Film and television – a mid-year review

Seen anything good on the tele lately…?!?!

Me neither. That’s why I borrow films and tele series’ from the library! It’s a much better way of being in control of what you’re actually watching during screen time, and you can tailor your viewing to perfectly suit your taste and your timetable, WIN-WIN and, no more infomercials!!

And it’s really just about good old-fashioned storytelling isn’t it!? For me, film and television is a coming-together of multiple artforms that, when it’s done well, has the ability to move you at a level many other artforms might not individually.

So here’s a list of the best films and series’ that I’ve had the pleasure of viewing this year, so far – many more to come!

2018 – The Best of Film and Television

List created by DevilStateDan

These are the best films and television series’ that I have explored throughout the year so far, all available to you through Christchurch City Libraries membership.

The fencer – Post WWII Estonia. The Germans are gone and the Russians are taking control. They’re especially interested in those Estonians that fought for the Germans and are systematically hunting them out. This story is about one such man, a world-class fencer who is concealing himself as a sports teacher for a country college. This is a stunning and heartfelt film about humanity, strength, and love.

Get Out – A gripping story of a young black man heading away for a weekend with his as-yet un-met in-laws… what comes after is a web of dark intrigue and something is definitely not right!

The Curious World of Hieronymus Bosch – Ever wanted to know more about the mysterious Hieronymus Bosch?!? Then get a load of this – it’s a part of the ‘Exhibition on Screen’ series that takes viewers on a tour of the works and life of some of history’s great artists. This one is all about Hieronymus Bosch and is surprising in its revelations about who he was and where his inspirations were drawn, plus you get up close with some of his most amazing works!

Chasing Trane – The latest telling of the life, love, and music of the great jazz saxophonist, John Coltrane. Rare footage and loads of interviews with music legends that were close to him. He was truly a musical visionary and died at such a young age from liver cancer, it begs the questions of how much more impact could he have had on contemporary music!? A must-watch for all music fans!

Saint Amour – An old man and his adult son go on a wine-tasting road trip around France in order to reconnect. Sounds normal, but this is French comedy and things get strange! Good story.

The Limehouse Golem – I really liked this film – a Victorian Whodunnit! I loved the Victorian era look of it, the clever direction, the story was weaving and uncertain – as it should be for a classic whodunnit! And the acting was solid and dramatic without being over the top. It’s a small shame that I picked the killer in the first 20mins but I still liked the story and enjoyed it to the end!

The Dinner – A family of privileged white Americans meet for a very posh dinner to discuss an incident that involved their children. The details slowly emerge as the film unfolds and explores the issues of parenting, mental health, social navigations etc. Great performances from the four lead actors.

Detectorists – A short series about the engrossing world of metal detecting in rural Britain. Written and directed by Mackenzie Crook (from the Office, and Pirates of the Caribbean), it’s full of pathos and at once hilarious, cringey-embarrassing, and full of heart. It’s about how even small lives are big and important and that everyone deserves to be happy. Highly recommended if you like British comedy.

Rellik – A dark and twisted crime series with an uniusual device; the story is told in reverse. We begin with the outcome of a police investiagtion into a series of acid-burn murders, from there we go back in increments of hours/days as the foundations are explored and new light begins to show on reasons for behaviours evident earlier/later… it’s a little confusing to explain so just watch it, it’s quality crime drama!

Swinging Safari – A gloriously retro look at family life in 1970’s Australia. Try to think of every brand name, in-safe parenting practice, cliché, and add a bit of over-styling and you’ve got it. Loosely wrapped as a coming-of-age story, it centres around 3 Aussie families living, loving, and loafing. Very funny film, especially if you’ve lived through some of these circumstances.

For more view the full list

Win tickets to the NZSO’s An Evening With Simon O’Neill

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra’s 2018 season continues next month with internationally renowned tenor Simon O’Neill returning home to perform a special series of concerts a concert featuring works by Richard Wagner and Anton Bruckner. The Christchurch concert will take place on Wednesday 13 June at the Isaac Theatre Royal.

An evening with Simon O'Neill poster image

An Evening with Simon O’Neill will be the singer’s debut orchestral performance of Richard Wagner’s famous song cycle the Wesendonck Lieder.

Wagner wrote the five songs to poems by his muse and lover Mathilde Wesendonck, while he was also working on his great romantic opera Tristan und Isolde.

Hailed by critics as “the Wagnerian tenor of his generation”, O’Neill has recorded Wesendonck Lieder with New Zealand pianist Terence Dennis, but has never sung the song cycle with an orchestra.

This performance will also see the NZSO perform Wagner contemporary Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4. Known as the ‘Romantic Symphony’, it is one of Bruckner’s most popular works and his first symphony to achieve significant public acclaim.

The NZSO will be led by acclaimed Dutch conductor Lawrence Renes, who has a long association with O’Neill and NZSO Music Director Edo de Waart. When O’Neill first performed with the San Francisco Opera in 2012 in John Adams’ Nixon in China, Renes was the conductor.

We have 2 double passes to give away to library members. All you need to do is tell us what the name of the new central library is and complete the competition entry form. Entries close at 5pm on Tuesday, 5 June and winners will be announced on Wednesday 6 June.

Find out more

Queen’s Birthday 2018

Monday 4 June is a public holiday on which New Zealand celebrates the birthday of Queen Elizabeth II. 21 April was her actual birthday and she turned 92 (she was born in 1926).

Queen Elizabeth II has visited Christchurch numerous times during her reign, most notably for the 1974 Commonwealth Games held at her namesake sporting venue, Queen Elizabeth II Park, often referred to as QEII.

Sadly, QEII had to be demolished in 2012 due to earthquake damage but the rebuilt pool facility, Taiora QEII is due to open this week, just in time for Queen’s Birthday Weekend.

With the recent royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex), and the popularity of television series The Crown, there is as much interest as ever in the Queen and her family – so if you’re keen on some royal reading over the long weekend, we have plenty to choose from.

For titles looking at the Queen’s life as portrayed in The Crown try:

Cover of The Crown: The inside historyCover of Young Prince Philip Cover of Young Elizabeth Cover of The private life of Elizabeth II Cover of Access Video Queen Elizabeth's coronation Cover of Coronation Cover of LilibetCover of My husband and I

For titles about Harry and Meghan try:

Cover of Harry & Meghan: An Invitation to the Royal Wedding Cover of Harry & Meghan: a royal engagement Cover of Prince Harry: The inside story Cover of Harry: A biography Cover of Prince Harry: Brother, soldier, son Cover of Harry: The People's prince  Cover of Hello! magazineCover of Meghan: A Hollywood princess

Read more –

All our libraries are closed on Monday 4 June 2018.

Karamia Müller: Sharing Gagana Sāmoa

Sunday 27th May kicked off national Sāmoan Language Week, with each of the main city centres hosting a service at a nominated Sāmoan church. There will be loads of events happening across Christchurch (the Ministry for Pacific Peoples website has a national events calendar).

Cover of How do you say thank you? by Karamia MüllerThis year the national theme for le Vaiaso o le Gagana Sāmoa is “Alofa atu nei, alofa mai taeao.” Kindness given is kindness gained. To incorporate the themes of alofa (love and kindness) and ‘āiga (family) into our activities here at Christchurch City Libraries we are shaping our Tala mo Tamaiti (Storytimes sessions) around a picture book called How Do You Say ‘Thank you’? by Sāmoan author Karamia Müller. We were lucky enough to get permission from Karamia to feature her book for the week, and to catch her for a moment in her very busy life to have a quick chat to find out more about her writing and her life outside of writing.

Karamia was born in Honiara in the Solomon Islands. Like many peoples of the Pacific, her Sāmoan heritage is influenced by the many islands of the Pacific, with her father being raised in Fiji, and her paternal grandfather being brought up in Tonga. It was the pull of family settled here in New Zealand that led to Karamia’s family settling in Auckland.  She is the youngest of five siblings, and a proud aunty to three nieces and 4 nephews who range from 5 to 11 years old. A creative in many ways, Karamia is currently completing her Master’s thesis at the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Auckland.

Author, Karamia Müller. Image credit: Penny Sage
Author, Karamia Müller. Image credit: Penny Sage

As is common with many New Zealand-raised Sāmoans Karamia was not brought up speaking Gagana Sāmoa exclusively. And like many of us who are not allowed the privilege of speaking our own languages for different reasons “this absence was felt profoundly.” Being the younger of her siblings, her mother spoke Sāmoan to her older sisters but Karamia has had to take on the learning of Gagana Sāmoa as an adult.

It was this learning journey that inspired Karamia to write How Do You Say ‘Thank You’? After finding that her learning style was not suitable for learning languages, she wanted to share her technique with others with similar learning preferences through the navigators in the book Alofa and Filipo. Karamia acknowledges that as a Samoan, speaking Samoan is important to us all. She is not only working on developing her proficiency in Gagana Sāmoa, but also looks to utilise Indigenous Pasifika themes and titles wherever she can in her architectural practice and scholarship.

When I first started to ask Karamia questions she assured me that she was “quite boring”, but after speaking to her I felt nothing but awe and inspiration.

As a parting gift for our readers I asked Karamia if she had a favourite Sāmoan proverb or ‘alagā’upu to share. She didn’t have one but when I told her about our theme – “Alofa atu nei, alofa mai taeao.” She shared her perspective: “This means to me that we can never run out of kindness because as much as we give, we receive. Which I think is a lovely way to think about kindness. I shall keep that in mind myself when I feel stressed or unkind! I think is my favourite, so thank you!”

Thank you Karamia for sharing with us. If you or anyone you know is also looking to improve your Gagana Sāmoa or begin your learning journey we have plenty of resources to get you going here at the library. There are also some excellent courses in Gagana Sāmoa for adults at Ara Institute of Canterbury.

Ia Manuia le Vaiaso o le Gagana Sāmoa! Happy Sāmoan Language Week!

Find out more

Jan-Hai Te Ratana
South Learning Centre

Cool stuff from the Selectors: Musings on fiction

Fiction publishing  is very much trend and theme driven, and as Heidi Klum said “one day you’re in and the next day you’re out”.

There are always the bestseller authors, but in amongst their numbers are a few subjects and authors that can come out of left field.

Bookshops

Bookshops. Books and people who sell them, read in them, murder in them and fall in love, usually in old dusty quaint places – none of which resemble Whitcoulls or Paper Plus.  The recently released movie The bookshop might also create some interest in this area.

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Librarians and Libraries

Librarians and libraries!  Well, not exactly a major trend, but for a generally under-represented group in books and films we seem to be featuring on a regular basis lately – usually there is a murder involved …which is um, interesting?

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Bakeries

Bakeries.  Food has always been a feature in fiction, but just lately there has been the odd bakery/romance popping up, which seems like a nice mixture to me.

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Bees and Beekeepers

Bees – and for some reason Beekeepers

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Feminist Dystopias

Feminist dystopias – not surprising considering the dramatisation of The Handmaid’s tale. These books are not for the faint hearted.

Find more feminist dystopias in our collection.

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Of course, fiction publishing is also affected by what is going on in the world, there have been more titles published in the last few years about refugees for example, plenty of titles about the economic crisis, climate change and a plethora of light easy reads for those of us who just want to escape.

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用图书馆资源开发您的音乐潜能: Becoming musical with library eResources

每年五月是新西兰的音乐节。人们在庆祝本土音乐的成就之余也会想到存在于不同的历史时期、不同社会、不同形式的音乐。音乐作为人类情感的表达,是任何文明社会不可缺少的。孔夫子曰:夫乐者,乐也,人情之所不能免也。 Confucius said, “Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without”. 尽管不是每个人都有天赋成为一名音乐家,但都能通过发展音乐欣赏的能力,成为一名业余的音乐爱好者或专业的音乐人。尤其对华人移民和他们的子女来说,学会赏析西洋音乐和来自其它文化背景的音乐能丰富在远离故土的生活,甚至开启一个职业的领域。在这方面,基督城图书馆的电子音乐资源能助您一臂之力。

图书馆有两大类音乐资源可满足您的需求:

发展音乐爱好的资源:

您喜欢听美国歌曲和音乐吗?American Song数据库拥有源于美国社会各阶层、种族和各个时期的超过十一万个音乐曲目。涵盖像民谣folk蓝调blues乡村country, 福音gospel摇滚rock 等众多的音乐类别。如果您不知道怎样欣赏这些类别的音乐,可用图书馆的百科全书Britannica Library Adults键入相关音乐类别的英文单词获得背景知识。

 

古典音乐的爱好者可从Classical Music Library数据库中找到您的最爱。该数据库拥有从格利高里的圣歌Gregorian Chants到近代的九万多个曲目。Naxos Music Library数据库云集了在线串流式古典音乐。流行音乐的粉丝们也不会失望。Popular Music Library数据库让您“畅游”在流行音乐的殿堂。如果您对世界各地的音乐都感兴趣,Contemporary World Music数据库是不错的选择。该数据库拥有超过二十万的曲目。您能在其中找到雷鬼reggae, 世界的节拍worldbeat, 柴迪科zydeco雅乐gagaku等不太熟悉的音乐类别。当然,其中也有中国的二胡、古典民乐等音乐曲目。同样,Smithsonian Global Sound for Libraries数据库的收藏也是包罗万象。其中不仅包含世界各地的音乐曲目,还拥有各种动物和自然界各种声音的录音。Music Online: Listening Plus包含上述多种数据库,集结了各种音乐专辑、曲目于一体

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另外,您如果喜欢听音乐会,看歌剧和芭蕾舞剧,Naxos Video Library数据库能提供超过2560个完整剧目。Naxos JazzJazz Music Library两个数据库提供9000多个爵士乐专辑和最完整的在线串流式爵士乐。

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发掘音乐潜能的资源:

图书馆的音乐资源也能用于开发个人的音乐潜能,音乐专业学习和教学。Busy Things是一款适合于三到十三岁孩子的寓教于乐的软件。其获得了 英国教育培训和技术展大奖BETT (British Educational Training and Technology Show) award。该软件中的音乐学习素材可训练孩子们在游戏中辨认乐器、发展对音乐的节奏感、认识音阶和懂得五线谱。在此基础上,Fine Arts and Music Collection, Bloomsbury Popular Music, Oxford Music Online, Rock’s Backpages 等数据库收集了大量有关音乐研究、学习和教学的材料。为学习音乐提供了丰富的素材。Naxos Sheet Music提供四千五百多个音乐作品的乐谱供下载打印。有小孩学习乐器的家长可充分利用这些材料来发展孩子的音乐潜能。

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以上音乐数据库只提供在图书馆注册申请了借书证的顾客使用权。如果您希望使用这些数据库,请按要求申请借书证。当您点击该文章中的链接时,系统会让您输入借书证号(card number)和密码(password/pin)以便进入特定网页。希望图书馆的音乐资源能帮助丰富您和您家人的生活,发展兴趣爱好,修身养性,发掘您的音乐潜能。

Hong Wang, Network Library Assistant

Women of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAFs) on parade at Harewood Air Force Station, Christchurch: Picturing Canterbury

Women of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAFs) on parade at Harewood Air Force Station, Christchurch [1941]. File Reference CCL PhotoCD 15, IMG0095.
On 31 May 1941, forty-one women started in their positions as members of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) at Harewood Air Force Station. At the commencement of their duties, it was expected that they would soon be joined by further recruits, bringing the total number of WAAF members serving at Harewood to one hundred and fifty, with another two hundred expected for the station at Wigram.

Do you have any photographs of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force in Christchurch or of the Harewood Air Force Station? If so, feel free to contribute to our collection.

Kete Christchurch is a collection of photographs and stories about Christchurch and Canterbury, past and present. Anyone can join and contribute.

Armageddon is coming…next week!

This year the masses will descend on Horncastle Arena for the annual Armageddon convention on the weekend of 2-4 June. The 4th of June being, conveniently, Queen’s Birthday holiday.

I myself have attended Armageddon religiously since 2012, after discovering that an actor from one of my then (still) favorite television shows would be in attendance. Last year I somewhat satiated my Tolkien obsession and obtained Pippin’s [Billy Boyd’s] signature on my beautifully illustrated yet dog-eared copy of ‘The Lord of the Rings.’ Other highlights include spending my hard-earned money on a replica Evenstar and discovering the stall that sells moonshine in hipster-ish mason-style jars. Does this still exist? Where was it last year? ;-(

Not much has changed. Still a shameless fan girl.

Because I get excited about these things, in preparation I will be wading through several of my favourite Armageddon-worthy television shows over the coming weekends: check out our catalogue for inspiration, and for my top picks.

And if you have a lot of time on your hands…check out these books:

Armageddon 2018- Must Reads

Cover of A Game of Thrones by George R. R. MartinA Game of Thrones – George Martin’s epic fantasy is intimidating to say the least, but well worth the time. Pick it up now and you just might get through it before the long-awaited Season 8 is released.

Supernatural – Ah, Dean and Sam. Sam and Dean. The excellent chemistry between the two lead actors carried me through a whooping 13 seasons of the TV show, but this fan-fiction is helping with my withdrawals somewhat.

Cover of Epic cosplay costumesEpic Cosplay Costumes – Who doesn’t love a good dress up…and the chance to upstage all the other Armageddon-goers.

Star Trek – Star Trek 101. Visually stunning effort by DK. If not the most comprehensive of guides, a great intro to the world of Star Trek for budding fans!

View Full List

Photos from our Collection

For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of attending an Armageddon convention before, here is some of what you’ve been missing out on:

Three Furry Creatures. File reference: 2015-03-13-DSC00749
Pop culture baby onesies
Little nerds in the making. File reference: 2015-03-07-IMG_6159.
Pinhead cosplayer
A Pinhead Looking for Action. File reference: 2015-03-07-IMG_6156.

See more photos from Armageddon’s gone by

Youth Week events at Shirley Library

For all you gamers and budding artists out there, in honour of Youth Week we are putting on some exciting events at Shirley Library. Come along to our Playstation Tournament this Friday to WIN great prizes, and get in on this Drawing and Visual Storytelling Workshop, hosted by comic illustrator/fantasy artist Ryan Green, this Saturday.

So back to Armageddon. I’ll be there, rubbing shoulders with the sweaty rabble and hoping for a glimpse of a certain someone who may have rubbed shoulders with a certain Jon Snow.

Will you be dressing up this year? See you there 🙂

Library sounds – a mid-year review

I’ve been exploring the CD collection available through Christchurch City Libraries this year and I’ve found some absolute gems!

There’s a mix of styles and eras in this list and quite a representation of New Zealand music – and it just so happens to be New Zealand Music Month.

So sit back and get some sonic stimulation from some quality musicians from around the world of music…

2018 – The Best of Music

List created by DevilStateDan

Music highlights for the year. Some are brand new, some are decades old but new to me, all are great!

Versatile – Van Morrison doing jazz interpretations backed by a very slick big band. It’s really well produced and if you’re new to the American jazz standards then this is a great way in!

Utterance – I love this album! It’s a collaborative effort between three on NZ’s finest musicians; David Long (banjo w/effects), Natalia Mann (harp), and Richard Nunns (taonga puoro). These flavours blend beautifully to create haunting soundscapes that are textural and dynamic – truly beautiful sounds from Aotearoa!

The Jazz Messengers – The first album from the group that went on to be the band that every jazz player wanted to be in. They’ve had some huge names in jazz through their ranks over the years and this is a great way to start their 40+ album recording career!

The Kitchen Table Sessions – Beaut, home-cooked alt-country from NZ’s favourite adopted daughter, Tami Neilson. Great country grooves and a lady with a voice of gold – what’s not to love!?

Preservation – Some more beautiful, lyrical, melodic songwriting from NZ’s Nadia Reid.

Second Nature – This is just how I like the Blues; stripped back, acoustic, you can just imagine it on the porch on a hot summer day… This father and son team recorded this album in single takes with no overdubs whilst they were touring Finland in 1991, and it’s a timeless and solid an blues album as you’ll find.

Charlie Watts Meets the Danish Radio Big Band – Charlie Watts (drummer for the Rolling Stones) gives it his jazz side on this album, featuring the big band of Danish radio. Some great jazz music here particularly the ‘Elvin Suite’ numbers. After that you get the obligatory big band arrangements of some Stones songs, beautifully arranged and executed but nothing terribly exciting musically.

Dog – Stripped back acoustic blues doesn’t get much better than this album of what I like to call “porch music” from Charlie Parr. Solid songwriting and a very real connection with the blues makes this a great addition to the genre.

Don’t Let Them Lock You up – New Zealand music is in good shape these days and I really like the creativity and superb musicianship that is on display on this album. They usually perform as a duo but the recording process has allowed them to expand on their ideas and grooves, implement new harmonies and percussion lines, and get really solid and funky! Great album!

Black Notes From the Deep – A great jazz album from the British multi-instrumentalist jazz legend Courtney Pine. Brilliant small ensemble playing and solid musicianship on display. I really liked the instrumentals – not so much the vocal numbers – but that’s just my preference. It’s good compositions played really nicely without arrogance or naff-ness. Jazz fans should have a listen.

View full list

Podcast – Youth suicide

Speak Up Kōrerotia logoChristchurch City Libraries blog hosts a series of regular podcasts from New Zealand’s only specialist human rights radio show Speak up – Kōrerotia. This show is created by Sally Carlton.

The latest episode deals with youth suicide. New Zealand has high rates of youth suicide, especially among Māori and Pasifika populations.

  • Part I: Sir Peter Gluckman (Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor)
    Youth suicide statistics in NZ and elsewhere; possible reasons; the importance of providing supportive contexts for young people.
  • Parts II and III: Jackie Burrows and Tanith Petersen (He Waka Tapu) and Wesley Mauafu (PYLAT – Pacific Youth Leadership and Transformation). Possible reasons; situation among different ethnic groups; situation in post-earthquake Christchurch and Elements for youth suicide prevention initiatives – sport, music, support, etc.

Transcript of the audio

Find out more

Cover of Suicide awareness and preventioncover of Spin by Dylan Horrocks Cover of Y do u h8 me Cover of Breaking the silence Cover of Sorrows of a century Cover The Roaring Silence A Compendium of Interviews, Essays, Poetry, Art and Prose About Suicide Cover of Twelve Thousand hours Cover of After the Suicide of Someone You Know Information and Support for Young People Cover A Practical Guide to Working With Suicidal Youth Cover of Alcohol information for teens

More about Speak up – Kōrerotia

The show is also available on the following platforms: