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12:15  The National Film Unit

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.

Mauriora concert party NFU film circa 1963

Mauriora concert party NFU film circa 1963 Photo: Hugh McDonald

Tiffany Singh

Tiffany Singh Photo: supplied

12:47 Artist Tiffany Singh

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.

1:10 At The Movies

This week - Star Trek beyond, Jake Gyllenhaal in Demolition and an interview with Grimur Hakonarson, director the Iceland comedy-drama Rams, which pick up a major award at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.

1:34  If it worked once, why can't it work again?

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?"

1:48  Walker Evans - the Magazine Photographer

David Campany

David Campany Photo: supplied

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.

Stephen Bain and Nisha Madhan

Stephen Bain and Nisha Madhan Photo: supplied

2:06 The Laugh Track - Nisha Madhan and Stephen Bain

Theatremakers Nisha Madhan and Stephen Bain choose clips from Ali G, Black Books, Seinfeld - and Donald Trump!

2:25 Commedia dell'Arte comes to Aotearoa

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.


2:40 Fiona Kidman's new novel

Dame Fiona Kidman

Dame Fiona Kidman Photo: Dame Fiona Kidman

All Day At The Movies

All Day At The Movies Photo: All Day At The Movies

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.


Nicola Hyland

Nicola Hyland Photo: Robert Cross

2:49 Beyonce, a Haka and a Viral Video

Beyonce's response to a spontaneous haka performed backstage during the singer's 2013 New Zealand tour, was an online sensation - not entirely in a good way. Beyonce posted a video of the spontaneous haka online...and her spontaneous reaction which included putting her tongue out and slapping her thighs. While those involved in the haka seemed delighted with her excitement, online comments were often vicious. Now an essay about the response to Beyone's response, if you get our drift, has won Nicola Hyland  - who's a Lecturer in Theatre in Victoria's School of English, Film, Theatre and Media Studies - an international prize. Nicola takes Lynn Freeman back to that night in October 2013.

3:06 Drama at 3

Sci-fi serial Wulfsyarn, and a dose of Kiwi Noir.