Sunday, 18 March 2012

'Songs from the inside' ~

The television series 'Songs from the inside' began screening on Maori Television tonight, and will continue to screen on Sundays at 8pm for the next twelve weeks.  Based on the opening episode a friend has given it a very high recommendation.  I'm sorry I missed it and have noted it in my diary for next Sunday.

The synopsis of the series as given on the Maori Television website says that:
'Songs from the Inside' follows New Zealand musicians Anika Moa, Warren Maxwell, Maisey Rika and Ruia Aperahama, who went into Rimutaka and Arohata correction facilities to teach songwriting to prisoners.
Here is the trailer:


Friday, 9 March 2012

Grand Designs ~ presented by Kevin McCloud

I don't watch much television these days, but the UK programme, 'Grand Designs' is an enduring favourite.  Although I'm often not all that keen on some individual designs there are always lots of interesting stories and new ideas to consider.  

Some designs I do like very much, and the one about the Tenby lifeboat station in Wales was one of these.  The home site at Channel 4 gives the episode reference as
...which seems to contradict details shown on New Zealand's TV3 listings and in Wikipedia where it is listed there as 
Anyway, New Zealanders can view that episode via the Internet for the coming week if they wish, using the link above.

The Grand Designs part of Channel 4's website used to be first rate and appears to have had a less than satisfactory overhaul.  Looking at it just now I found it almost impossible to navigate and did not find the level of content that I enjoyed in the site's earlier scheme, so for additional information it's Wikipedia to the rescue: here is their entry for the Grand Designs programme.  Note that episode lists are in a separate entry linked to at the right of that page.

In my view presenter Kevin McCloud, is a large part of the shows success: amiable, plain-spoken and relaxed, he talks with home owners, consultants and site workers as they progress with their projects, and always closes the show with constructive comment, which is refreshing.

Fans of Kevin may be interested to see more about his own project at the HAB site, in which housing will be "environmentally sustainable, affordable".  The text on the pages is small and is a lot easier to enjoy when enlarged: Microsoft users, hold down the Ctrl button and roll your mouse wheel forward...

Note for New Zealand viewers: on 7th Sept 2011 an interview with Kevin McCloud - screened on TV3's Campbell Live show.  In it Kevin shares some thoughts about the post-earthquake Christchurch rebuild.

Eurovision Song Contest 2012 ~ Buranovskiye Babuski perform

Move over 'American Idol', ' The X Factor' and other talent shows, and tune into the Eurovision Song Contest to catch a look at these women totally enjoying themselves.  They are Buranovskiye Babuski and represent Russia.  Their enjoyment is infectious and they get a lot of fun energy moving throughout the crowd; it shows that the joy of song and dance can include everyone!  The piece they perform is named "Party for Everybody", so the song has a fitting title!  Thank goodness for cultural diversity and the absence of botox!


Here you can see the BBC coverage of this group of women:
Links about the contest:

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Jeremy Wade presents the 'River Monsters' series

My enjoyment of the 'River Monsters' series came as a surprise as normally I find fishing programmes a big turn-off: I'm a vegetarian and hate to see well-to-do powerful men making sport of battling with helpless flailing sea life, and then chopping it up and eating it - it turns my stomach.  Having said that, I have no objection to local people fishing for what they need to live.  At all events, to find myself not only watching this show but taping it to re-watch again later was unprecedented and an indication of how different this series is from other fishing shows. 

Looking at the length of the series as indicated in Wikipedia I can see I have viewed only a small number of episodes, but would be keen to see more any time they come to air. 


Jeremy Wade is an engaging presenter: I enjoyed his respectful interest in and involvement with local people in all manner of small and out of the way communities, many of them living in very primitive conditions; I enjoyed the stories about the 'monsters' and the strange twists and turns through which his searching led him; and most of all I enjoyed his excitement and delight when he finally tracked down his fish, caught them, held them for the camera, and then very carefully let them go again...   Nice one, Jeremy!

My understanding is that many of these fish have not previously been scientifically documented, and their very existence the source of rumour and legend.  

'River Monsters' is available on DVD and also in book format.

Writing up recommendations - less depth and more infomation!

Previous reviews have been carefully thought out and often included in-depth content, but I have such a backlog of films, shows and what-not that I want to mention that I've decided to write less and focus more on simply passing on information.  Hopefully this will mean more articles are published more often.