Pressured Viewing

Woman of the year publicity photo
Publicity photograph for the film Woman of the Year, featuring its stars Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. Wikimedia Commons.

Once upon a time there was ‘The Movie’. I’ve never tried to work out how many hours I’ve spent watching them (the hours lost that can never be regained), but as a child/stroppy teenager I would slump down in a chair on a Saturday afternoon at around 3pm to watch the Saturday afternoon matinee.

It would greatly annoy my Dad (extra kudos for me playing the bolshy ‘teen’ card), as he had just purchased his first Colour television set and there I was making a mockery of it all by watching Black and White 1930s and 1940s classics.

Eventually a mockery of a compromise was reached – the kids got the old telly and bickered and argued between themselves for viewing rights whilst the ‘Head of the Household’ watched uninterrupted colourful sport…

Still from His girl Friday
Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell in the 1940 film His Girl Friday. Wikimedia Commons

Edith Head fashion, sumptuous sets, orchestrated Busby Berkeley choreographed extravanzas all in Black and White!! Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Norma Shearer, Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, Van Heflin, John Wayne, Rosalind Russell, Cary Grant, Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn (I could continue ad nauseam but will give you all a break!). It was fantastic.

Fast forward countless years and we have, yet again, ‘The Movie’ – normally taken out of the library for one week. No problem, you would think – given my amazing ability of yesteryear, I could watch the one film countless times – but NO!! Invariably I receive the email gently reminding me that the DVD has to be returned to the library in the next 2/3 days and panic ensues as I haven’t even had time to read the synopsis on the back of the DVD cover.

The number of films and TV series I have had to return without even inserting them into the DVD machine… But now, especially with regard to a TV series, I have a longer time frame to play with:

Two Whole Weeks!!

Until very recently I was watching TV series on DVD such as the Danish production of The Bridge, Shetland, Parade’s End, and Desperate Romantics under immense pressure – two or three episodes a night so that I could return them, haggard and red-eyed, back to the shelves having gone through 3, 4 or even sometimes 5 DVDs in the set.

Times they are a-changing… I’ve even been known to watch in Colour.

Te Kupu o Te Wiki – Kakara (smell)

Kia ora. To encourage the use of Te Reo Māori we are publishing weekly kupu (words) and phrases that can be used with children.

Kīwaha (idiom)

Ka mātua i tēnā!
That’ll do

Kupu (word)

kakara
smell

Tō kakara hoki!
You smell lovely!

Whāngahia te Reo

 

This week in Christchurch history (26 October to 1 November)

26 October 1980
Christchurch City Council gives land at Cuthberts Green to the trustees of new Ngā Hau E Whā National Marae.

26 October 1982
Old library re-opens as Library Chambers (architect Don Donnithorne).

Canterbury Public Library exterior
Canterbury Public Library exterior. Taken from across Cambridge Terrace, showing Postal Centre behind the Library and Police building on the left Between 1973 and 1981, Flickr, Arch-52-PH-07-23

27 October 27 1983
New office building on the corner of Manchester and Kilmore Streets has New Zealand’s first exterior lift.

28 October 1978
Pioneer Sports Stadium opens. See 1879.

29 October 1830
Te Rauparaha charters the “Elizabeth” (under the unscrupulous Captain Stewart) and sails for Akaroa.

30 October 1985
Cover of The Bone PeopleWriter-in-Residence at Canterbury University, Keri Hulme wins internationally prestigious Booker McConnell prize for her novel The Bone People.

31 October 1912
Opening of Queen’s Theatre, the city’s first purposebuilt picture theatre. The building was latterly the M. W. Arcade.

1 November 1906
New Zealand International Exhibition (the biggest in the country to that time) opens in Hagley Park. Over 1 million people visited the exhibition during the next few months. A branch railway line was built across North Hagley Park to service the exhibition. The attractions included New Zealand’s first professional symphony orchestra [conducted by Alfred Hill], and the first Dominion pipe band contest which was won by the Dunedin Highland Pipe Band.

General front view of the Exhibition
General front view of the Exhibition [1906], Phil R. Presants, New Zealand International Exhibition Souvenir, [1906], [p 2]
1 November 1989
New Christchurch City Council established by amalgamation of the old City, Waimairi District, Riccarton Borough, Heathcote County and parts of Paparua and Eyre Counties.

More October and November events in the Christchurch chronology: a timeline of Christchurch events in chronological order from pre-European times to 1989.