Film

Saturday January 3 at 9.00 PM

Manuela, a nurse and single mother in her late thirties, must come to terms with the tragic loss of her only son, Esteban, when he is struck by a car. Desperate to finds some meaning in her life, she sets off to find the boy’s father and tell him about the son he never knew.  A Pedro Almodovar film.

The Truth About Climate Change Monday 7 and Monday 14 January, 7pm

Glaciers are melting and ice shelves collapsing. Oceans are warming and threatening to engulf coastal areas. Around the world strange weather patterns are affecting us all. Sir David Attenborough finds out what impact climate change could have on the lives of man and animal alike in a two-part series, The Truth About Climate Change, playing Mondays 7 and Monday 14 January at 7pm on TVNZ Family on TVNZ 6.

Climate Change has been one of the hot topics of 2007 and will remain at the top of the agenda going forward.
In Europe and the US, global warming has mobilised the greatest scientific collaboration since the Manhattan Project. Scientists are now pooling their resources to analyse the past, predict the state of the future and find out why the world is warmer now than it has been in a thousand years (the three warmest years ever have been since 1998) and to work out what’s going to happen.

In the first episode of The Truth About Climate Change, David Attenborough explores just how far climate change is altering our planet, from drought-stricken rainforest to declining polar bears, from flooded homes to bleached coral. He searches for the evidence to prove that it is people’s daily activities which are radically changing the climate, leaving the future of Earth largely up to mankind.

Sir David investigates the greenhouse effect and establishes the links with carbon dioxide emissions. From Mona Loa in Hawaii viewers see how carbon in the atmosphere has risen since 1958, and is now rising faster than ever before. Ice core experiments show that there is now more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than at any other time in human history.

The Truth About Climate Change asks, what will the consequences of this be for our children and grandchildren and how are we going to stop it? While many of the effects of global warming are already irreversible, Sir David asks what changes individuals can make.

This film is a call to arms for everyone, from someone who cares passionately about the planet.

Pink Floyd’s The Wall / 8.30pm / Sunday January 6th

Feature film version of the Pink Floyd album, “The Wall”.

In a Los Angeles hotel room, Pink, a burnt-out rock star, remembers his past. Deprived of his father through his death in World War Two, Pink has been raised by his mother. School drives him to revolt. Marrying in the 60s, his wife soon leaves him for another man. Finding fame, his alienation merely increases and the line between reality and fantasy blurs – until he has to confront the wall he has built around himself. Director: Alan Parker.

BLOCKBUSTER PREMIERE

KENNY
Tuesday, January 15th at 8:30pm

From the biggest festival to the smallest church social, Kenny Smyth (Shane Jacobson) delivers port-a-loos to them all in 3’s hilarious New Zealand television premiere of Kenny, screening Tuesday, January 15th at 8:30pm.

Part philosopher, part comedian and all heart, Kenny is one of the cogs in society’s machinery, a knight in shining overalls taking care of business with his faithful ‘Splashdown crew’.

The film lifts the lid on one of Australia’s roughest diamonds as Kenny juggles family tensions, fatherhood and sewage with charm, humour and unflinching dignity.

Brainchild of The Jacobson Brothers, Shane and Clayton spent two years filming Kenny alongside an actual toilet rental/delivery company – Splashdown.

The film’s sole investor and Splashdown’s owner Glenn Preusker granted the brothers complete access to all levels of Splashdown’s operation, crew and equipment.

“Glenn’s enormous support and enthusiasm for the film enabled us to deliver an energy and authenticity normally absent from films of this genre,” said Director Clayton Jacobson

“Every frame of footage is alive with the buzz of actual events and situations Splashdown and our crew had to deal with on a daily basis. The production value of being able to film these events and festivals is priceless.”

Like many brother teams before them, the Jacobson brothers’ talents and roles cover much of the film’s key positions. Shane stars as Kenny and Co-Produced the film, while Clayton Directed/Produced/Shot and was principal editor of the production.

Much of Kenny’s heart and vernacular stems from the Jacobson brothers’ rich family history.

“My Father came from a large carnie (carnival) family. Much of their early years were spent travelling around the country entertaining and trying to make a dollar, says Clayton.

“Their shortfall was always made up by bartering – offing their services to farmers along the way to mend fences and do odd jobs.”

“Sadly my grandfather died of a heart attack in front of my father when he was only eight. The carnival was sold and my father, along with his mother, sister and four brothers, lived in a small carnival tent until Dad was twenty-three.”

“Much of the film’s humour comes directly from sayings and conversations my brother Shane and I overheard between our uncles, father and grandmother at family gatherings,” says Clayton.

“If my grandmother felt something was pointless she would lament ‘you might as well rub your arse with a brick’. She was a tough adorable woman.”

“I think many Australians of my generation remember and identify with such Aussie-isms and I was keen to give them an airing.”

“They are playful and funny, but more to the point, they were tools for connection and getting on regardless of one’s problems,” says Clayton.

Tune in to all these Aussie-isms and other hilarious moments when Kenny premieres for the very first time on New Zealand screens, Tuesday, January 15th at 8:30pm on 3.

NZ Short Film: The Hit

Rialto – Saturday 5 January, 8.10pm

An abused and abandoned street kid is forced by his sadistic boss to execute a contract hit on the head of a local gang ordered by the leader’s estranged wife.

Director Campbell Cooley

NZ Short Film: The Word

Rialto – Saturday 22 December, 8.10pm

A futuristic Maori short film about a boy caught between two worlds, the haves and the have-nots.

Director: Quentin Parr

Under The Greenwood Tree
Monday 24 December, midday

Keeley Hawes was glad to take a break from tense television thrillers to star as Fancy Day in Under The Greenwood Tree. The former Spooks actress stars alongside James Murray (Sons and Lovers), Ben Miles (Coupling) and Steve Pemberton (The League of Gentlemen) star in this new adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s classic novel, today at midday on TV ONE).

Hawes says she was thrilled to take the light-hearted role as it was the complete opposite from her gritty role in Macbeth or murderous character in The Best Man. The role of village schoolteacher Fancy presented her with a different sort of challenge: “Fancy is so sweet and a delight to play. She’s a very straightforward, powerful woman but at the same time very young and innocent. It’s quite a tricky combination to try to achieve because she’s quite mature but at the same time she has no idea. I didn’t want her to be a wimp and she has to be likeable. It’s a danger when she has all these men after her that she could be a bit of a tease.”
Set in a rustic English village in the mid-19th century, Under The Greenwood Tree sees the story of a poor young man, who falls for Fancy Day (Hawes), the beautiful school teacher, and attempts to win her love. While the Reverend Maybold (Miles) creates a furore among the village’s musicians with his decision to abolish the church’s stringed instruments choir and replace it with a new mechanical organ, new schoolmistress Fancy causes an upheaval of a more romantic nature, winning the hearts of three very different men – penniless young labourer and musician Dick Dewy (Murray), wealthy but older Farmer Shiner (Pemberton) and the Reverend Maybold himself.

Putting on a corset was familiar for Hawes, who also starred in Tipping The Velvet, Our Mutual Friend and Wives and Daughters, but in Under The Greenwood Tree she had to master a new skill – playing an antique harmonium. “It’s the most bizarre instrument, you have to pump it with your feet while playing. It’s really most ungainly. But I’d much rather play the harmonium than sing, like James Murray had to.”

Part love story, part comedy, set across four seasons of country life, Under The Greenwood Tree follows the attempts of poor, uneducated Dick to woo the gentle, refined Fancy, while other men with more money vie for her affections.

Mark Twain

Arts Channel – Tuesday 20 November, 8.00pm

A film by Ken Burns, profiling the remarkable life and times of America’s greatest writer, Samuel Clemens, known and beloved to the world as Mark Twain. It follows his rise from a hardscrabble youth in Missouri, his wanderings as a Mississippi riverboat pilot, Nevada prospector, California journalist, and as humorist on the lecture circuit. Due to his tours of Europe, Australia and other parts of the globe he became, by the time of his death, one of the first truly worldwide celebrities. Mark Twain will reintroduce millions to this compelling yet contradictory genius, perhaps the only man who could say with some justification, “I am not an American, I am the American.” Nearly three years in the making, the film draws from more than 63 hours worth of material. There is stunning cinematography from the places important to Twain’s story and thousands of archival photographs of the man who called himself “the most conspicuous person on the planet”. Fascinating insights are culled from nearly 20 interviews with some of the nation’s leading writers and top Twain scholars, including Arthur Miller, William Styron, Russell Banks, Ron Powers, Hal Holbrook, Shelley Fisher Fishkin, Laura Skandera-Trombley and Jocelyn Chadwick. Actor Keith David, who was the voice of JAZZ, is the narrator. The skilled character actor Kevin Conway breathes a fresh life into Twain’s own words.

“Burns doesn’t just recount the colourful artist’s life story – he makes it come alive.” – Entertainment Weekly

“MARK TWAIN does justice to an American treasure.” – People Magazine

“By the end you feel as if you know both Sam Clemens and Mark Twain.” – The Boston Globe

Channel Premiere: Model Prisoners

Crime & Investigation Network – Monday 19 November, 7.30pm

The search for Brazil’s most beautiful female prisoner. This film goes behind bars in a Brazilian female prison where inmates compete in a beauty pageant for title of Miss Penitentiary. Filming inside the prison, the women reveal how they became prisoners, what drove them to commit the crimes they did and why they were interested in being judged on their physical beauty.

Channel Premiere: Model Prisoners

Crime & Investigation Network – Monday 19 November, 7.30pm

The search for Brazil’s most beautiful female prisoner. This film goes behind bars in a Brazilian female prison where inmates compete in a beauty pageant for title of Miss Penitentiary. Filming inside the prison, the women reveal how they became prisoners, what drove them to commit the crimes they did and why they were interested in being judged on their physical beauty.