Talk talk (and watch)

The Film Archive is mixing things up a little for the next three weeks. 

On three consecutive Thursdays (starting this week) speakers from the Education team and one special guest will talk alongside rare and interesting footage from the collections.

The series is called Talk/Show (just to make it obvious) and it’s a nice departure from the usual screening programme. 

First up is a session on Wellington and its unique geography and settlement. Some great footage in here including documentary extracts, early silent footage, government and unofficial sources and early home movies.

Will be a fascinating and informative look at this rainy, windy, steep place we choose to call home! 


Brazil – da da da, da, da, da, da, daaaaaa

This classic film is screening on 35mm on the big screen at the Film Archive every night this week at 7pm.


Terry Gilliam’s brilliant "Nineteen eighty-four for 1984" is beloved by film buffs around the globe for obvious reasons, and yes, it’s in the Film Archive’s extensive collection.

If you haven’t seen it you must. And if you have seen it you’ll know why you should go and see it again.


Land of the Long White Cloud

"The brain is a multi-faceted thing that thinks about all sorts of things, mostly bullshit. Whereas a fish doesn’t. A fish only thinks about eating, reproduction, and staying alive. A bit like the kiwi male, probably….” local fisherman Neil Moody.

Florian Habicht’s latest documentary Land of the Long White Cloud is full of fishing and philosophy and definitely worth a peek. Currently screening at the Film Archive for three weeks it’s a look into the hearts and minds of fishermen and women, as they compete for $50,000 in the 90 Mile Beach ‘Snapper Classic’ – the world’s largest snapper fishing contest. 

"Must be seen" – National Radio
"An injection of Awesome" – 95BFM

Wednesday to Saturday nights at 7pm until 27 February 
at the Film Archive cinema, corner of Taranaki and Ghuznee Sts.

Tickets: $14 adult, $12 concession, $10 seniors, $9 children


The Verlaines and the VBC!

Woo hoo – this is going to be a big one.

Presales are available now for The Verlaines – live in Wellington at SFBH on Wednesday December 9 (which just happens to be my birthday – thanks guys!)

Having just released a new album ‘Corporate Moronic’, don’t miss the chance to witness one of the great Flying Nun bands, who haven’t played here for ages!

It’s also the VBC Christmas party!  

Presales $20, available now from Real Groovy, Under the Radar + the VBC.


Under the Southern Cross

A safe place to avoid all the ghouls and zombies this Saturday night will be the Film Archive cinema.

A brilliant silent feature film from the 1920s – Under the Southern Cross – is screening with live musical accompaniment by Warren Maxwell, Maaka McGregor and Himiona Grace.  

This "Maori folk drama" made by Universal Studios in 1929, features an epic love triangle, cave scenes shot on Waitomo and White Islands, a fiery volcano and ‘A Contest of Spears’. It’s also worth coming to see for the intertitles alone.  

"Neither tribal custom, danger nor the sacred ban of "tapu" could covercome the strength of his love" 

Limited seats available. Tickets: $10

Bring your speedos

Tomorrow night at the St Catherine’s College Hall in Kilbirnie, the WCC is holding a public meeting to gauge community opinion on the fate of the Maranui Surf Lifesaving Club and the adjacent three waterfront buildings, and to discuss the options.

The Maranui club house is a listed heritage building, damaged by fire on 1 August. 

A call has been put out (see today’s Capital Times article) for Wellington’s creative types to come and show their support and with people being encouraged to come along in their speedos it’s going to be an entertaining night! 

Who says public meetings can’t be fun!? 

If you’re out of town, you can sign the online petition here to restore the building to its former glory. 

13 artists getting a little freaky on it!

Tomorrow eve, come to the Film Archive and witness the unveiling of The Blue Room, a group show including (lucky number) 13 artists who were asked to respond ‘in a psychic way’ to an idea, site or place. Some of the results are quite startling.

Curated by Pippa Sanderson the show features Wellingtonians Bek Pilcher, Johanna Sanders and Pippa Sanderson, with Elle Loui August, Bekah Carran, Louise Clifton, Andrea du Chatenier, Violet Faigan, Lonnie Hutchinson, Saskia Leek, Louise Menzies, Dane Mitchell and Stuart Shepherd.

Some are believers, some skeptics, but all raise questions about the fascination with the psychic that haunts us now – the television programmes, the internet sites devoted to spells and spectres, the touring psychics…

All welcome at the opening, 5:30pm tomorrow, plus there’s an Artist Talk at the Archive 12:15pm, Tuesday 27 October.

The exhibition runs until Saturday 21 November 2009. 

The future of Lyall Bay

Right now the Dominion Post is running a public opinion poll on the future of the Maranui Surf Club and Cafe

At this stage the Council’s preferred option appears to be demolishing Maranui and its three adjacent buildings to create a brand spanking new "Super Building". You can hear the collective groans from here.  

It was the heritage and character of the building which made it such a popular destination for Wellingtonians and out-of-towners alike. As a Lyall Bay resident it’s been obvious how desolate the Bay has become since the fire. 

Let the City Council know what you think via the poll right now.

In the meantime….you can get your Maranui fix with their world-famous salads, available now from Moore Wilson’s Fresh. Apparently the punnets are big enough for two. 

Cold comfort though. 

Vanguard Films – 30 Years

The Wellingtonista’s Font of all Film Knowledge Dan Slevin has been getting excited about this one.

For the next fortnight the Film Archive is showing a retrospective of the work of Wellington-based independent film making collective Vanguard Films.

Screening at the Archive’s cinema on the corner of Taranaki and Ghuznee Sts, are a range of exceptional documentaries and dramas, with equipment and gear used by the film makers over the years, also on display. There’s even a Bolex camera saved from detection by the French Military at Mururoa Atoll in 1973. Hidden in a barrel of oranges (the film stock in a sack of flour) a decoy camera was confiscated, but one Bolex remained in Vanguard member Alister Barry’s possession which he used to shoot footage of the Mururoa test site.    

Don’t miss Russell Campbell and Alister Barry on Sunday with Chris Laidlaw this weekend at 9:30am (appropriately just after Mediawatch). And come in to the Film Archive to find out more about the collective’s ceaseless political and social activism over the last 30 years. 

Soup & A Seat

Although Wellington’s been turning on some stunning days recently, winter’s still officially here for a little while longer…

To warm your wee souls, especially for those suffering from Film Festival withdrawal, the Film Archive (corner of Taranaki and Ghuznee Sts) has come up with a great Soup & A Seat concept.

It’s cinema condensed to fit into your hour-long lunchbreak. Each screening starts at 12:15pm on Fridays until 18 September.

And you get a film screening, including a hilarious range of docos, short films, even a Flight of the Conchords episode, and a cup of homemade soup FOR EIGHT BUCKS! 

What a beauty. First screening today at 12:15pm is the plucky 1975 doco Lost in the Garden of the World, which features, among others, Werner Herzog, Martin Scorsese and Dustin Hoffman, in fine 70s form.