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12:15 Long time Film Festival director Bill Gosden dies

Film lovers - not just here but around the world - were shocked and saddened by the news of the death of Bill Gosden yesterday.

Bill was the long-time director of the New Zealand International Film Festival, which may or may not have been the biggest of its kind, but in many people's opinion was certainly one of the best.

Under Bill's impeccable leadership it was the Festival of Festivals, gathering the best films from every other festival in the world.

Bill always handed the credit for the Festival to his tireless and loyal workers.  But the secret of its success was Bill himself - his taste, his tireless energy, his peerless schmoozing skills and his amazing knack of being able to sum up every film in one or two pithy sentences.

Every year on this show Bill and Simon Morris would attempt to cover a hundred films in half an hour.   Simon would throw a title at Bill, he'd talk about it - no notes, no hesitation, whether it was an obscure Slovenian art-film, or a revived Hollywood classic.
To remember Bill Gosden, Simon talks with two people who knew him better than most - film-maker and long-time friend of Bill's Dame Gaylene Preston... and the man who Bill brought in from the cold - curator of the Incredibly Strange section of the Festival, film-maker Ant Timpson.

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Bill Gosden Photo: Supplied by Rebecca McMillan


12:30 Bill Manhire wows with his new collection

A new collection of Bill Manhire poems is undoubtedly an event.  Even if our first Poet Laureate includes a very backhanded compliment on the cover: "Being the leading poet in New Zealand is like being the best DJ in Estonia!"

Bill's new collection has a musical connection too.  Borrowing from a Kate Bush title, it's called Wow, and it's full of gems and, Bill says, several desperate jokes.

Wow is published by Victoria University Press.

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Photo: Ebony Lamb Photography

12:45 Landmarks: a journey into Otago in 2020

Writer Owen Marshall, artist Grahame Sydney and poet Brian Turner  have combined forces to produce a colourful and golden book called Landmarks. It's an ode to Central Otago and the people who live in it. It's a spiritual sequel to the collaboration the three friends made in 1995, titled Timeless Land, and they've returned to find that maybe time does play a role. 

1:10 At The Movies

Simon Morris explains his reservations about rock biopics, and looks at the latest example, as well as a war drama set in Denmark for a change, and the latest outing of a classic Gothic tale. 

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Photo: Press photo

1:33 Nicolas Dillon: bird watching with watercolours 

Many of New Zealand's endemic birds may not fly well if at all, but they're still a challenge for artists wanting to sketch them in the wild. The nocturnal species pose an extra degree of difficulty for artists wanting to sketch en plein air.

Nicolas Dillon knows that feeling well. He's out in the snow and the sun, in hard to get to places all to observe and draw and paint the birds he loves. He lives on the Wairau Plains near Blenheim,  not far from where he grew up. The watercolourist has just published a book called Drawn to the Wild - Paintings of New Zealand birds.

It's published by Potton & Burton and is out now. 

1:50 Basement Theatre looks for new heart 

Auckland's Basement Theatre has long been an important part of the city's theatre scene, not least for promoting New Zealand material and encouraging exciting young talent.  Now Executive Director Elise Sterback is about to step down after seven incredible years driving the Basement.  Seven years of highs and lows, including the last challenging year trying to maintain theatre during a pandemic.

Time to look back, maybe and to look forward too.  Elise is about to be part of a unique recruitment process to pick a successor, along with a group called, not headhunters, but "hearthunters". 

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Photo: Elise Sterback

2:06 The Laugh Track - Raybon Kan 

This week for the laugh track Robert Kelly is joined by Raybon Kan. Raybon has been in the business of live standup comedy since the 1990s and while 2020 has been a difficult year for live performance, he's back at it with a vengeance. 

His new show Kan Touch This is on in Auckland at the Fhloston Paradise this week, and at Wellington's Cavern Club the week after. 

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Photo: Raybon Kan

3:06 Drama at 3 - The Train Set 

In today's Classic drama we continue our look at plays by Joe Musaphia. The Train Set  is based on an actual incident related to the writer by a Jewish friend who, like the family in the story, was forced to leave Nazi Germany in the late 1930's.