BE CAREFUL OUT THERE: In time for the holidays, NZ On Screen’s latest collection is a bunch of safety videos from the 1950s to the 70s: there’s the NFU bicycle safety film Monkey Tale from 1952, starring a family of chimpanzees; Such a Stupid Way to Die, an incredible slice of New Zealand gothic from 1971 about dying from exposure in the bush; and The Elysian Bus from 1951, the best New Zealand film noir ever made about driving in bad weather.
GOING TROPFEST: The world’s largest short film festival, Tropfest, is about to launch here. Tropfest New Zealand has announced 16 finalists, which will screen at the Bowl of Brooklands in New Plymouth on January 27. The website is tropfest.co.nz, although the videos won’t be up until after the event. In the meantime, there are plenty of short films to peruse at Tropfest’s YouTube channel: youtube.com/tropfest.
THROUGH A GLASS, SHORTLY: Meanwhile, local film festival Show Me Shorts has a new “screening room” for December: there are animations Preferably Blue: A Christmas Tale, by Alan Dickson; and The North Pole Deception, by Joe Hitchcock; plus Ebony Society, by Tammy Davis (formerly Munter in Outrageous Fortune). bit.ly/RAQlit
SHE’S A RAINBOW: Ethereal Auckland pop princess Watercolours, the critics’ choice at this year’s Silver Scrolls, has launched her new video on the NZ Herald website. Pazzida features chairs, tap dancing and clothing. At the rock end of the spectrum, Street Chant have a new vid, too, for their single Sink.
NEXT GEEK THING: The Hobbit is so last week. What’s next on the geek agenda? Star Trek: Into Darkness, of course, JJ Abrams’s follow-up to 2009’s Star Trek reboot. From the trailer , it does look dark and, holy cow, Sherlock is the bad guy! Benedict Cumberbatch plays “John Harrison”, although there is speculation he is somehow connected to one of the great Star Trek baddies, Khan.