Win family weekend in Queenstown for Hilux NZ Rural Games

January 26, 2015

The Hilux New Zealand Rural Games and its sponsors are giving you the chance to enjoy a great family weekend of traditional sports and live entertainment.

Taking place this Waitangi holiday, 7-8 February, the inaugural Games feature national championships and Trans Tasman challenges for ‘sports that built the nation’ including wood chopping, speed shearing, speed fencing, sheep dog trials and the four iconic Highland Games ‘heavy’ events.

The Topp Twins provide entertainment on both days and there are fun events for kids as well as local food and wine all set in the stunning Southern Alps. For more details see www.ruralgames.co.nz

 This amazing prize includes:

– 1 x Family ‘full event’ pass for the Games weekend, 7-8 February; that includes both days and the Queenstown Summer Concert with Jody Direen and friends (Sat 7.30-10.30pm) for 2 adults and up to 3 kids

– Use of a Toyota Hilux for the weekend

– Two nights’ 4-Star hotel accommodation at the Heritage Queenstown provided by Ngai Tahu Farming

– A year’s supply of milk from Fonterra

– Branded clothing from Wild Buck and Line7.

You’ll find the entry form with terms and conditions at the link above.

There’s more on the Hilux NZ Rural Games here.

P.S. I chair the Trust which is running the Games.


Jeremy Lloyd 22.7.30 – 22.12.14

December 24, 2014

We recognise the names and faces of those who star in popular shows but rarely think about or even know the names of those who write them.

Phrases like good moaning and  listen very carefully, I shall say this only once are part of the popular lexicon.

But only today, on the news of his death did I know the name Jeremy Lloyd, who created ‘Allo ‘Allo . Nor did I know he was the writer behind Are You Being Served too.


Selwyn Ballet Christmas

December 19, 2014

The Selwyn Ballet has been a popular feature of  Otago University’s annual capping show for 86 years.

It’s also part of the university’s Christmas message:

Universities are all about serious study and preparing students for high-flying careers, but Otago University has acknowledged the fun side of student life in its Christmas video message.

The clip features a day in the life of the all-male Selwyn Ballet, set to music from popular Christmas ballet The Nutcracker.

The famous classical ballet troupe is the second-oldest in the world, having started as part of Otago University’s capping show in 1928.

It has now become a firm tradition among first-year male students at Dunedin’s Selwyn College hostel.

Most of the guys have no prior dance experience, but work with a professional choreographer during the year to learn their routines. . .


Nth Korea and hackers 1 – Sony 0

December 19, 2014

Sony has cancelled the release of a satirical film about a fictional plot to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong-un after threats from hackers.

Sony has confirmed it has no plans to release the satirical film The Interview internationally, in any form, following threats from hackers.

Cinemas in the US cancelled screenings of the film, about a plot to kill North Korea’s leader, prompting Sony to shelve it altogether.

But there has been dismay in Hollywood, with Ben Stiller calling the move “a threat to freedom of expression”. . .

Several other famous names have criticised the decision to shelve the movie, accusing the studio of caving in to the hackers’ threats.

Oscar-wining screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, who has already attacked the media for spreading information leaked by the hackers, said: “Today the US succumbed to an unprecedented attack on our most cherished, bedrock principle of free speech.”

Actor Steve Carell called the move a “sad day for creative expression”. . . .

It is.

But given the damage the hackers have already done to the company, their threats to destroy it and to the safety of movie-goers I understand why Sony did it.

And Sorkin is right. The media aided the hackers by publishing what they’d leaked.

That happened here too with Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics and the media reports on the hacked emails.

Some of what was published might have been in the public interest but some was private correspondence which was not.

All of it was stolen.

Now that the hackers have succeeded here and there, others will be encouraged to follow suit.

We all need to understand that regardless of the protection we think we have for our computers, anything on them could be hacked and become public.

 


No sex please, he’s Paddington

November 19, 2014

Michael Bond, the author of the Paddington Bear books is upset that UK censors warned parents the new film based on his beloved bear contains sexual “innuendo” and “bad language”.

Censors at the British Board of Film Classification have given the Paddington movie a Parental Guidance (PG) certificate because it features “dangerous behaviour, mild threat, innuendo, infrequent mild bad language”.

The news has upset Michael Bond, the writer behind the original book series, and he fears he may be in for a nasty surprise when he eventually sees the film based on his creation. . .

Censors issued the guidelines based on a scene in the film in which a villain “threatens to kill and stuff” Paddington Bear and a comical moment when a man dressed as a woman is flirted with by another man. . .

If that’s all it is, it’s pretty mild but if it’s not suitable for children of all ages I have a lot of sympathy for Bond.

The books were delightful and innocent, surely it wouldn’t be too hard for the film to be that way too.

Sex sells but so do good stories and it should be possible to be true to the spirit of book, including its innocence,  in taking it from the page to the screen.


Richard Attenborough 29.8.23 – 24.8.14

August 25, 2014

British actor and film director Richard Attenborough has died.

 

Oscar-winning British film director Richard Attenborough has died at the age of 90, his son has said.

Lord Attenborough was one of Britain’s leading actors, before becoming a highly successful director.

In a career that spanned six decades, he appeared in films including Brighton Rock, World War Two prisoner of war thriller The Great Escape and later in dinosaur blockbuster Jurassic Park.

As a director he was perhaps best known for Gandhi, which won him two Oscars. . . .

 

 


Hello again Pork Pie

July 1, 2014

The 1981 movie Goodbye Pork Pie  made a comeback today with MINI New Zealand releasing its remake of the films iconic Lake Hawea chase scene.

The scene, which features a number of ‘new originals’ including a new Director, new cast and the all new MINI Hatch in place of the original 1978 model, has been created to celebrate the launch of the new model released to the New Zealand market in April.

MINI Marketing Manager Simonne Mearns says the remade scene is the perfect ‘launch vehicle’ for the new MINI Hatch.

“The latest MINI is full of a number of new features – enough to warrant us making a big scene about it. Which is exactly what we did.”

“Goodbye Pork Pie was the perfect fit for MINI. There is definitely a little ‘Blondini’ inherent in the brand; we like to test the boundaries and push the limits, and a cheeky attitude is part of MINI’s ethos.”

“In addition, like the Blondini Gang, we are always up for the challenge – which in this case was remaking one of the tougher, but more iconic scenes from what is one of New Zealand’s most-loved movies. We are stoked with the result and hope Kiwis will enjoy it,” she says.

This is a feeling that shared by remake director Matt Murphy who thinks “that most New Zealanders will be intrigued by the remade scene. The image of the new volcanic orange MINI being chased by a replica police car somehow translates to the original movie really easily. At the same time, it is also new.”

In responding to what he believes his father might think of the remade scene, Murphy says, “My father knows of the project. You’ll have to ask him what he thinks, but I’d say he’s chuffed that the Pork Pie story still generates a significant following.” . .  .

You can watch the remake and a behind the scenes video here.

You can watch it on YouTube and here’s the original trailer:

My first car was a mini so Goodbye Pork Pie had particular resonance for me.

I can remember the determination to take the car to Invercargill – but does anyone remember why they wanted to go there?


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