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12:15 Mrs. Elizabeth Pinfold - Update

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There's been an intriguing development on the story we ran a couple of weeks ago about Mrs Elizabeth PinfoldWe'll have more information just after the midday news.




12:20 BANG! The Bert Berns Story 

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Bert Berns like so many New York songwriters of the great American songbook came from Russian-Jewish stock. His father was even a New York tailor - but after that, everything changes.  For a start, just about all his songs were black R&B with a Cuban feel.  He wrote some of the saddest, most heartfelt songs; Piece of My Heart, Cry Baby and Here Comes The Night, and some of the most raucous; Hang on Sloopy and Twist and Shout.  His best friends were gangsters and his career barely lasted 10 years but Keith Richards is on record saying that he was one of the greatest songwriters that ever lived.

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Bert Berns' story is told in an explosive documentary called Bang! The Bert Berns Story, directed by his son Brett Berns which is screening in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin as part of the New Zealand International Film Festival.

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12:30 Just One Thing

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On an overcast Auckland day actor, director, and now, writer Miriama McDowell sits barefoot on her father’s front porch with her legs tucked up beneath her. She’s grinning from ear-to-ear, excited to launch into a story about a chair. Yes, that’s right a chair. It’s unexpected as far as precious objects are concerned, and Miriama shares her story with Sonia Sly in the latest episode of podcast series, Just One Thing

1:45 Taking a shot - Guns as Art

We're bombarded with images of handguns - in news reports and in cop shows and films.

But what about walking into an art gallery and seeing large format, high definition photographs of guns.

Expat photographer Jono Rotman, who's previous exhibition here was a controversial series of Mongrel Mob portraits, is now turning his attention to another uncomfortable aspect of our lives.

What he couldn't have anticipated is his New Zealand exhibition opening just after the recent fatal shootings in Whangarei and the arsenal of guns uncovered during the police investigation.

Since 2005 Jono's been living in the United States where gun ownership is a right and shooting deaths are endemic.

Jono sees guns as both seductive, chilling and even beautiful for all their ability to injure and kill.

1:10 At The Movies

Dan Slevin is sitting in for a few weeks while Simon Morris has a mid-winter break.

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This week, Dan eschews the cinema for his couch at home where he watched three feature films exclusive to Netflix:

War Machine is a political and military satire produced by, and starring, Brad Pitt.

I Don't Feel At Home in This World Anymore stars Melanie Lynskey as a depressed nurse aid who discovers the excitement of being a vigilante.

And Okja is the first and probably last Netflix film to be in competition at Cannes.

1:30 A Lifetime of Inspiration

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One person can make a difference.

Hutt Valley High School Music teacher Gary Wilby is a case in point.

He's been inspiring students in the Hutt Valley since 1977.

And today that dedication to his students and to music is recognised with the presentation of the Marie Vandeward Memorial Award, at the NZCT Chamber Music Contest in Wellington.


1:45  New Writing from Fiona Farrell

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Author Fiona Farrell encapsulates our nation's contemporary history in her novel Decline and Fall on Savage Street - and within that novel, a street and a house.

If that's not clever enough, the novel is a companion to her non fiction book The Villa at the Edge of the Empire.

Both books published by Vintage.

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2:06 The Laugh Track - Gareth Ward A.K.A. The Great Wardini

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Gareth Ward, a.k.a. The Great Wardini is a magician, hypnotist, storyteller, bookseller and author. He has worked as a Royal Marine Commando, Police Officer, Evil Magician and Zombie. He basically likes jobs where you get to wear really cool hats!

The Storylines event Books, Magic & Literary Stars is a free event for adults and young adults, Friday 18th August at Rydges Hotel, Auckland.







2:22  Guy Frederick - postcards to Antarctica

Photo-journalist Guy Frederick had an unusual request make of scientists and staff at Scott Base; if you could write a postcard to Antarctica, what would you say? Their thoughts are included in an exhibition of Guy's own impressions of the continent about to go on show at Canterbury Museum. Before working on this project he did something similar as part of his Masters in Science communication, asking scientists to write letters to Antarctica. Guy Frederick went there in December last year to see first hand how the landscape impacts on the lives of the people who spend time there.



2:25 Discovering Fletcher

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The Mutiny on the Bounty, where Christian Fletcher offloaded Captain William Bligh and most of his supporters before ending up on Pitcairn Island, has been immortalised in print and on screen many times.

But have we ever really had a full picture of Fletcher the man and his motives, beyond the drama.

Auckland Novellist Graeme Lay, off the back of his fictionalised while factual account of Captain James Cook's life on land and at sea, has turned his attention to Christian Fletcher







2:40 Caging Skies

Turning a novel into a script is tricky -there have been some spectacular failures on screen and on stage.

But the team behind a stage version of Christine Leunans' Second World War novel Caging Skies is confident they've made it work. So's the author.

Lynn Freeman speaks to the writer of the stage play Desiree Gezentsvey and to Christine Leunans.

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Desiree Gezentsvey

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3:06 Drama at 3 - Cross Connection

Our drama today is by Auckland based writer Shirley Eliott. The play, 'Cross Connection', started life in a writer's workshop in Turkey, and was later commissioned to develop further by RNZ.

It uses language that at times, some people might find  offensive.  Listener discretion is advised.