Howard Davis Review: Smelling the Merchandise - The Death of Stalin

Having satirised British democracy with such devastating effect, Armando Iannucci has now turned his lens on the dangers inherent in Soviet authoritarianism. Every gag is girdled with fear and the bleak humour is so pitch black it could only have been pumped from deep underground. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Creole Stylings of Cécile McLorin Salvant

"You only get a singer like this once in a generation or two," commented Wynton Marsalis, who has repeatedly hired her to front his jazz orchestra and mounted a 25 foot high portrait of her on the exterior of Lincoln Center. “She radiates authority. She has poise, elegance, soul, humour, sensuality, power, virtuosity, range, insight, intelligence, depth, and grace.” More>>

Max Rashbrooke Review: The King's Singers and Voices New Zealand

To be good at one thing is impressive; to be so versatile across a range of genres is truly exceptional. The latest incarnation of this six-strong male singing group includes Kiwi Christopher Bruerton, and it was a delight to hear him sing the solo on the achingly beautiful My Love Is like a Red, Red Rose. More>>





Scoop Review Of Books: Women Vote!
The Women’s Suffrage Petition, Te Petihana Whakamana Pōti Wahine 1893: The introduction is followed by potted biographies of 161 of the 24,000 signatories, drawn from throughout the country, roughly in proportion to the number of women there who signed the petition. More>>

'The Dalberton Library': Rare 15th Century Books Donated To National Library
The 20 books, printed between 1472 and 1512, include works on theology, Latin classical texts, the lives of saints and astrology. More>>

Max Rashbrooke Review: On Bach Remastered
New Zealand pianist Stephen De Pledge commissioned short pieces by New Zealand composers to respond to each of the movements of Bach's Partita No. 3 in A minor, then played them in an alternating fashion. And the performance, after an instructive, clear and unaffected introduction by the pianist, was overall a delight. More>>

Joe Cederwall Review: The Sun Also Rises - Passion And Tension In Europe
Aficion is Spanish for passion - and it was passion that carried the Elevator Repair Service’s verbatim theatrical staging of Hemmingway’s classic novel in “The Select (The Sun Also Rises)” in the New Zealand Festival... More>>

2nd-24th March, Mostly: NZ Fringe Festival 2018... It's ALIVE!
To celebrate NZ Fringe Festival 2018 launching on Friday 2nd March. The Fringe team have put together a Opening Gala full of some of the festivals most amusing, confusing, eclectic and energetic entertainers. On Thursday 1st of March from 8pm at the San Fran, Cuba St. More>>


Ethnomusicology: Cumbia – Ageless Queen Of Latin Music
Cumbia has travelled across time and space popping up time and time again with apparent ease amongst receptive audiences of dancers across the Latin world. This article is an exploration of what cumbia is, where it came from and why it has endured so pervasively as a musical culture More>>

Howard Davis Review: Sally Potter's The Party
Sally Potter remains one of Britain’s most determined independent film-makers, deliberately resisting the lure of mainstream attention in order to work entirely on her own terms. The Party is an undeniably engaging and droll divertissement from an independent filmmaker who has mastered her art without ever compromising it. More>>

Winter Games: NZ's Second Ever Winter Olympic Medal
Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson congratulates snowboarder Zoi Sadowski-Synnott on winning the bronze medal in the Women’s Big Air at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea today. More>>


Rainbow Springs: Rare Kiwi Footage Caught On Camera
The unique time-lapse shows two chicks as they break free from their eggs and is the first of its kind for the largest kiwi hatchery in the country. More>>

Ethnomusicology: Cumbia – Ageless Queen Of Latin Music
Cumbia has travelled across time and space popping up time and time again with apparent ease amongst receptive audiences of dancers across the Latin world. This article is an exploration of what cumbia is, where it came from, why it has endured so pervasively as a musical culture, and where Chico Trujillo sit on the family tree of this expansive genre. ... More>>

Review: Robbie Williams – The Heavy Entertainment Tour
The audience – already in a good humoured state of excitement after kareokeing along to the “Robbie Williams National Anthem" (a typical mix of bombast and self deprecatory nonsense) – were up and dancing to Welcome to the Heavy Entertainment tour... More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Poet Of Many Parts
The Light and Dark in our Stuff by Mere Taito This small and beautifully presented book is Mere Taito’s inspired/inspiring first collection of poetry. The poems are lively, well crafted, the poet unafraid to call a spade a spade, to present stark differences between black and white. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: A History Lesson For Silicon Valley
2017 was a turning point for how the world saw Facebook. Last year the social media giant was accused of spreading fake news, rigging the U.S. Election and Brexit vote, and gluing people to their screens... More>>

Wellington.Scoop: Writer Ashleigh Young Receives National Honour
Internationally acclaimed Wellington writer Ashleigh Young has been made an Honorary Literary Fellow in the New Zealand Society of Authors’ Waitangi Day Honours. More>>

Muppets To Wellington: 3-Week Jim Henson Celebration In April
The 21-day showcase of events paying tribute to Jim Henson, one of the world’s most creative, prolific and innovative film and puppetry artists, will include a film fortnight series, workshops and master classes, with visiting puppeteers from Sesame Street and The Muppets. More>>


Howard Davis Review: An Air of Quiet Death
Phantom Thread is concerned with creativity, confrontation, and losing control - control of our emotions, control in our relationships, and especially control during times of conflict... More>>

Howard Davis Review: From Free Press to Fancy Dress
The true protagonist of Steven Spielberg's The Post is publisher Katharine Graham, a stringently diplomatic businesswoman, reluctantly compelled to take an overtly political stance in the interests of democracy and freedom of the press. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Black Dog of Empire
On the eve of England's contorted efforts to negotiate its ignominious retreat from Europe and the chaotic spectacle of the Tory party ratifying its undignified departure from a union originally designed to prevent another World War, there has been a renewed appetite for movies about 1940. More>>

Howard Davis Review: Anger Begets Anger
For fans of what Ricky Gervais termed "number movies" (Seven Samurai, The Magnificent Seven, Ocean's 11, Se7en), Martin McDonagh's latest offering will be a welcome addition to the roster. The Irish playwright turned screenwriter and director has produced another quirky and darkly comic tragedy that evolves around the futility of anger and grief, retribution and revenge. More>>

Dunedin: Corpse Plant Flowering At Botanic Garden
The Dunedin Botanic Garden will soon be the smelliest place in the city with the corpse plant (Amorphophallus titanium) starting to produce its first, very rare and very smelly bloom. But there’s no way to know when the flower will open. More>>


Howard Davis: Sexting in George Dawe's Genevieve
Compare the massive immensity of the bard's gorgeously gilded harp with the stubby metallic handle of the Dark Knight's falchion, both suggestively positioned at crotch-level. Dawe's enormous canvas invokes a whole history of blushing that pivots around a direct connection to sexual arousal. More>>


Gordon Campbell: Best New Music Of 2017
Any ‘best of list’ has to be an exercise in wishful thinking, given the splintering of everyone’s listening habits... But maybe… it could be time for the re-discovery of the lost art of listening to an entire album, all the way through. Just putting that idea out there. More>>

Scoop Review of Books: Portacom City - Reporting On Canterbury Earthquakes
In Portacom City Paul Gorman describes his own deeply personal story of working as a journalist during the quakes, while also speaking more broadly about the challenges that confront reporters at times of crisis. More>>

Howard Davis Review: Album of the Year - Van Morrison's Roll with the Punches
For his thirty-seventh studio album, The Belfast Cowboy returns to his roots by celebrating his passion for the blues and the influence it has had over his fifty-year career. More>>

Handcrafted Form: Rare Treasures From Japan
This unique exhibition at Expressions Whirinaki represents 90 everyday objects made by contemporary Japanese artisans who employ various traditional craft techniques made in regional workshops. The works used in daily life are crafted from raw materials with techniques appropriate to bringing out the best of its medium, balancing ease of use with aesthetic appeal. More>>

Howard Davis Article: A Musical Axis - Brahms, Wagner, Sibelius
Brahms' warm and exquisitely subtle Symphony No. 3 in F major, Wagner's irrepressibly sentimental symphonic poem Siegfried Idyll, and Sibelius' chilling and immensely challenging Violin Concerto in D minor exemplify distinct stages of development in a tangled and convoluted series of skirmishes that came to define subsequent disputes about the nature of post-Romantic orchestral writing well into the following century. More>>

New Zealand Wars Commemoration: Vincent O'Malley's The Great War for New Zealand - Waikato 1800-2000
This is a BIG book - in terms of size (668 pages, lavishly illustrated), content (a heroic endeavour to encompass the Waikato wars from gestation through to finale), and ambition (to redress the prevailing perception that the so-called Māori wars were merely a blip on the radar of New Zealand military history). More>>


  • Scoop Review of Books: Witi Ihimaera's Sleeps Standing Moetu
  • Scoop Review of Books: Rā Maumahara: Q&A Tom Roa
  • Keith Newman - Remembering The Future - Finding Healing in Our History
  • RNZ Launches New Zealand Wars Project
  • Te Puni Kokiri - Te Pūtake o te Riri Successful Applications Announced
  • Te Papa - New Zealand Wars Mini Exhibition to Open at Te Papa
  • David Rankin - Calls for Immediate Halt to War Commemorations - Maori Outrage over Historian's War Claims
  • Howard Davis Review: Another Time, Another Place - David Friesen Trio Live
    "It has been said of David Friesen that he does for the art of bass playing what Pythagoras did for the triangle" - Patrick Hinley, Jazz Times. At Wellington's newest jazz venue, the cozy and intimate Pyramid Cub, the trio clicked together from the opening bars, presenting many of the tunes from their marvelous new recording. More>>

    Scoop Review Of Books:
    Jenny Abrahamson's John & Charles Enys: Castle Hill Runholders, 1864-1891

    This volume will be of interest to a range of readers interested in the South Island high country, New Zealand’s natural environment, and the history of science. More>>

    Scoop Review Of Books: Rocking Northern NZ
    This magnificently illustrated book is a synthesis of current knowledge of the geology and landscapes of northern New Zealand. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: Tom Petty - Keeping Hard Promises
    As Neko Case put it: “At a Tom Petty show in Austin walking toward it, a full 3/4 of a mile to the stage every single person living was singing every word. That’s the kinda powerful love you don’t see every day, but the kind we all long for when we think about our society, and togetherness.” More>>

    Rachel Pommeyrol Review: Brannavan Gnanalingam's Sodden Downstream
    Less than 24 hours. This is all the time it takes for the human journey between Sri Lanka and New Zealand, between past and present, between the two different kinds of survival depicted in Brannavan Gnanalingam’s fifth novel Sodden Downstream... More>>

    Chamber Music NZ Announces 2018 Season: Music Up Close
    CMNZ Chief Executive Peter Walls said the season combines “breathtaking quality with extraordinary range with illustrious artists, beautiful programmes and an enticing variety of genre and style". More>>

    Rachel Pommeyrol Review:The Corsini Collection - A Window On Renaissance Florence
    The Auckland Art Gallery has mounted an exceptional exhibition of masterpieces, by a variety of major European artists from the 14th to the 20th century, that tells the story of one of the most important families in Italy. More>>

    Howard Davis Review: Sonic Textiles – The Black Seeds' Fabric
    By now a national institution, The Black Seeds have just embarked on a release tour to promote their sixth studio album, Fabric. More>>

    Howard Davis Review: Mixed & Very Messy Metaphors - Darren Aronofsky's mother!

    Paramount probably suspected mother! would provoke a strong response, but the studio surely never imagined this elevated psychological horror-thriller would receive an F CinemaScore from US moviegoers. More>>

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