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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Kate Sheppard TVNZ review

Give me back my history TVNZ! #KateSheppardWhatDidTheyDoToYou?

That was my tweet after watching the first 30minutes of TVNZs final remaining public broadcasting gems (now they've managed to suffocate TVNZ7), the Sunday night Platinum Fund traipse down NZ's rich and vibrant history that no one seems to know much about.

Last weeks amazing Siege gave a context and richness to an event we all witnessed and did that most ambitious of public broadcasting aims, it actually shed light.

I tuned into the Kate Sheppard story with anticipation based on how good Siege was and with a certain delight to see one of our country's greatest human rights activists given the dues she so richly deserved.

Which this didn't manage to achieve. Ouch.

I don't want to bag this because I believe in public broadcasting and really want the topic of Sheppard's activism to be a well known historical fact, but the stylistic choice to film it like a documentary was clunk, clunk, clunk.


Clunk, clunkity, clunk, clunk.

The actors spoke to an interviewer off camera. Like an interview, as in interviewing people in the 1800's but pretending not to notice the 20th Century cameramen and sound guys from a female journalist/narrator who is probably asking questions off her iPad.

It had its moments. I think we are all impressed with our ability to make wardrobes and sets that actually look like turn of the century NZ. Well done, and the range of English accents stretches as far as their vowels broad.

But every time they took it back to the doco style, it hurt. It hurt bad.

At times, it came across like a Wellington Theatrical Troupe. I wanted to like it and enjoy it, but I couldn't help wonder if anyone else had been shouting during its production that it was going clunk, clunk, clunk?

Kate deserved better than this, that sounds harsh, but Kate's a NZ treasure and the style suggested the budget couldn't deliver it's vision.

Triumphant moment rolling out the petition in the house, moment of pure joy. It's been a long 90minutes to get to that one moment.

Maybe I was hoping for The Piano meets Pulp Fiction?

It was okay, but you know. Clunkity, clunk, clunk.



At 24/6/12 10:36 pm, Blogger DebsisDead said...

Sorry about bein all off-topic but I thought some may like to know that the penny has finally dropped over the Trans Pacific Partnership shonky.
Amy Goodman has done a piece on Democracy Now http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/14/breaking_08_pledge_leaked_trade_doc where she tells amerikans amongst other things, that altho 600 amerikan corporate flunkies have seen all the detail of the TPP, the chair of the senate committee in international trade relations has not and he's not happy.

Of course tha sleazy pol will just bew angling for a better possie to get his snought in the trough but many amerikans are concerned as are many kiwis, australians, koreans (in fact it was a friend in south korea who drew my attention to the Goodman piece).

The thing is tho everyone seems to be waiting for someone somewhere else to stop this shit.
I reckon it is time for like-minded peeps from the nine nations whose sovereignty is about to be abrogated, to get together and develop a strategy for heaving a spanner into the works.

At 24/6/12 11:31 pm, Blogger Wheeler's Corner NZ said...

I agree completely...also it was absolutely ruined by the number of Ads...ten minutes of programme and five minutes of ads...I almost switched off and went to bed,one last point, think about how long the petition against asset sales would be if presented in roll form...

At 25/6/12 12:03 pm, Blogger Carol said...

Yes, the talking-to-camera device was pretty clunky. But then, Brecht probably would have liked that. He liked things, even poor production values, that would disrupt the flow of a performed narrative. This was because he thought it would encourage discussion rather than people just mindlessly letting a nice story wash over them.

I liked that the drama included some of the social context and wider issues that women were struggling around. These included maritial relations, diverse kinds or sexual partnerships/relationships, domestic work, class issues, bicycles, clothes, the different kinds of male politicians..... and bicycles.

Could have done without the attempt to make the romance central.

Curiously jarring that the contemporary interview style, with all the implications of technological immediacy, was at odds with the late 19th century technologies. Communications were relatively slow, with that poor boy having to rush back and forth from the telegraph office to Sheppard, and the content already being out of date by the time the telegram reached its destination.

At 25/6/12 12:22 pm, Blogger Frank said...

The doco-style was disconcerting at the beginning (and throughout) - but we did the best we could in our household, with what was on offer.

It was interesting viewing and most folk aren't aware that women got the vote by accident - not because our elected representatives at the time were staunch feminists...

Interesting to note that they wanted to put the issue to a referendum.

(Switzerland only voted to give women the vote in the 1970s, via referenda.)

How democratic is a referendum that decides on the human rights of a sector in our society?

Which is why Colin Craig's support for a referendum on Marriage Equality is odious. We either ALL share a human right, or none of us do. You can't decide who gets what by whim of Referenda. That's simply a tyranny of the majority.

That one thing that came out of the programme afterwards; a bit of discussion in our household.


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