Kedi: the perfect documentary about Turkey’s infamous street cats is coming to TVNZ
Kedi means cat in Turkish and it’s the perfect title for this documentary about Istanbul’s infamous street cats and the people who love, love and tolerate them.
We literally accompany different cats in their daily lives, seeing how they interact with the world around them, how they adapt to life on the street and how they make the street meet their needs.
Talking to the humans cats interact with and asking them questions about the cat’s personality – and what they think her life looks like out of public view – gives a nice glimpse into everyday life in Istanbul. Some people are obviously cats and could read cats very well. Others had no idea, which in itself is hilarious. Cats do what they like anyway.
Any real cat will tell you that cats are not animals; cats are humans. And they ask to be treated as such. Seeing an entire city not only open up to this idea, but celebrate it is wonderful.
One of the best things about this movie is that it’s kid-friendly, and even those who can’t read will love it. Cats tell the story; words are a bonus. If a movie could get on your knees and purr, Kedi is this.
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In British Vogue
Standing in the back of the studio, watching David Bailey shoot famous people for British Vogue Centenary number; Documentary filmmaker Richard Macer is pondering the idea of a magazine you might want to keep forever.
“Today I bought the latest edition of FHM… “He stops. He should be filming, but he’s not allowed to photograph the photographer or the photos taken. Or the monitor displaying the photos taken. He really can’t show anything. And that’s a problem.
Macer spent nine months at British Vogue, mainly accompanying editor Alexandra Shulman as she prepared for the magazine’s big anniversary edition. We have the expected glimpses of his life: shows in Paris, New York and Milan; private encounters with Lagerfeld and a mildly nervous Victoria Beckham. There are also negotiations, debates, events, but she never seems to really trust him – which becomes very apparent in the second part of this 2016 documentary.
When a rival magazine must have the same cover girl in the same month as British Vogue, Shulman throws the expected “face” of the next issue and pulls the reserved double forward, effectively reclaiming the other title. It seems like a lot of drama, and it was certainly a lot of work, but Shulman later dismisses it as “nothing” The rival magazine? American vogue.
Parade’s End is now available to stream on TVNZ OnDemand.
The end of the parade
A BBC / HBO joint production of the Ford Madox Ford tetralogy of the same name, set in Edwardian England in the run-up to WWI.
It all starts when the very British Christopher Tietjens (Benedict Cumberbatch) marries the beautiful but spirited Sylvie (Rebecca Hall), despite being pregnant with the child of a married man. Speculations about her quick friendships with prominent men hamper her marriage, which is marked by her husband’s stiff upper lip and determination to remain faithful.
Meanwhile, political machinations in Europe whisper that war is approaching, but only Tietjens listens.
If this all sounds like a snootier version of Downton abbey, you are not a million kilometers away. It covers similar ground, but in a more complex way.
Although funny in places, The end of the parade is not clear or sparkling; he has characters who undergo a real emotional catharsis. As much about the destruction of an entire generation of young men as it is about the breathtaking dresses and houses, Tom Stoppard’s script elevates the dialogue to a place that I found a bit overwhelming at times, because I was not just no mood for Edwardian angst.
If you want a Downtown Replacement of the abbey you should watch Belgravia instead of.
Eat fried chicken in the shower
In 2005, the word of the year was “podcast”. Now they are everywhere.
Eat fried chicken in the shower is an RNZ podcast now available on TVNZ OnDemand.
Described as “depressed alcoholic comedian James Nokise invites famous people to his safe sanity space for a finger-licking chat over the open space and happiness”; each episode is around 40 minutes long and is exactly what it says on the box.
A podcast is by definition an audio file made available for digital download and listening, so how does that work on TV? This is not the case.
Visually – and it has nothing to do with the host – it’s boring to watch. People are stuck in an unattractive space. Add in guests who refuse to take off their sunglasses (* cough * SWIDT) – and it’s just irritating. Especially looking at James Nokise, stuck in the corner between the soap dispenser and the shower head, trying to make eye contact with everyone.
There are few people who can be as honest as Nokise about their own mental health history – and do so in such a disarming but non-confrontational way. It can be hard to hear him talk about getting on a bus, but he does so in a way that allows his guests to think about his response and not feel embarrassed to ask what they want to know.
Conversation isn’t the problem – the bland bathroom cubicle is. Let’s not try to reinvent the wheel: before podcasts, there were cats. I love that this is another way to bring real conversations about mental health to people – but if you want us to watch, give us something worth watching.