Watched Love in Bright Landscapes: The Story of David McComb of the Triffids by Contributors to Wikimedia projects from Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

Love in Bright Landscapes: The Story of David McComb of the Triffids is a feature-length documentary, depicting the life and times of late Australian songwriter David McComb (February 17, 1962 – February 2, 1999) best known for his work with the Triffids, a band he co-founded in Perth, Western Australia. The Triffids were active between 1978 and 1990.

The film was the directorial debut of Melbourne-based writer/broadcaster Jonathan Alley, who also wrote the documentary screenplay. The film was produced by Atticus Media and The Acme Film Company and distributed in the Australian/New Zealand territory by Label Distribution.

The title Love in Bright Landscapes refers both to the Triffids’ compilation of the same name, released in 1986, and the poem by Spanish literary figure Rafael Alberti, who published The Coming Back of Love in Bright Landscapes] in 1973.[1]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_in_Bright_Landscapes:_The_Story_of_David_McComb_of_the_Triffids

I had watched Great Australian Albums episode on Born Sandy Devotional and listened to Kirsten Krauth’s Almost a Mirror episode on ‘Wide Open Road’, so I was aware of The Triffids story. However, what Jonathan Alley brought to the table with were some of the voices closest to David McComb. What was weird though about this was that by the time this documentary was released in 2021, how many of these voices were long past, a point made by Alley in the credits.

One aspect that I felt Alley made more light of was McComb’s life after ‘Born Sand Devotional’. I had not realised that the record company wanted to seemingly replace the band in the recording process for Calenture, their Island Records debut. It makes you wonder in this circumstance where David McComb stops and the band begins, a similar experience I had reading Love & Pain by Ben Gillies and Chris Joannou.

Another interesting aspect to this sort of documentary are the voices that are included and the subsequent ones that are excluded. For example, Bleddyn Butcher is not a part of the discussion. Maybe as he has his own book Save What You Can, then he did not feel the need to be involved or was not asked?

Watched 2018 documentary film directed by Peter Jackson by Contributors to Wikimedia projects from Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

They Shall Not Grow Old is a 2018 documentary film directed and produced by Peter Jackson. The film was created using original footage of the First World War from the Imperial War Museum‘s archives, most previously unseen, all over 100 years old by the time of release. Audio is from BBC and Imperial War Museum (IWM) interviews of British servicemen who fought in the conflict. Most of the footage has been colourised and transformed with modern production techniques, with the addition of sound effects and voice acting to be more evocative and feel closer to the soldiers’ actual experiences.

Source: They Shall Not Grow Old by Wikipedia

They Shall Not Grow Old is documentary that ties together voices from the war with archival film and images from World War One. It was co-commissioned by 14–18 NOW and Imperial War Museums in association with the BBC, with a copy sent to every school in the United Kingdom.

The film was directed by Peter Jackson. He used technology to bring new life to original footage from World War One, fixing up the inconsistencies with the rates per minute and adding colour. There are also moments when actors have been brought in to add voice to the silent film with the scripts produced by professional lip readers who watched the archival material.

As a narrative, it begins with the build-up to war and the excitement about enlisting, even if you were not officially old enough. It then recounts the training for soldiers and the journey to Europe and the trenches. We are given an insight into life in the trenches, including the maze like structure, how you rested where you were, the food eaten, such as bread, bacon, biscuits and bully beef, where people went to the toilet, and how soldiers dealt with infestations of lice and rats. This is contrasted with constant shelling, gas attacks, and the chaos of going over the top to take an enemy line. It then ends with armistice and the neglected and misunderstood life of the returned serviceman.

Overall, the film ties together different facets of war into an odd narrative about the western front that seemingly existed for so many, but for no-one in particular. I think that it is telling how much material was reviewed for the project.

The crew reviewed 600 hours of interviews from 200 veterans and 100 hours of original film footage to make the film.

Source: They Shall Not Grow Old by Wikipedia

Although there has been a lot of praise for the film.

Jackson has done something quite remarkable: using 21st-century technology to put the humanity back into old movie stock.

Source: They Shall Not Grow Old review – an utterly breathtaking journey into the trenches by Mark Kermode

There are also some who think that we need to be mindful of the choices made and the act of history making.

But the colourisation combined with the selective source base, the implicit narrative making and the critical response that suggests that this is somehow more “authentic” history, is problematic. Some reviewers seem unable to distinguish fiction from reality: “No Lord of the Rings battle could match the sheer hellishness of what the filmmaker recreates here,” writes one.

What does this process of modernisation and the addition of colour and sound, which Jackson advocates for wider usage across historical archives, do for our understanding of the past? On Armistice Day, we should encourage people to watch this film – not just for its World War I history, but as a good opportunity to think about history making.

Source: They Shall Not Grow Old: World War I film a masterpiece of skill and artistry – just don’t call it a documentary by Alice Kelly

Watched The Go-Betweens: Right Here (2017) – The Screen Guide – Screen Australia from screenaustralia.gov.au

The Go-Betweens : Right Here is the feature length documentary about the people who created the seminal rock band the Go-Betweens. It is a heartfelt story of discovery, uncovering the intensely passionate, creative and fraught relationships that formed one of the most loved and influential bands in Australian rock history. It is also the universal story of a great creative adventure that spanned three decades, through countless successes, failures, romances, break-ups, betrayals, triumphs and tragedies.

Kriv Stenders tells the story of The Go-Betweens, from Robert Forster’s first meeting with Grant McLennan at university in 1975 throught to the end of the band when McLennan died in 2006. Stenders has some history with the band as the director of the music video to Streets of Your Town. It pulls together snippets of voices from inside and outside of the band both now and then. It is interesting to watch this alongside David Nichols book The Go-Betweens as it gives face to the many names. I would not be surprised if Nichols actually provided some of the source material. It differs from 16 Lovers Lane – The Story Behind the Album documentary in that it also goes into the band’s second reincarnation. It also provides a more nostalgic perspective on their legacy. A highlight is Clinton Walker’s commentary throughout.
Watched American documentary film about Quincy Jones, co-directed by Rashida Jones and Alan Hicks from Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

The film epilogue details his career as follows: “Over 2,900 songs recorded; over 300 albums recorded; 51 film and television scores; over 1,000 original compositions; 79 Grammy nominations; 27 Grammy awards; 1 of 18 EGOT winners (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony); ‘Thriller’ the best selling album of all time; ‘We Are the World’ the best selling single of all time; $63 million raised for famine relief in Africa; and 7 children.”

Inspired by The Weeknd, I watched the Quincy documentary. It is amazing how many years his career has spanned and so many genres. I always wondered how How Nadia Boulanger fitted in, but this was because I had a particular perspective of him.

One interesting observation was that Michael Jackson’s thriller started by selecting from 600 songs. I wonder if any of those tracks were picked up by other artists?

I also liked Jones’ reflection:

To know where you came from makes it easier to know where you are going.

Watched The Vietnam War from sbs.com.au

Directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, ‘The Vietnam War’ tells the epic story of the Vietnam War as it has never before been told on film.

There is something uncanny about history. On the one hand something like Vietnam War feels knowable through popular culture and having actual been to Vietnam. However, after watching Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s documentary, I feel that there is so much about Vietnam War that I neither knew or had not considered. It was all just so sad from so many perspectives, whether it be the seemingly endless deaths, the political lies and the legacy. This is captured in the following quote:

If you can’t count what is important, then you focus on what you can count.

I liked Vincent Okamoto’s point:

The real heroes are the ones that died.

It was also interesting to consider the comment about propping up the South Vietnamese Army in light of the collapse of Afghanistan.

Mistake was making an army in its own image.

On a side note, the choice of music throughout was great in setting the tone.

Watched Age of Tanks from imdb.com

The history of the powerful weapon on land, the tank. Covers its entire history, from paper designs of the early-1900s to the beasts of the present day.

Age of Tanks is a four part series that traces the rise of tanks in regards to warfare. What is interesting is how so often a small advantage, such as the ability to fire at longer distances or to be able to pierce armor can completely change the sway of things.
Watched television series from Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

World War II In Colour is a 13-episode British television docuseries recounting the major events of World War II narrated by Robert Powell. It was first broadcast in 2008–2009. The series is in full colour, combining both original and colourized footage. The show covers the Western Front, Eastern Front, North African Campaign and the Pacific War. It was on syndication in the United States on the Military Channel.

After watching various films on war, including Fury and Dunkirk, I watched this series for a different perspective on World War II.

 

Watched documentary film from Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
Beastie Boys Story involves Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz remembering and reimagining the history of the Beastie Boys. The documentary/presentation felt like as much a story about how they got to where they did as it was about redeeming past ills.

In one of the film’s most powerful moments, Ad-Rock and Mike D discuss how they have been confronted by the sexist aspects of their rise to fame leading to accusations of hypocrisy later in life and Diamond quotes his BFF: “I’d rather be a hypocrite than the same person forever.” Amen. The Beastie Boys grew musically, creatively, and personally, and the reason “Beastie Boys Story” is so powerful is because it doesn’t just put pieces on a line of history chronologically but it charts actual growth in every way

One of the interesting things that I was not really aware of was their frail relationship with Rick Rubin. Certainly not the image of the producer presented in the Soundbreaking documentary. I imagine that Rubin too was different back then too.

In a time that no longer forgets, it feels like an exercise that many are grappling with.

Watched The Pink Floyd Story: Which One’s Pink? (TV Movie 2007) – IMDb from IMDb

Directed by Chris Rodley. With Syd Barrett, Joe Boyd, Bob Geldof, David Gilmour. Traces the band’s history from psychedelic 60s London to a reunion show at Live 8 in 2005, this is the story of a succession of musical and commercial peaks separated by a succession of struggles around the creative leadership of the band.

This documentary breaks down the story of Pink Floyd. I remember ransacking my step-father’s cassettes when I was growing up. He had Dark Side of the Moon, The Wall and Atom Heart Mother. I think that this opened me up to a different appreciation of music. I also had a friend who was slightly obsessed with their music and had learnt each song on guitar inside out. I never got to that level.
Watched Nolan – The Man and the Myth (2018) – The Screen Guide – Screen Australia from screenaustralia.gov.au

Sidney Nolan is unquestionably one of the best- known names in the history of modern Australian art. His images are iconic, treasures of the Australian visual language. Everyone feels they know ‘Sid Nolan’ but there’s more to the man than the public image. This film will explore and celebrate the artist and the man, going well beyond his early years to his stellar international career and all the success and turmoil that came with it.

I went and saw the Ned Kelly series when I was in Canberra earlier this year. It is intriguing to appreciate something now that was barely recognised at the time. I guess this is a part of the myth?

I almost do everything to avoid painting, but once I get to them

Listened The Cult of Aphex Twin – BBC Radio 4 by John Doran from BBC

Music writer John Doran ventures into the strange world of Richard D James. Over the course of three decades James, known to his legion of hardcore fans as Aphex Twin, has achieved the primary but evasive aim of most serious musicians – the invention, exploration and curation of a truly unique and inimitable sound.

John Doran reflects on the stories associated with Aphex Twin. The myth that maketh the man. This is in contrast to something like Deep Cuts’ guide to the music:

I remember growing up with many of the myths, such as Richard D James drove around in a tank. I also once met a DJ who told me he was a part of a tour in the 90’s where Richard D James spent a whole gig just playing ping pong on the computer.

What is most intriguing about Richard D James is his ability to push back on expectation. I remember when I saw him perform in 2004.

It was like nothing I had ever experienced before and since. Where some dance/electronic acts have a certain rhythm and structure of highs and lows, the whole set was just intense music with no transitions. A musical journalist I went with actually left the gig early.

There is something about both Richard D James and his music that drags the listener in only to spit them out once again. There is a constant teasing of order never quite achieved.

Watched The Chosen Few 2 from Vimeo

Following the critically acclaimed 2014 Documentary on the life of an AFL Coach, this next installment will take you inside the hearts and minds of a remarkable…

Following the critically acclaimed 2014 Documentary on the life of an AFL Coach, this next installment will take you inside the hearts and minds of a remarkable group of young men, the AFL Captains.

You will see what it takes to reach the pinnacle of leadership at the elite level of our great game. With unprecedented behind the scenes access to the inner sanctum including never before seen on-field vision and audio, you will witness first hand the human side of the AFL Captains.

With generous unguarded honesty they share their very personal stories of life in and out of the spotlight.

Prepare to be taken on a roller coaster ride of emotions. From euphoria to despair and back again. For not only have they chosen this most demanding role, it has chosen them.

These are the Chosen Few.

This documentary from Peter Dickson provides a fascinating insight into leadership. Although it is focused on AFL, it has ramifications for all areas. It also touches on the work of Leading Teams.

One of the compelling features is the ability to capture the fragile side of sport. I am reminded of the documentary from Rob Dickson, Peter’s brother, from a few years back featuring Shane Crawford.