This weekend it’s blues rock and film fest time

OK. Normal service has been resumed.

Last week things got so busy here at the Sun that the music column had to be moved online due to an unavoidable constriction of the entertainment section. You can find it there, but I’ll give you a quick summary in case you don’t like reading on the interweb.

First up: Swamp Thing are doing a couple of big gigs here this weekend down at Brew Bar on The Strand. Here on Planet Watusi we’re big fans, so this comes recommended.

They’ll be purveying their high-energy brand of blues rock on Saturday, August 23 (night) and Sunday, August 24 (afternoon).

The second show is an all-ages bash with family discounts. Otherwise tickets are $20, available several places. There are also support acts. Best to see their Facebook page for details.  

Second thing: The Hot Club Sandwich boys are returning in September but they’re no longer called Hot Club Sandwich. And they’re not all boys. I’ll be delving into the evolution of New Zealand’s favourite swing trio next week – in the meantime you can find out more at new Tauranga website

Third thing: there is no third thing. Well, there was, but it happened last weekend. Instead, before we get to the International Film Festival – which started on Thursday – a couple of observations about the recent Dylan shows in Hamilton (and since I missed them can I thank everyone who emailed to tell me how good they were...).

Bob played the same set each night with one different song. He is now in Oz where he’s played exactly the same set every night.

This week is the 25th anniversary of Dylan’s “neverending tour”. He has played over 2500 shows in that time, in 808 cities, travelling an estimated 1,611,865km. That’s the equivalent of going to the moon and back twice and then going completely round the earth, twice. He’s a steady-rollin’ man.

So, let’s move along as promised, to the Film Fest, which kicked off earlier this week at the Rialto cinema. There are films from all over the world, including a couple of doozies from New Zealand, and films on every conceivable subject. If music is your main bag then you’ll be chuffed by on-screen examinations of Nick Cave, Jimi Hendrix and Pulp.

I’ve got a few suggestions – surprise! –  but first I asked Neale Blaymires, Film Handler for Tauranga Film Society, to choose three. He’s got tickets for 17 films and says his three picks are “the ones more likely to appeal to a broad audience”.

The Lunchbox (India) - thousands of Indian office workers enjoy a hot lunch delivered to their desk by a dabbawala (a lunchbox delivery man) with reputably only one in six million deliveries going astray. This is the story of one of those miss-delivered lunches which leads to a lonely office worker connecting with an isolated housewife via letters within the lunchboxes. Irrfan Khan, familiar from Slum Dog Millionaire and Life of Pi, plays the lead.

Wild Tales (Argentina) - a portmanteau of six short films with a common theme of revenge. These tales are often hilarious, but there’s always the prospect of a scary and violent demise.

The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden (USA) – a documentary of the ill-fated attempt by a German physician and his mistress to create a utopian life on a remote Galapagos island in the 1930s. International media attention for this modern day ‘Adam and Eve’ soon attracted many hangers-on, including a claimed Baroness with two lovers in tow. Tensions ensued, leading to unexplained disappearances, sexual intrigue and murder, proving, yet again, that fact can be far stranger than fiction.

I’ve got my own recommendations of course, almost too many to mention. Try these: David Cronenberg’s latest, Hollywood-skewering Maps of the Stars; Kiwi horror Housebound and Kiwi climate change doco Hot Air; Norwegian noir in the form of In Order of Disappearance starring Stellan Skarsgard; or Marion Cotillard in Two Days, One Night, a finely-tuned observational drama from two-time Palme d’Or winners the Dardenne brothers.

And there’s a bit of glorious weirdness from Scarlett Johansson in Under The Skin and Chris Evans in Snowpiercer, both oddities but well worth a punt. Enjoy!


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