Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 33 No. 8. 10 June 1970
The 625 Line — TV with David Smith
The 625 Line
TV with David Smith
Three Actors in Search of a Cameraman
Without putting too fine a point on it the fact is that we are now halfway through the year without having seen one local television programmecapable of standing on its own feet (both of them left in the case of Let's Dance). Apparently the golden age of successful local television will dawn only when the 'mammoth' studios at Avalon become operational. Avalon is to the NZBC what Paremoremo was to the Justice Departrnent—the only distinction being that Paremoremo has more television cameras than Avalon. Just as stone walls do not a prison make it might be pertinent to point out that extra floor space does not a successful TV enterprise make either. The usual government policy of 'put up more buildings' is singularly inappropriate here. The policy should be one of 'import more human beings'. Human beings like Max Adrian, whose presence in the capital city has gone largely unnoticed by the Corporation yet whose staggering talent was admirably showcased in what would probably be one of the greatest programmes ever seen on any TV screen anywhere in the world, to wit Song of Summer. As Frederick Delius in decay and resurrection, Adrian was magnificent, memorable and thoroughly direct. With totally competent supporting actors and a cameraman whose technique was marvellously suited to the small screen, the beautiful sensitivity to music and art that was emitted from a seemingly loathsome individual came across almost imperceptibly and with no concert hall distractions. No attempt at grand scale production—just relentless pursuit of a central theme within an unambitious framework. Likewise Peter Vaughn's Benvenuto Cellini, on an even smaller scale, had almost as much impact. Once again the sheer animal force of the artist carried the programme with enormous intensity. Why no top class New Zealand actors are asked to try the same thing is beyond my comprehension. Maybe they really do like Moro bars.
After all these years of slick mindlessness, isn't it now time for the lead actor of To Catch a Thief to change his name to Alex Mundane?
Only the NZBC could do it without blinking an eye. One night last week they advertised a forthcoming transmission of a rugby league game by throwing up a photograph of an All Black game. Really!
Object lesson in sports broadcasts came with a total of four hours of the English F.A. Cup Final which all told deserved an Arts Council Grant. The fact that the result was known in advance simply added a new dimension similar to Greek tragedy. As soon as New Zealand TV stops treating sports broadcasts as a chore the sooner this sporting nation (the well known myth) will get the coverage it deserves.
Miss New Zealand Show. Well, I at least agree with the first word . . .page 16