Blast from the past...

Posted Sunday 26 May 2013

Many WIFT members will remember that before The X Factor there was New Faces, before Masterchef there was Graham Kerr, beforeCountry Calendar there was ... er, Country Calendar. This collection - the first of NZ On Screen's decade showcases - picks the top 10 screen hits from the decade that "gave New Zealand miniskirts, teenagers - and television." Peter Sinclair, Sandy Edmonds, Howard Morrison, and Ray Columbus star.

Of the 60s it's quipped that, if you can remember them, "then you weren't really there." In the collection primer, veteran writer (Gloss, Shortland Street, Close to Home) and reporter (Town and AroundJudy Callingham does her best to disprove the maxim and recalls the black and white - and smoke-stained - beginnings of NZ TV.

"In the 1960s, New Zealand women all talked like the Queen!"

Get your mod's nod happening and C'mon! courtesy of the NZ on Screen team.

The Line Up


Television, 1967 - 1969

C'mon brought the hits of the 60s into Kiwi living rooms in a black and white frenzy of pop art sets, go-go girls and choreographed musicians, while host Pete Sinclair kept the pace cracking with hipster charm. These are the only two extant episodes.



She's a Mod - Ray Columbus and The Invaders

Music Video, 1964

Not exactly a music video, more a prototype. This promo clip was taken from the band's appearance on the Aussie TV show Bandstand in 1964. Black and white and basic, zoot suits, high slung guitars, a young Ray Columbus doing the legendary 'mod's nod'. Iconic.



The Graham Kerr Show - Cooking with Kerr

Television, 1966

New Zealand's first celebrity chef (and soon-to-be world famous 'Galloping Gourmet') offers his studio audience urbane counsel on crumbed cutlets, scrambled eggs, battered oysters (never!), and his own 'Long White Cloud' dessert, in this episode of his 60s show.



Town and Around

Television, 1965 - 1970

This popular nightly magazine show, covered everything from current affairs and studio interviews to slapstick and stunts (including a farmer who shod his turkeys in gumboots). Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin editions ran for five years from 1965.



Don't Let it Get You

Film, 1966

This musical comedy classic (one of only two Kiwi feature films made in the 60s, both by John O'Shea) sees Sir Howard Morrison and Rotorua star in a tiki-flavoured, madcap, pep-filled melange. Kiri Te Kanawa, Lew Pryme and Aussie star Norman Rowe feature.



40 Years of Country Calendar

Television, 2005

From a 1966 story on Alexandra's apricots, this special culls highlights from 40 seasons of the all-things rural show: the longest running on NZ TV. The show soon left its studio origins to develop its famous gently observational style: capturing people and the land.



Studio One - Episode Two 1968

Television, 1968

DJ Neville ("Cham the Man") Chamberlain hosts this episode of NZBC's nationwide talent quest. Judges Nick Karavias, Jim McNaught and Allison Durbin see if NZ songwriters have talent; and 'New Faces' include The Shevelles and 16-year-old Brendan Dugan.



Love, Hate, Revenge - Avengers

Music Video, 1968

The clip for this dark tale of revenge via voodoo doll - made for the Loxene Golden Disc Awards - conversely takes plucky cues from music video precursors like The Monkees TV series, as the band larks around Oriental Parade and overloads a motor scooter.



Sitting in the Rain - The Underdogs

Music Video, 1967

Despite being a cover of a UK song 'Sitting in the Rain' is a NZ pop landmark. One of the earliest music promos, the clip - used to fill TV scheduling gaps by the NZBC - presents the band as nonchalant pop stars, barely paying lip service to their mimed performance.



The Evening Paper

Television, 1965

This Bruce Mason-scripted teleplay had the same rigid (theatre or radio-derived) format as other early TV dramas, but it did something not before seen on local screens: it dared to expose a stifling NZ suburban existence. And gave Kiwi telly its first dose of cultural cringe.