Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Tidbits ahoy

148 Responses

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  • Danielle,

    'The women seem very confident': and this is a bad thing, somehow? Meh. I'll take the philistine hell-hole, thanks.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    Fallowell calls Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson "artistically weak", saying he's produced nothing adult since the magnetic Heavenly Creatures. "When Hollywood gets hold of these weak sort of men - artistically weak, that is - all turns to dross."

    a complete pretentious tosser I would say.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Dave Patrick,

    Made the front page of the Press, because he apparently thought Christchurch people were "sexy".

    But Fallowell also thinks Christchurch people have "spontaneity, madness and sexiness".

    He refers to The Press as "the best (newspaper) in New Zealand".

    In an earlier interview, he said Christchurch was a place "with a certain urbanity".

    Spontaneity, madness and sexiness, perhaps. Highest anti-depressant and Ritalin prescription rates in New Zealand? Definitely.

    And anyone who thinks the Press is the best newspaper in New Zealand cannot be taken seriously. Best newspaper in Christchurch, maybe.....

    Rangiora, Te Wai Pounamu • Since Nov 2006 • 261 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Llewellyn,

    Meh - Fallowell is a mildly amusing troll of the highest order. Not worth giving a shit over.

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Feh... The problem with British travel writers playing the Grumpy Bulldog Abroad is that Evelyn Waugh set the gold standard back in the 30's. For us mere mortals, trying to out Waugh the Queen of Spleen is not only an exercise in futility, but a one way ticket to the stroke ward.

    How the hell do you trump this pitch-perfect piss-take of PR-purple travel writing?

    "I do not think I shall ever forget the sight of Etna at sunset; the mountain almost invisible in a blur of pastel grey, glowing on the top and then repeating its shape, as though reflected, in a wisp of grey smoke with the whole horizon behind radiant with pink light, fading gently into a grey pastel sky. Nothing I have seen in Art or Nature was quite so revolting."

    I rest my case.

    And if you want to test my assertion, there's a collected edition of Waugh's travel writing in print, but the thrifty reader should find When The Going Was Good (Waugh's own anthology of "everything the author wishes to preserve from his pre-war travel books") easily in libraries or second-hand bookstores. All killer, no filler - as the kids used to say.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    a complete pretentious tosser I would say.

    Meh... I actually agree with Fallowell on the LoTR trilogy. Hell, I thought King Kong was the world's longest show-reel for an FX house, but failed utterly on every other level.

    Having said that, I may not have much of an opinion of his last four films (though IMO The Frighteners is under-rated, and Heavenly Creatures is just a great film full stop), but you've got to give PJ props for being a very astute businessman, bloody-minded and self-confident to a fault, and willing to risk everything on one hell of a crap shoot (and convince others to do the same). Like James Cameron and Titanic, it's all too easy to look back and forget that the massive commercial/critical success of the trilogy was in no sense a foregone conclusion.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Llewellyn,

    Hell, I thought King Kong was the world's longest show-reel for an FX house, but failed utterly on every other level.

    Oh, I don't know about that Craig, I enjoyed a helluva lot about King Kong, *all* it needed was an hour or so lopped out of it :)

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    After hearing the utterly charming interview with the delightful Saoirse Ronan on NatRad on the occasion of her academy award nomination I got to thinking that the Lovely Bones will be the making or breaking of Jackson's reputation as a director of genius. The observation that a nation of four million at the uttermost end of the earth is a bit insular and provincial is hardly lightning bolt of insight. Anyhow, the number Steve Braunias did on Mr. Fallowell in the Listener ought to be the QED that we are not quite a howling wasteland intellectually.

    Oh and if John Key utters the words "voucher" and "education" togetherin the same sentence today it will be mana from heaven for Labour supporters.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I got to thinking that the Lovely Bones will be the making or breaking of Jackson's reputation as a director of genius.

    I agree - when I heard the man who brought us Meet the Feebles was 'doing' the Parker/Hume murder I had disturbing vision of a very tacky Z-grade exploitation movie -- Two Baby Dykes Go Mad in Christchurch or some such. The Lovely Bones is something else where there's going to have to be a very delicate tonal balance maintained (if that makes any sense) if the film's going to find the same audience as the book.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    Oh, I don't know about that Craig, I enjoyed a helluva lot about King Kong, *all* it needed was an hour or so lopped out of it :)

    I have to confess I stopped watching the dvd some point after the one hour mark, when they still hadn't made it to the bloody island. As for editing: I feel much the same way about the Harry Potter series. The first, well-edited book was such a success that the author obviously felt less constrained for subsequent installments, and routinely strung 200-odd pages of plot out to 600 pages plus.

    As an 11 year old cousin of mine put it ... "I do enough home work without having to read about Harry and Hermione doing theirs."

    Exactly how else the proposal differs from the present arrangements, and what degree of support National plans to offer young beneficiaries with children to care for will -- one would hope -- be made clear in today's speech.

    So, will an obedient media lap up an "announcement" that is little more than a minor variation on current policy? Maybe it will represent something more substantial ... we'll see soon enough.

    On a vaguely related note, an attempted hatchet job from Bill Ralston in the HoS (for those who care).

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    'The women seem very confident': and this is a bad thing, somehow? Meh. I'll take the philistine hell-hole, thanks.

    AND we have lesbian haircuts and no cleavage. WTF is a lesbian haircut?

    OTOH:

    Christchurch people have "spontaneity, madness and sexiness. They dress more smartly than other New Zealanders too".

    Yes, it is pretty easy to find the gay bars here.

    But Craig is once again right, the guy's prose just isn't up to this level of vitriol. Evelyn Waugh? He's not even PJ O'Rourke.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Llewellyn,

    As an 11 year old cousin of mine put it ... "I do enough home work without having to read about Harry and Hermione doing theirs."

    LOL - thats brilliant

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    I don't know about the lesbian haircut thing ... I assume he means very short and no frills, but haircuts such as that seem relatively rare in Auckland at least.

    The cleavage thing is dead wrong too ... a 5 min walk down Queen St on a day such as this would leave one in no doubt about that.

    Perhaps he visited in August?

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Oh and if John Key utters the words "voucher" and "education" togetherin the same sentence today it will be mana from heaven for Labour supporters.

    I'm sure it would, Tom, just as there are some folks out there who are going to be screaming 'Labour-lite' if Key stands up today and doesn't announce that the first priority of the next National-led government will be the urgent passage of the Down With The Dykeocracy (Omnibus Repeal of Every Law Passed Over The Last Nine Years) Bill.

    Somehow, I don't think Key is really focused on warming the cockles of either hardcore Labour partisans or the more, shall we say, rabid right elements out there. And I don't think that's a bad thing at all.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Lindsey,

    Interesting that the Herald has what John Key might do on the front page, and what Helen Clark actually has done, winning a UN award as a Champion of the World, consigned to the brevities section.
    No wonder the Herald has to advertise on TV to try and retain its flagging readership.

    Since Oct 2007 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    Good point Craig.

    Another option for urgent passage, based on the current harping about "artificial restrictions on land supply" would be the Down with the RMA (even though it was passed under a National Government) Bill.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    I played host to another of Fallowell's luvvie-friends, the brilliant interviewer Lynn Barber, several years ago. She was perfectly pleasant, if rather high-maintenance, but after our event she took up a holiday to Rotorua and Queenstown.

    In her subsequent write-up she got the wrong end of the stick about us calling Rotorua "Rotovegas".
    She was under the illusion that we thought of it as being our equivalent of Las Vegas in terms of scale, etc, whereas it's called that because it's cheesey like Las Vegas.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 760 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    But Craig is once again right, the guy's prose just isn't up to this level of vitriol. Evelyn Waugh? He's not even PJ O'Rourke.

    Burn!!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Stevens,

    But, even though this guy seems to be an opportunist out to make himself some cheap thrill by laughing at us, but...

    NZ does take itself very seriously at times, and this can be a bit of a bore. We do tend to be as earnest as a serious teetotal methodist maiden aunt, or today, a vegetarian lesbian raising organic chickens while trying to leave a zero carbon footprint.

    There is a sanctimonious streak a mile wide in NZ culture these days, a sort of over-reaction to the old cultural cringe, and just as bad for us. Too much unquestioned praise for NZ culture/wine/food/landscape/film whatever is just as bad as too much unthinking dismissal of it was in the past.
    And there is a lot of crap in our galleries that is there because it is "indigenous" and is therefore treated with reverence, not informed criticism.

    This guy deosn't appear to be the one to offer it, but some good clear criticism of NZ culture and its faults is not a bad thing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 230 posts Report Reply

  • Dag,

    Does Steve Braunias really have gatekeepers? Seems appropriate given his awesomeness. I wish he'd drunk-dial me...

    Napier • Since Jun 2007 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    Re: Helen Clark, Champion of the World.

    I knew she had ambition, and can be very stateswomanly, but even so.... :-)

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    but you've got to give PJ props for being a very astute businessman, bloody-minded and self-confident to a fault,

    yeah, that's why I thougth Fallowell had it completely the wrong way round with

    "When Hollywood gets hold of these weak sort of men - artistically weak, that is...

    it was more like when PJ had them by the proverbials. He got and did exactly what he wanted.

    I aslo have little time for the style of film critic that looks at LOTR and says - well it's not a very good art movie is it? And champagne doesn't taste like red wine.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    It's interesting to hear what foreigners have to say about here. Not because it is deep analysis - that seldom happens. But because it's slightly more impartial. You have to also bear in mind that a sex tourist reporting on the sex tourist experience is what other sex tourists want to read. So hopefully they won't waste their time here.

    I don't think there's any need to character assassinate Fallowell for having his opinion. He's really already done that and his reader base will have already discovered Bangkok as a much better alternative. Anyone kidding themselves that he was even looking for high culture is the kind of person who would indeed judge NZ exactly the way he has.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    As for cultural cringe: Pffff. It's liberating to be a philistine. Being 'more cultured' is so often an excuse for being a snob who has done nothing, and huddles in their culture for comfort. "At least where I came from there's a lot of great history, art and culture, even if I did nothing to contribute to it apart from a book on getting blowjobs all around the world".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Jimmy Hayes,

    I don't think there's any need to character assassinate Fallowell for having his opinion. He's really already done that and his reader base will have already discovered Bangkok as a much better alternative.

    This made me snort with laughter, and then look around guiltily.

    Since Apr 2007 • 35 posts Report Reply

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