Cold Ears, Warm Hearts: Presenting a Gardening Screening in the Auckland Silos on a Windy Pre-winters Night

- By Paula Booker (Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Programme Developer, Auckland)

 

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Fascinated by the industrious green worlds that exist all over Auckland, painter Jean Stewart started visiting market, community and private gardens to capture people at work growing food. One garden network connected her to another until she had developed a series of en plein air paintings of working gardens, all over Auckland. These lush colourful oil impastos, created fully in situ, really capture some of the organic qualities of each garden environment, and certainly the bright Auckland light.

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Paintings by Jean Stewart.

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Growing the Future was a fun, artistic exploration and celebration of our Auckland food growing communities, organised by Jean with help from Urban Pantry and Art at Work. Some of our Auckland Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision staff are keen gardeners too (ok, just me!) and thus the archive was delighted to be brought on board to facilitate and present a screening of Jess Feast’s 2013 documentary Gardening With Soul, following Sister of Compassion Sister Loyola through a year’s changing seasons in her large Island Bay garden. A capacity crowd of about 30 braved the less than inviting dark and windy night and headed down to the waterfront silos. Continue reading

Basil Clarke (Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision collection).

Audio Curios: Country Cinema in the 1930s

John Kendrick remembers his first job with Country Cinemas in the 1930s (Saturday Morning with Kim Hill, Radio New Zealand, 13 August 2011). He recalls putting out a nitrate fire. John was an ornithologist and recordist of many New Zealand bird calls who passed away in 2013.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Radio Collection, all rights reserved. To enquire about re-use of this item please contact sound@ngataonga.org.nz

The full interview can be heard here.

 

This post is part of the Audio Curios series. Radio Collection Developer Gareth Watkins regularly comes across interesting, unique, and sometimes downright puzzling bits of audio during his accessioning work. He’s going to share some of these audio treasures with you in the Audio Curios series, which will be posted here on the Gauge blog frequently during 2015.

Cyril Bassett’s Victoria Cross, Won at Gallipoli

- By Sarah Johnston, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Client Services Coordinator – Radio

As part of their extensive Anzac Day and World War I centenary coverage, Radio New Zealand has highlighted many of the historic recordings held in the collection of Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision.

Cyril Royston Guyton Bassett. Original photographic prints and postcards from file print collection, Box 7. Ref: PAColl-6001-05. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.
Cyril Royston Guyton Bassett. Original photographic prints and postcards from file print collection, Box 7. Ref: PAColl-6001-05. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

In particular, they are featuring a 1949 sound recording by the only New Zealander to win a Victoria Cross in the Gallipoli Campaign, Aucklander Cyril Bassett.

As a signaller, Corporal Cyril Bassett received the V.C. for his persistence in keeping vital telephone lines connected during the assault on Chunuk Bair in August 1915. He and other men went out repeatedly under fire to rejoin telephone wires which had been severed, restoring communications between the front-line men and those in command. Continue reading

Projecting Film 100 Years Ago: The Motion Picture Handbook

- By Ellen Pullar (Digital Programme Developer – Website, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision)

This post belongs to a two-part series. Read the second part, Projecting Film Today – an interview with Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Projectionist Oscar Halberg, here.

 

The projection room at Pathé's American headquarters, p. 249 Motion Picture Handbook.
The projection room at Pathé’s American headquarters. Published in F. H. Richardson, Motion Picture Handbook: A Guide for Managers and Operators of Picture Theatres, Third Edition (New York: The Moving Picture World, 1915), p. 249.

What was it like to own a movie theatre in 1915? How were films projected 100 years ago? In today’s rush to embrace digital cinema projection, the act and ritual of handling physical film during projection is becoming something of a lost art (fortunately though, film archives around the world remain dedicated to projecting on film – the Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision cinema is equipped to project both 35mm and DCP – Digital Cinema Package). Call me nostalgic, but for me there’s nothing like watching a film that by its very tangibility evokes its conditions of production and exhibition – the “cigarette burns” that mark where one reel of film is about to run out, or usage scratch marks that testify to the enjoyment of the film by the audiences of a previous generation. The third edition of F. H. Richardson’s Motion Picture Handbook: A Guide for Managers and Operators of Picture Theatres, suggests that the craft of film projection had already developed to a high level of sophistication by 1915, when this edition was prepared.

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F. H. Richardson, Motion Picture Handbook: A Guide for Managers and Operators of Picture Theatres, Third Edition (New York: The Moving Picture World, 1915). This copy is housed in the Jonathan Dennis Library at Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Wellington.

This handbook is housed in the Jonathan Dennis research library, accessible by appointment at Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Wellington, where it sits alongside a diverse range of books relating to film and television production, exhibition and reception, dating back to the late 1800s. I immensely enjoyed reading the Motion Picture Handbook, even though some of the detailed electrical, scientific and mathematical information contained within far exceeded my limited comprehension in these fields. The author Richardson’s encyclopedic knowledge of every aspect of film projection and movie theatre ownership is most impressive. He considers everything – electrical wiring, amperage, rheostats, how to avoid short circuits, alternating currents, arc rectifiers, the pros and cons of different kinds of lenses, the science of light reflection, persistence of vision, how to care for a range of different brands of film projection equipment / tools / electrical equipment, how to look after and repair film, making your own advertising slides, the colour and intensity of projection lamps, ways of laying out and furnishing cinemas, the ideal dimension of the space between rows of seating, cinema lighting schemes, what type of neighbourhood to build your cinema in, what sort of personages to hire as staff, and a lot more in-between. Continue reading

Basil Clarke (Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision collection).

Audio Curios: Defence Lawyers and Sexual Violence

Trigger warning: this item contains descriptions of court cases involving sexual violence.

Barrister and journalist Catriona MacLennan speaks at the 2nd annual Louise Nicholas Day to review responses to sexual violence, held in Auckland (Radio New Zealand, 31 March 2015). She discusses the need to change the ways defence lawyers operate and law students are trained in order to ensure that victims are adequately supported and given justice.

Louise Nicholas Day was held for the first time in 2014. The date of Louise Nicholas Day, 31st March, marks the anniversary of the day in 2006 when three existing and former members of the New Zealand Police were acquitted on all 20 charges of the sexual violation of Louise.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Radio Collection, all rights reserved. To enquire about re-use of this item please contact sound@ngataonga.org.nz

 

This post is part of the Audio Curios series. Radio Collection Developer Gareth Watkins regularly comes across interesting and unique bits of audio during his accessioning work. He’s going to share some of these audio treasures with you in the Audio Curios series, which will be posted here on the Gauge blog frequently during 2015.

Basil Clarke (Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision collection).

Audio Curios: Meditation for Dogs

A meditation segment on the Auckland based radio station Pedigree K9FM – programmed especially for dogs (Pedigree K9FM, April 2014).

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Radio Collection, all rights reserved. To enquire about re-use of this item please contact sound@ngataonga.org.nz

 

This post is part of the Audio Curios series. Radio Collection Developer Gareth Watkins regularly comes across interesting, unique, and sometimes downright puzzling bits of audio during his accessioning work. He’s going to share some of these audio treasures with you in the Audio Curios series, which will be posted here on the Gauge blog frequently during 2015.

A Story of Film, a Butt and Bulls

- By Reiner Schoenbrunn (Moving Image Conservator, Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision)

It is probably fair to say that most people know about the Featherston Military Camp through the infamous World War II incident in 1943, when 48 Japanese POWs and one Kiwi guard were killed. The fact that a World War I training camp existed much earlier from 1916 -1919 (in some use until 1927) is lesser known and, despite me living in the area since 1988, I was no exception to that.

Snow Man's Land [Expeditionary Force Training, Featherston Camp], filmed by Luther W. Mence, 1918.
Target practice: firing the British Birmingham Small Arms Company (BSA) Model 1914 Lewis Machine Gun, designed by Samuel McClean in 1911. Featherston and the Rimutaka / Tararua Ranges in the background. Snow Man’s Land [Expeditionary Force Training, Featherston Camp], filmed by Luther W. Mence, 1918.

Little has been published on the camp’s early history and it has only been in recent times that new books have come on the market and filled the information gap. When I spotted Tim Shoebridge’s 2011 publication for Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage, Featherston Military Training Camp and the First World War, I became acquainted with the camp. In 2012 Neil Frances’ book Safe Haven, published by Wairarapa Archive, followed and that started my interest in earnest.

I learnt that many smaller training camps were scattered all over New Zealand, but Featherston’s became the biggest. It is estimated that in the years 1916 to the end of 1918 around 60,000 men trained there for combat on foreign battlefields. The initial “hardening up” – as it was called for new recruits – begun at Trentham (Upper Hutt) for some, and later at Canvas Camp on a stony paddock a mile away to the south-east of Featherston. Accommodation there, if one can call it that, was in tents and everything else happened out in the open. Besides standard drills, the young soldiers had to endure gale force winds, heat, dust, flies, cold and rain, or on a good day, all of it. Once they were “broken in” for military life the soldiers graduated over to the main camp where they lived in hutments of fifty men (2 x 25), had electric lights, showers, drying rooms for clothes, and dining halls. Compared to where they started, conditions must have been perceived as almost luxurious – but it’s by far no comparison to military life as we know it today. Continue reading

Basil Clarke (Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision collection).

Audio Curios: Talkback with Rodney

Margaret asks Rodney Hide, former MP and guest host on Radio Live, for advice about voting under the MMP system (Radio Live, 25 April 2014).

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Radio Collection, all rights reserved. To enquire about re-use of this item please contact sound@ngataonga.org.nz

 

This post is part of the Audio Curios series. Radio Collection Developer Gareth Watkins regularly comes across interesting, unique, and sometimes downright puzzling bits of audio during his accessioning work. He’s going to share some of these audio treasures with you in the Audio Curios series, which will be posted here on the Gauge blog frequently during 2015.

Basil Clarke (Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision collection).

Audio Curios: Who is a New Zealander?

During the first regular broadcast of community access radio in New Zealand, the Link Advisory Service presented a programme exploring issues affecting new New Zealanders.  2YB Wellington Access Radio began broadcasting on 5 April 1981.

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Radio Collection, all rights reserved. To enquire about re-use of this item please contact sound@ngataonga.org.nz

 

This post is part of the Audio Curios series. Radio Collection Developer Gareth Watkins regularly comes across interesting, unique, and sometimes downright puzzling bits of audio during his accessioning work. He’s going to share some of these audio treasures with you in the Audio Curios series, which will be posted here on the Gauge blog frequently during 2015.