkling version.
Think Pinot Noir or Grenache with your ham and turkey - or my old favourite, sparkling Shiraz. If you want something juicy and ripe - go Grenache - counters the dryness of turkey, often great value too.
A drop of rose wouldn't go amiss here either - my fave at the moment is an Italian one, but there are some lovely New Zealand roses out there.

Sarah McMullan's Movie Awards
The 5 Best Films of 2013:
#5:     Kon Tiki - The gloriously shot, true story of Thor Heyerdahl in & his expedition from Peru to Tahiti on the Kon Tiki raft.         
Available on DVD /  Transmission
#4:    The Hunt - Mass hysteria grips a small Danish town when a popular teacher is falsely accused of sexual assault by a child. MAds Mikkelsen is hands down my actor of the year for his role in this.    
Available on DVD / Madman
#3:    Stoker - American gothic is reinvented and totally mastered by Chan-wook Park in his first English feature about a family full of dark dark secrets that just won't stay buried, no matter how hard you try.
Available on DVD & Blu Ray /  20th Century Fox
#2:    Broken Circle Breakdown - A Belgian film that played as part of the NZIFF, this stole my heart with it's mix of bluegrass music and heartbreakingly sweet story of a couple of very lost individuals who found each other through music, flourish in their love and then are devastated by the same thing when their daughter becomes ill.  
Soundtrack available in NZ
#1:     Gravity - From that 11minute long one shot incredibly intense opening sequence through to more intense sequences, the emotional watershed moments, and an ending that had an entire cinema on the edge of their seats nervously chewing lips, shredding cups and almost keening in fear. This film redefines the concept of a space film; it proves that action can be both intelligent and emotional; that a female protagonist can be just as effective as a male and that you don't need a big cast or a large script to fill a void. The most exciting film of the year  - hands down for so many reasons.                                   
In cinemas now / Roadshow
The 5 Best NZ Films of 2013:
#5:     Utu Redux: A must see for every Kiwi - this is the film the director wanted people to see.
#4:    Antarctica: A Year on Ice: Shot over 15 years including 9 winters in Antarctica, this is not only visually spectacular, it's an incredibly human story about those who live their lives on the ice. Mesmerising.
#3:    Mr Pip:  Hugh Laurie & Xzannjah picked up best actor and best actress at the NZ Film awards for their roles in this and they totally deserve it - their chemistry is amazing and they completely bring this film with it's mix of magical realism and the surrealist horrors of war to life. Visually vibrant, this sometimes brutal film does the book justice.
#2:    The Weight of Elephants: Small town NZ struggles with the disappearance of 3 children at the same time as a small boy struggles with a disintegrating family life and the struggles of taking a stand against the majority knowing that being on the outside is a cold and lonely place. Gorgeously shot in a shimmeringly, slightly nostalgic way, this takes you right back to how a way of growing up that seems to have become lost. Outstanding child performances.
#1:     Shopping - NZ 1981 is perfectly captured through the eyes of 2 brothers, part Samoan in a predominantly white small town, life is predictable and boring. Until some new arrivals liven things up and new opportunities suddenly present themselves. But all choices have consequences, and some you can never come back from. Winner of Best Film,Best Director & Best Screenplay amongst others at this years NZ Film Awards.
Available on DVD / Madman

The 5 Best Documentaries of 2013:
#5:     First Position  - A behind the scenes look at the world of elite ballet students - boys and girls, 8 - 16. Utterly fascinating, even for non-dancers.                    Available on DVD /  Hopscotch (Trigger)

#4:    Antarctica: A Year on Ice - (NZ) Shot over 15 years including 9 winters in Antarctica, this is not only visually spectacular, it's an incredibly human story about those who live their lives on the ice. Mesmerising.

#3:    20 Feet from Stardom - The history of the doo wop girl from the 1950's to today. What makes a good backup singer is quite different from what makes a solo star. Incredible voices, incredible women, incredible stories.                               Available on DVD /  Madman

#2:    The Act of Killing -  Genocide explained by those responsible. It's a sobering thought and it's a difficult film and it's a must watch. From national heroes who think they have done no wrong to a dawning realisation of what they've done, it will be worth watching this on DVD where you can stop, take a break where you need to then carry on. Incredible, daring film making.      Available on DVD in  Feb 2014 /  Madman
#1:     Blackfish - What happens to an Orca when it's taken from the ocean and kept in a concrete tank? What happens when it snaps? Is it reasonable to expect humans to interact with these huge animals in small confined spaces and expect the animals to act like domestic pets because we train and punish them like cats and dogs? Seaworld says yes. Blackfish the documentary suggests otherwise. Rivetting, life changing and the reason you'll probably never visit a marine park with Orca ever again.
In cinema in Auckland mid Jan 2014 / Available on DVD March 2014 / Madman   

The Very Best Kids' Films of 2013:
#5:     Monsters University - The story of Sully & Mike and how they became best friends.                 Available on DVD & Blu Ray / Disney

#4:    Turbo - A little garden snail who dreamed of the Indie 500.  Fox
#3:    Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 - Sentient Food!
Sony Pictures
#2:    Despicable Me 2 - Now with added minions!
Available on DVD & Blu Ray / Universal (Paramount)
#1:     Paranorman - A horror movie obsessed little boy is the only one who can save the town from an evil curse. Hilarious for all ages.
Available on DVD & Blu Ray / Universal (Paramount)

The 5 Films of 2013 that were so bad they made me want to break things and harm myself & others:

#5:     The Lone Ranger - Boring, racist, and the most half assed performance from Johnny Depp since the last Pirates of the Caribbean.
#4:    Fast & Furious 6. Fast cars do not make up for near zero storyline, near zero acting ability and zero respect for physics.
#3:    About Time - Time travel meets Love Actually without any charm whatsoever and a plot with holes big enough that you could drive warships through. Yet again Rachel Adams relegated to stand by female cypher - this time with awful accent and Mum hair. Less poor mans Time Traveller's Wife more Half Wits Brain Injury Nightmare.
#2:    After Earth - M Night Shyamalan expected to save a terrible plot created by Will Smith in which Will and son Jaden starred. Unfortunately Will got stuck in a terrible script and Jaden was out-acted by a forest which was slightly less wooden.
#1:     Jobs - Ashton Kutcher - make it stop.

The 5 Films of 2013 that were so bad that they made me laugh AT them, in all the wrong the places in a last ditch attempt to tell myself I didn't just waste $17 and 2 hours of my life:

#5:     Runner Runner - Please stop giving Justin Timberlake movie roles that do not involve him singing and dancing. Thank you.
#4:    Pain and Gain - Michael Bay - make him stop.
#3:    A Good Day to Die Hard - It wasn't a good day for Die Hard or anyone else involved in this franchise.
#2:    The Immortal Instruments:City of Bone - aka - a mishmash of every horror cliche ever with a terrible script and a so called strong teen female protagonist who somehow shows her strength by dressing in skin tight leather and lace like a streetwalker. Hilariously awful. Another example of why fanfiction can be an abomination from God.
#1:     Diana - Naomi Watts shame. Appalling script. A bigger car crash than the car crash

TV Picks:
Sunday - TV2 - 7pm: The Muppets & Lady GaGa

Boxing Day Movies:
* The Secret Life of Walter Mitty - 4.5 stars - delightful - want to see again. Family friendly.
* The Wolf of Wall Street - 4 stars - drug & money fuelled romp with a dark undertone
* Philomena - 4 stars - serious, heart wrencher
* Frozen - Kids

4:06  Duncan Webb and Joe Bennett are on The Panel today: Judges' pay, Len Brown, Christmas carols - the words we sing we take for granted but what do some of them mean? Motorbikes; all our talk has been directed towards cars really with the new reduced speed limits, families on holiday etc, but what about the risks to  motorcyclists with the incident on the Rimutaka Hill Road? And seeing as its Friday, the things - says Forbes magazine - that highly successful people do that make them highly successful.