News of New Zealanders via Global Media

O’Donnell’s limit

O’Donnell’s limit

“As star of the (Kiwi-directed) mountain-climbing epic Vertical Limit Chris O’Donnell had been helicoptered to the edge of a jagged rock formation in New Zealand’s rugged Southern Alps and deposited to “hang out” for…

Location location

Location location

New Zealand is hot property, drawing location scouts who scour the planet looking for the perfect waterfall or mountain stream.

Counting Crowe

Counting Crowe

Amazon keeps count of DVD pre-orders. Gladiator gores Perfect Storm 80 000 to 30 0000 . Also due out on DVD is Crowe’s “breakthrough performance” in Romper Stomper.

Location #2

Location #2

“As globalisation impacts mainstream Indian cinema, one of the early fall-outs is a flight of locations, with Indian film-makers snapping up every excuse in the book to shoot everywhere – from Alaska to New…

A&LD rave

A&LD rave

“Ever find yourself overwhelmed by the mass of information the net makes available?” Make like those in the know and head to New Zealand (and the web’s) hottest site, Arts and Letters Daily.

Xena kills jiggle TV

Xena kills jiggle TV

“Is it the end of the Baywatch phenomenon? In place of the silicon- enhanced charms of David Hasselhof’s babes is the well-toned New Zealander who yells yi-yi-yi-yi when vanquishing an opponent, leaps through the…

Stadium award

Stadium award

“The trend has finally swung away from the exaggeration of post-modernism … Buildings are now plain, restrained and professional.” Capturing the mood, Wellington’s WestpacTrust Stadium picked up the international section at the Australian National…

Hrithik era

Hrithik era

Indian tourists are awarding New Zealand an Oscar. Visitor numbers have shot up on the back of a high-profile film starring mega-hunk Hrithik Roshan and New Zealand as the backdrop.

INXS Movie

INXS Movie

Kiwi singer Jon Stevens will feature in parts of the upcoming band bio-pic. Stevens replaced the late Hutchence, the only line-up change in fifteen years.  

Art Mock

Art Mock

Global Conceptualism: Points of Origin 1950s-1980s, currently showing at MIT’s List Center, includes a mocking 1961 work by New Zealander Billy Apple (nee Barrie Bates) – a painted reproduction of the application form for…

Whitewash

Whitewash

Maori cut from crowd scenes in Her Majesty, US-funded feature film set in New Zealand c.1953-54. Producer Walter Coblenz (All the President’s Men), said historical accuracy motivated the cutting.

Popstar export

Popstar export

Put it up there with kiwifruit and spreadable butter – the Popstars formula has become a unique New Zealand export success. Pop-packager extraordinaire David Foster will be involved in the US edition.

Connection made

Connection made

New Zealand is on one end of the Southern Cross cable, the longest and largest fibre optic cable ever. The cable provides 120X the capacity of the 1992 vintage PacRim, but is expected to…

It’s a Wrap

It’s a Wrap

Lord of the Rings is due to wrap three days before Christmas, right on schedule. Director Peter Jackson notes the authenticity index has climbed during filming: “way back at the beginning we thought there…

Harvey tour

Harvey tour

Singer-song writer PJ Harvey heads to the edge for a summer tour.

PC Lost World

PC Lost World

New Zealand will host BBC’s dinosaur/sci-fi classic The Lost World. Offensive passages, referring to “sub-humans noted for their savage behaviour and low intellects” will be removed, cutting down the number of politicians moonlighting as…

Riff-Raff lives

Riff-Raff lives

New Zealander Richard O’Brien’s as-yet unnamed Rocky Horror Picture Show #2 will premier on the London stage in 2001.

Hula hello

Hula hello

American Frances Price does Maori, Hawaiian and Tahitian dance. “The Polynesian dancers were a real hit at our wedding,” said Diane Szymanski Dorcey who created a Hawaiian style wedding in Brighton last month. “We…

Fearless storyteller

Fearless storyteller

“At 12 she was carrying a gun as big as she was, fighting for freedom in the Hungarian Revolution.” Later, Anna Porter made it to New Zealand as a refugee. Now she runs a…

Out of flight juice

Out of flight juice

Kiwi music icons The Mutton Birds are due to tour the UK. They’re expecting a warm reception, but nervous they’ll be grounded if petrol shortages strike again.

Dame Delights

Dame Delights

“Well, little Dame Kiri Te Kanawa is a friend of mine. She’s a little New Zealand singer.” Dame Edna Everage of Australia on her illustrious mate, Kiri.

Dr. Johnson of the Web

Dr. Johnson of the Web

Arts and Letters Daily and Cybereditions,  the Guardian‘s top two brain sites on the web are the work of Canterbury NZ academic Denis Dutton.  “Over dinner with him, trying to keep…

Edge Stories in Ireland

Edge Stories in Ireland

Rangimoana Taylor and a Ngati Ranana group are among the storytellers to be powhiried onto a marae recreated by Dublin school pupils for the ninth (festival of story-tellers), highlighting New Zealand and immigration.

Vertical limit

Vertical limit

The stunning slopes of Aoraki (Mt Cook)  backdrop Kiwi Martin Campbell’s ice action thriller, Vertical Limit. Starring Chris O’Donnel and Nicholas Lea, Vertical Limit is scheduled for 15 December release.

Shorts and sweet

Shorts and sweet

Four NZ films feature in NY’s Shorts International Film Festival, including Felicity Morgan-Rhind’s Donuts for Breakfast. Top shorts will be considered for Oscar noms.

Godless Digest

Godless Digest

“The Digest, however, has been less than honest. In a December 1999 story by Raffaele about the Chatham Islands in New Zealand, a fisherman picked up a lobster trap and exclaimed, “Gifts from Maru…

Sam Neill is in LA filming Jurassic 3

Sam Neill is in LA filming Jurassic 3

The grounds of his temporary residence are described as “park-like”…

Join the army and let the world see you!

Join the army and let the world see you!

New Zealand defence personnel will feature on big screens around the globe – as extras in Lord of the Rings. The soldiers were perfect when the filmmakers needed “big numbers of people who were…

Three Foot Six and still growing

Three Foot Six and still growing

Vanity Fair estimates the cost of Lord of the Rings at NZ$623 million. If correct, Wellington company Three Foot Six is producing the second-most expensive movie ever.

Naked Success

Naked Success

Toa Fraser’s first play, Bare, hits Sydney with “a saltiness that is unmistakably NZ”. Fraser is compared to Raymond Carver and Tom Wolfe, masters of edge and bite.

Top Class

Top Class

Chopper, New Zealand-born director Andrew Dominik’s acclaimed bio-pic of the maniacal murderer, has received Australian Film Institute noms for Best Film and Best Direction, plus eight other nominations including Best Screenplay (penned by Dominik).

Direct Success

Direct Success

Saatchi & Saatchi’s Access 50/50 campaign for Telecom scooped a Gold International Echo award from the Direct Marketing Association. Auckland’s Aim Direct also won gold, making a tally of two New Zealand firms among…

Devils’ Playground

Devils’ Playground

“If they were human they would be regarded as severely dysfunctional.” New Zealander Rod Morris on Tasmanian Devils, the stars of The Devil’s Playground, which has won him a Wildscreen Panda – wildlife film’s…

Motor Masala hot fave

Motor Masala hot fave

Peter Riordan is in contention for the Asia-Pacific Travel writers’ prize. His book, Motorcycle Masala is the story of a journey around India on-you guessed it-a motorcycle. The award will be announced at the…

Multiple murders

Multiple murders

Anne Perry, formerly Juliet Hulme of the Parker/Hulme case, tours her latest novel Slaves of Obsession in the States. Perry has authored over thirty best-selling murder mysteries.

Guy Pearce’s Kiwi Dad

Guy Pearce’s Kiwi Dad

Yes, Guy is an Australian (he spent fours years on Neighbours to prove it), but his father was a New Zealander who tested planes for the Royal Air Force. Pearce, also Russell Crowe’s side-kick…

Sia in America

Sia in America

Samoan New Zealander Sia Figiel reads from her second book, They Who Do Not Grieve (US edition forthcoming). Figiel won the Commonwealth Writers’ Best First Book Prize for Where We Once Belonged.

Golden Deeds

Golden Deeds

Catherine Chidgey, novelist and editor, won the Pacific Commonwealth Best First Book award for In a Fishbone Church. Golden Deeds, her second novel has been published by Picador, leading publishers of contemporary fiction world-wide.

Elegy in Utah

Elegy in Utah

Chris Graves present’s Douglas Wright’s AIDS-lament, Elegy, in Salt Lake City.

Dogs of Auckland

Dogs of Auckland

Robert Creeley’s Dogs of Auckland sequence grew from the poet’s extended stay in his wife’s native New Zealand: “Isolation seduces and terrorizes” him. But at times, as toward the end of Edges, Creeley rediscovers…

Truman to Simone

Truman to Simone

Oscar-nominated Andrew Niccol (Gattaca, The Truman Show) has scripted and will helm Simone. Al Pacino stars alongside a mysterious actress who may or may not be real.

Aria noms for Shihad

Aria noms for Shihad

Shihad, hard edge rockers of Wellington, now Melbourne, have three nominations for the Australian Recording Industry Awards, the Arias: best group, best album and best rock album.

Menace Knox in Chicago

Menace Knox in Chicago

Truly edgey Chris Knox described as “an acerbic, forceful wit, accomplished tunesmith and almost menacingly extroverted showman.”

Purapurawhetu: Shining Stars

Purapurawhetu: Shining Stars

Purapurawhetu, Briar Grace-Smith’s 1997 award-winning play, has completed a successful tour of  Canada and is now on its way to Delphi in Greece. This has been a mega year for Grace-Smith, who received an…

Framing the truth

Framing the truth

Wrestling with the Angel, Michael King’s bio of Janet Frame, has generated acclaim, column inches and voluminous sales in New Zealand and overseas. Stephanie Dowrick describes Frame as “(one of) the two great 20th-century…

Dame Kiri Star Attraction at Arts Fundraiser

Dame Kiri Star Attraction at Arts Fundraiser

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and her “velvet voice” joined Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, raising $200,000 for the NAC. The Ottawa Citizen describes her as “one of the world’s great opera stars”.

Tamahori: Edge iconoclast

Tamahori: Edge iconoclast

The Boston Globe profiles the Boston Film/Video Foundation, mentioning Kiwi Lee Tamahori, along with Rose Troche (Go Fish) and Whit Stillman (Barcelona) as an “international iconoclast” from their “Meet the Director” series.

Mr Parsons’ mystery

Mr Parsons’ mystery

New Zealand-born thriller writer Julie Parsons featured in a British TV series, True Lives. She was filmed returning to New Zealand, the scene of her father’s mysterious disappearance all those years before…

Well done

Well done

NZ-bred Fay Weldon needn’t have the Rhode Island Blues over reviews for her latest book: “she writes thoroughly modern fables that throw light and cast doubt on the meaning and wisdom of contemporary pieties.”

Virtual Hobbits

Virtual Hobbits

“In a nondescript suburb of New Zealand’s capital, the team at Weta Digital, an offshoot of Peter Jackson’s Wingnut Films, is producing more than 1,200 visual effect shots for the three Lord of…

Post-punk Beat

Post-punk Beat

“New Zealand post-punker Chris Knox and Austin, Texas-based cult figure Daniel Johnston are as indie as indie gets. Both write unflinching lyrics about love, life and madness. Both record their ditties on low-fidelity four-track…

High Dependency Unit and Loraxx play Chicago

High Dependency Unit and Loraxx play Chicago

The Chicago Independent Arts Festival begins in early October. New Zealand bands High Dependency Unit and Loraxx are going to be there, giving Chicagoites a taste of the Edge.  

Dame Kiri at the Meyerson Symphony Centre

Dame Kiri at the Meyerson Symphony Centre

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, star soprano, is appearing in a recital in Dallas. “In recitals it’s a partnership—you and your pianist partner performing for each other. I love that give-and-take, that wonderful feeling of…

Rena Owen on jury at Montreal Film Festival

Rena Owen on jury at Montreal Film Festival

Feisty Kiwi actress Rena Owen (Once Were Warriors, What Becomes of the Broken-Hearted), sat on the jury of the of the Montreal Film Festival. The jury awarded the festival’s major award, the…

Who is that famous writer living next door?

Who is that famous writer living next door?

Michael King spoke about his authorised and hugely successful biography of Janet Frame at the Melbourne Writers’ Festival. Frame a recluse: she writes under her own name, but lives under a pseudonym. Other Kiwi…

A man of many amenities

A man of many amenities

Hundertwasser, the Austrian architect who lived out his last years in New Zealand and designed the famous toilets in Kawakawa, also left his mark in the curving lines of Bad Blumau, a spa…