In an age of whizz bang graphics and fancy camera techniques, it’s a real treat to be able to watch a silent film with speech titles such as: “Where Mary was concerned Sammy, the hired hand, had the soul and ardour of a fifth century poet” ??WTF!? and all with live piano accompaniment.

On Wednesday 20 August, 7pm The Bush Cinderella is screening, a presentation by the Friends of the Film Archive, to celebrate the 80th anniversary of this Rudall Hayward film.

Starring Miss New Zealand Dale Austin, “who combines Hollywood experience and technique with a faultless photogenic face.” – The Sun, 1928.

No New Zealander Should Miss It! A Triumph of Dominion Enterprise, Filled with the Familiar Sentiments, the Typical Humour, and the Glorious Scenery of God’s Own Country.
Tickets $8 / $ 6

As promised

Here’s some info about This is Experimental – also kicking off tomorrow eve…..

A festival of experimental film and film makers (talk about niche-y) If you know someone who’s into avant-garde film, please do let them know.

Highlights include a screening and workshop by Guy Sherwin, one of the pre-eminent British film artists of the last 40 years; Free Radical: The films of Len Lye, a programme which screened to overwhelmed audiences in the USA last year; and a collection of 1980s Super 8 Movies from Canada, NZ and USA presented by film maker Martin Rumsby.

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Image: Len Lye, Stills Collection; New Zealand Film Archive

Plus The Michael Nicholson Studio Visual Music Project Stage 3: Ops 1–4 video installation – see below….

Video synthesizer

Opening this Thursday at the Film Archive at 5:30pm, an exhibition by 92-year old Wellington painter, sculptor, artist Michael Nicholson.

If that’s not impressive enough this work, The Michael Nicholson Visual Music Project: Stage 3. Op.s 1-4, was originally created on a “Scanimate” machine in Australia in the 1980s; the same machine that early Star Wars, Sesame St and The Electric Company animations were made on. Nicholson worked with the Film Archive to restore the original U-matic tapes and edited them together as ‘Visual Music’ with the assistance of editor Diane McAllen.

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Michael Nicholson first came to New Zealand in the 1950s to work at the Elam School of Fine Art. His latest work is inspired by the abstract expressionist paintings of Wassily Kandinsky. It’s hypnotic, fascinatingly beautiful and on display for the next month in the Pelorus Trust mediagallery.

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This event launches an Experimental Film Festival too but more about that soon!

Still images: Screen grabs from The Michael Nicholson Visual Music Project: Stage 3. Op.s 1-4

Rare treat for Wellington

I’m completely gobsmacked. Just got a little sneak live preview of the one and only CW Stoneking (Myspace) who plays the Mighty Mighty tonight.

I advise you to fight your way to the door. Wellington’s own Slim Chants will be kicking things off from 9pm and Palmy’s howing wolf man Boss Christ will take things into the night…… but this CW Stoneking.

I think I’m in love.

Holy Mac Truck

Check out the Party of the Universe the Mighty is putting on for Wellington NEXT WEEK!!!!!

(click image to see larger version of the poster)

For those of you who don’t know CW Stoneking – you should. He’s never played NZ before and he’s something. Check him out on myspace.

And for the other nights, the finest in NZ bands from around the country covering a pretty diverse range of genres. There’s the Americana night kicking things off, extreme neon for the Heavy Petting electro night, followed by a total mash up of rockabilly and electronics from Bang Bang Eche, and then a Wild Trash extravaganza of Wellington’s own to top things off.

There’ll be pole dancers, limbo competitions, a vodka slide and so much more. Chose your night. Bring your friends and come and party at the Castle that Cares!

Something smells like fish

For those of you who’ve never heard of Nanook, Thursday night’s screening at the Film Archive is unmissable.

Widely considered the first feature length documentary ever made (shot in 1922) it’s an exceptional account of Inuit life on the ice.

Using traditional methods (including killing large fish by biting the back of their heads/necks? whatever you call that bit at the top) and hanging out with his “wives” in the harshest of climes, this snapshot of Nanook’s life is even more poignant as he died two years later, lost in a snow storm.

The film later went on to be discredited for “setting-up” traditional hunting methods, raising interesting questions which fit perfectly with the current mediagallery exhibition by Wellington artist Sarah Jane Parton.

She’ll be performing a response to the film live with the musical back up of Henderson/Beban/Crewdson

TICKETS $8 / $6

Film Archive events calendar

At the Castle that Cares

It’s a grand thing to be in Wellington for the long weekend cos SPAM INC is bringing the best of the country’s dirtiest rock and roll to Capital City tomorrow night.

The Hories (AK), Boss Christ (Palmy) and The Grand Saloon (Banks Peninsula) all at the Mighty for a meagre five bucks.

[insert howling wolf noises here]

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The World of Interiors

Opening tonight at the Film Archive (this one well worth a look) is artist Nova Paul’s experimentation with the bright bold world of Technicolor.

Part trippy, wandering colourscape, part highly technical process, film geeks and art lovers will drool over this one…while many should remember her work from last year’s Prospect show at the City Gallery.

Plus she’s presenting a screening of some of her works alongside Technicolor gems from the Archive’s vault on Thursday 5 June – including the fascinating Tuberculosis: How it spreads: How to prevent it (1954, Morrow Productions, NZ)

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Opening tonight 5:30pm at the Film Archive. Exhibition runs til Saturday 21 June.

And something else tonight worth a mention

The Cosbys!The Cosbys are Auckland’s undisputed kings of Northern Soul — a hypercharged R&B revue thundering through uptown, downtown, deep soul, dance and ballad sounds, and most importantly, doing it with impeccable style.

Apparently dissatisfied with the grooveless, undersexed state of modern rock’n’roll, The Cosbys found the answer by smashing together four-on-the-floor Motown rhythms with a two-fisted Stax-style horn section and a singer — “Papa” Crawdaddy — who is so damn good he made James Brown just give up and die.

So cut loose, ladies and gentlemen — shake those hips, jive with the Hot Cosby Horns, be touched by “Papa”. Do the jerk, watch them work, do the Mashed Potato, do the Alligator. And do it on Cosby Street, or even better – tonight (Friday 18th April) at Mighty Mighty.

10pm – $5 – good times

Website here

Opening tonight – all welcome

ME!!!!A swag of Wellington artists have produced video art for The Artists Film Festival, opening tonight at 5:30pm at the Film Archive (cnr Taranaki and Ghuznee Sts).

Curated by Wellington-based curator (and Listener art critic) Paula J Booker, the show promises an extreme mix of artworks….28 video works in total, possibly the largest video exhibition ever undertaken in NZ.

Highlights include someone singing to Janis Joplin until almost passing out, CHCH artist James Oram generating electricity by bike to power his own ME sign….it’s all pretty entertaining/shocking/thought-provoking stuff.

The Artists Film Festival
11 April – 17 May 2008

LIVE PERFORMANCE, Thursday 17 April, 7pm
The Twilight Drone by Johannes Contag (of Cloudboy fame) Tickets $8/6.

Contag explores the notion of the ambient film with live accompaniment to this film work shot in a snow-covered Austria…