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Wednesday 08 April 2009

Watch NZ's gay history in online TV archive

Posted in: Television
By Matt Akersten - 8th April 2009

Cooking capers: Hudson & Halls
Several new clips have been added to the NZ On Screen website, showing Hudson & Halls' love story, a coming-of-age drama and some Desperate Remedies.

They came, they battered, they bickered. Peter Hudson and David Halls were as famous for their on-screen spats as they were for their recipes. The couple ("are we gay - well we're certainly merry") turned cooking into comedy. Their popular cooking series led to the duo winning Entertainer of the Year at the 1981 Feltex Awards. Hudson and Halls: A Love Story explores the relationship, careers and ultimately tragic deaths of this celebrity couple. Watch a ten-minute excerpt here.

Coming of age: A scene from 'One of Them'
One of Them! was one of two films (with Memory and Desire) adapted from short stories in Peter Wells' 1991 book Dangerous Desires. It was made for TV One as a Montana Sunday drama. Set in 1960's Auckland, the film tells the story of Lemmy and Jamie, two teenage boys coming to terms with their sexuality. In the dark days before gay liberation, bullying and intimidation was rife, and while the boys flaunt their sissyness, their internalised homophobia wreaks havoc on their emotional lives - until they can admit to being 'one of them'. Watch the complete hour-long film here.

Gay filmmaker Stewart Main traverses India seeking enlightenment in God, Sreenu and Me. There he meets ex-pat Kiwis who seem to have found it, which only leaves him feeling trapped in a life of the senses. Especially when he falls for his cute Indian sound recordist, Sreenu. Or so he would have us think. Main's startling and provocative documentary explores the cracks between the divine and the sensual, documentary and fiction. Watch the complete hour-long programme here.

High camp: The late Kevin Smith in 'Desperate Remedies'
1993's Desperate Remedies is high-camp melodrama set in an imaginary 19th-century town called Hope. 'Draper of distinction' Dorothea Brooks is desperate to save her sister Rose from the clutches of opium, sex and the dastardly Fraser. She begs hunky migrant Lawrence Hayes to marry Rose. Lawrence has his eyes on Dorothea however, and he has competition from malevolent politician Poyser (who has made her an attractive offer), as well as Brooks' sultry lover, Anne Cooper. Sumptuous and ripe, The Piano this definitely ain't! Watch several clips from the film here.

The NZ On Screen website also features TV3's full coverage of Auckland's 1998 Hero Parade, and a half-hour adventure with the Topp Twins, short clips from Georgina Beyer's story Georgie Girl, a 1985 episode of Hudson & Halls, and first two episodes of Maori TV's LGBT programme Takataapui. Visit NZ on Screen here.

Matt Akersten - 8th April 2009