Stations, by Derek Lind (New Zealand)

In 1994, an editor let me review this album for his Christian magazine “Reality”. I hustled him to review The Winans “All Out” but I did not succeed. He really wanted someone to review Derek Lind’s Stations album, so gave me the job. I was not that enthusiastic to do it. However, I pretty much liked Lind’s previous album Slippery Ground so had a connection. Lind is known in Christian circles for his unapologetic content.

Reviewed by Peter Veugelaers. 1994.

When leading New Zealand ‘underground’ artist Derek Lind performed at last January’s Parachute Music Festival he gave us a taste of his not-yet released new album. That Saturday night at the festival the atmosphere was electric, charge with anticipation—an atmosphere reflected in this album, which bubbles with poetic honesty.

As with his previous releases, Stations has a distinctly New Zealand flavour. Here that flavour comes through most strongly in “My Grandfather,” Derek’s engaging recollection of his personal heritage, marvellously captured, while “Ukulele” also embraces his Rarotongan wife Ra’s family heritage.

Yet Lind’s vision is international too. His travels with Tear Fund around parts of Asia have resulted in a number of powerful, poignant songs throughout the years.

Most of this continent’s inhabitants live with violence, oppression and poverty, making Derek’s lifestyle, as he says on the album jacket, seem “petty” and very comfortable. This is indicated in the beautiful song “Nothing Looks The Same,” written in Manila: “I get to fly away/You get to stay”—a powerful reminder of our privileged global position which digs deep at the soul. What could I do in their situation? Can I help them?

The song “Lightening Strike” adopts another familiar Lind line: the angry, voice-in-the-wilderness prophetic denunciation of the American Christian music industry, of people living double lives. Yet this voice is heard less often on “Stations”, which opts by and large for a quieter, more intimate atmosphere, more akin to the song “Picture” on his Slippery Ground album.

In “Ukulele” Derek sings, “This was going to be a picture, but it turned into a song.” Derek Lind, once an art teacher himself, paints a number of deftly sketched, sharply realized pictures on this album, portraying real life situations in a thoughtful, stimulating and challenging way.

A very accessible album with warmth, backbone and integrity.

Reviewed for Reality magazine.

True

A writer has an approach to their work. For me, this is being conducive to my readers. I think this is what every writer wants. To sound conducive and not banging on about something. This is how I approached reviewing films. To sound conducive. Films were not my flavor of the month though But I started writing with something I knew about, as in the 1980’s, before the year 1990, I was an avid moviegoer and knew them all pretty well. In 1990, my views of movies changed.

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The Englishman Who Went Up A Hill, But Came Down a Mountain (1995)

I remember watching this film in a lavish independent theatre, on a sunny afternoon. Spending a sunny afternoon in movie theatre with a sunny movie was delightful. I was heartened by such a pleasingly pleasant movie.


High Grant (left)

Confused by the title? Maybe, but don’t be put off. Here we have a delightfully simple film.

In 1917 two English map makers (played by Hugh Grant and Ian McNeice), go to a Welsh village to measure the famous landmark. Is it a hill or a mountain? Within the plethora of events, romance blossoms. Good entertainment with great performances, about the trivial becoming more than a pursuit and the identity of a village.

Reviewed by Peter Veugelaers, for GiveWay magazine, 1996.

1994 Italian film

Italian, subtitled film directed by Michael Radford that I originally saw at an independent theatre. It seemed sunnier on the Italian coast than it did outside. I reviewed it in 1996 for GiveWay.


Massimo Troisi, as Mario, in The Postman.

A fantastically simple and entertaining Italian film that has been nominated for five Academy Awards this year including Best Picture.

It stars Phillippe Noiret as Pablo, a Chilean poet and diplomat, in exile in Italy during the 1950’s. It chronicles an event, his life on an Italian island.

A postman, Mario (Massimo Troisi) delivers Pablo’s mail and they strikes up a friendship which consists of Mario learning how to be a poet, taught by the famous Pablo.

Mario is shy person but starts to fall in love with Beatrice Russo and comes to Pablo for advice. Mario starts to blossom as a young poet and the young lady responds to his charm. Soon, a relationship develops. One can almost see the innocence of this relationship.

Director Michael Radford depicts the closeness of the two main relationships that Mario has with Beatrice and Pablo without needing to be pretentious. This is an unassuming film and terrific performances especially Noiret’s gentle aggressiveness and Troisi’s mellow “lethargy” as Mario. The ending shows the consequences or influence in friendship and fighting for a cause.

Reviewed by Peter Veugelaers, in 1996, for Giveway magazine.

1981

Film Review 1982-1983 by F. Maurice Speed

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


More interesting articles this time around. There is a very stimulating article about Third World cinema, an absorbing read is the story of sound, and another two good ones, on silent cinema stars and how the advent of sound either done the stars in or enhanced their careers, and the advent of the video cassette tape, along with the regular columns, obituaries, and promising faces.

The films on review are releases of the year are for the 1981-1982 year in Great Britain, from July 1 to June 30. Many of these films were first released in the United States or Europe and come later to Great Britain. So, many of the films on review in this annual had an original release date of 1981.

Still, outrageously raucous in places, the censors were busy placing ratings, but quite a few more decent films. And Quiet Rolls the Dawn, The Antagonists, Beyond Reasonable Doubt, The Boat, The Chosen, Clarence and the Angel, Clash of the Titans, Condorman, Escape to Victory, Evil Under the Sun, The Fox and the Hound, The Great Muppet Caper, Herbie Goes Bananas, The Legend of the Lone Ranger, Manganinnie, The Mouse and His Child, My Dinner with Andre, Oblomov, The Proud Ones, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Roar, Spirit of the Wild, Supersnooper, Three Brothers, and Voices.

That is quite a lengthier list than the previous two years, perhaps the filmmakers saw the box office sense of the clean films of the later part of the 1970’s, which did well.

Some fascinating films as well, such as Mephisto, which kind of straddled the line, occasionally crossing it. What a story.

Less nudity this time, and a more interesting read than the 1981-1982 annual.



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