And and and…

Another favourite place that has snuck its way into the Cuba Quarter – the brilliant Peoples Coffee from Newtown has set up a wicked little garage coffee spot on Garrett St overlooking that wacky Glover park….

Brilliant organic, fair trade coffee for all the usual prices and there’s a massive table, coffee beans, great magazines – the best new sunny coffee spot in town.

Vigil in Solidarity

There is a Vigil in Solidarity with the current situation in Tibet tomorrow (Wednesday 19 March) on the steps of Parliament at 5:30pm.

Keith Locke is expected to speak while Tibetans in NZ, and all over the world, their friends and family, Buddhists, supporters of Tibet, human rights advocates, peace lovers, other national governments – including the US, Canda and Australia – are calling for the Chinese government to stop the oppression now.

Chinese authorities are cracking down heavily on protests in Lhasa that began on 10 March. This appears to be the largest uprising in Tibet since 1989, and if unconfirmed reports are true, there may be more Tibetan casualties in the streets of Lhasa than at any time since 1959.

The protest comes at a time of escalating human rights abuses in Tibet, despite China’s promise of improvements in human rights ahead of the Olympics. While political leaders in the US, Canada and Australia are speaking out, New Zealand remains silent. What message does this send to China, the country about to host the Olympic games?

50 years of Endeavour

There’s a couple of special screenings coming up this weekend to commemorate the 50th Anniversary, on 17 March 2008, of the return to New Zealand of HMNZS Endeavour with the members of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition.

The 1955–58 Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition (CTAE) was Commonwealth-sponsored and successfully completed the first overland crossing of Antarctica, via the South Pole.

Funded by the governments of the UK, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, as well as private and corporate donations under the patronage of Queen Elizabeth II, the expedition was headed by British explorer Dr Vivian Fuchs, with the late Sir Edmund Hillary leading a supply support team.

While Sir Ed’s supply party beat the English led group to the South Pole (being only the third group to reach the Pole overland after Amundsen in 1911 and Scott in 1912), the expedition arrived at Scott Base on 2 March, 1958, having crossed 3,473 km of previously unexplored snow and ice in 99 days.

The programme, presented in association with Antarctic Research Centre (Victoria University of Wellington), includes footage of the departure and return of the CTAE expedition, stunning film from on the ice, as well as classic film segments celebrating New Zealand’s Antarctic connection over the last 50 years.

Friday 14, Saturday 15 March at 7pm
Entry by koha
75 mins

Belonging somewhere

Opening tomorrow night at the Film Archive – Wellington multi-media artist Sarah Jane Parton presents her wacky take on the future…

Well known for her beguiling video and installation work (and love of lycra leotards) Parton has assembled a cast and crew of Wellington’s finest to create a sci-fi musical odyssey starring Toi Whakaari graduates Antonia Bale, Anja Tate-Manning (Chapman-Tripp award winner), and Jade Daniels, alongside theatre veteran Rose Beauchamp, dancer Sam Lahood and a bevy of young and talented children.

With music performed by a live band featuring the members of Cassette under the musical direction of Parton’s partner Luke Buda (Phoenix Foundation), fronted by the perpetually hilarious Jo Randerson, the show contains a reasonable degree of cynicism, offset by moments of absurdity and humour.

In this cross-genre work, ideological meltdown is imminent, the revolution is doomed long before it begins and audience members are advised to bring a blanket.

Thursday 28, Friday 29 February and Saturday 1 March at 7pm
at The Film Archive, cnr Taranaki and Ghuznee Streets

Full Price – $15,
Concession – $13,
Fringe Addict – $12

Read Brannavan Gnanlingam’s great interview about the show

Big Moments on screen tonight

Come check out: Life in NZ from the 1950s to the 1980s!

The Friends of the Film Archive are launching their 2008 season with a 70-minute romp through pivotal moments in New Zealand’s recent history.

Beginning with the glorious coloured trailer hailing Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953, through to David Lange’s brilliant oratory declaration of New Zealand’s Nuclear Free status in 1985, it all adds up to give a picture of the culture that has shaped the Baby Boomer generation.

Tonight, Thursday 21 Feb, 7pm
70 minutes
Entry by koha

My picks are the New Zealand Primary Schools at Work– A five-year-old arrives with his mother on his first day at school and joins activities in the new entrant’s class.

But even better is Miss New Zealand, NZBC, 1973 (excerpt)
Miss Southland is introduced and totters onto the stage in her platforms!!!!!

Ice Ice Baby

Tonight come along to the Film Archive (corner of Taranaki and Ghuznee Sts) to the opening of Á jaðrinum (transl. on the edge), a collection of 15 recent video works from Iceland, curated by Leonhard Emmerling, from 5:30pm.
The Archive will be revealing its mediagallery (a contemporary film and video gallery) programme for the next SIX months with a FREE GIFT. There’ll also be live musical performance by The Droszkhi & Riffkah Space Disko! – Hit (and miss) Signals from the Cosmos presented by Bek Coogan (Cortina) and Torben Tilly (Minit, Bad Statistics).

The artists in Á jaðrinum explore a number of themes inspired by the cultural and geographical myths of Iceland; from melancholic self-effacement, to desolate landscapes and…erm, pixies.