Tag Archives: Rangatira

Doc Edge 18 | Dealin’ with the Devil

Dealin’ with the Devil – New Zealand / 2017 / 102 mins / English / Phil Davison

Phil Davison, accomplished New Zealand song-writer and blues aficionado, tells the story of his influential friend and musical mentor Ralph Bennett-Eades, as he makes the harrowing descent to his untimely death, through the sultry and often dark sound of the blues.

Phil’s background as a Film Editing lecturer clearly shows, as he uses effective and visually stimulating animations, including a scene of aliens coming down from their galaxy to jam with his alter-ego Dr Marigaux – genuine Dr of Theology, within the barren walls of his ramshackle home in the heart of the Mississippi Delta.

The ‘Blues’ – characterized by it’s lyrics, bass lines and instrumentation.  All things that Davison certainly brings to this documentary through soulful genre and his unique mode of story-telling, as he takes us on a journey of human reflection and personal heartbreak through animation and music.

He references such greats as; BB King, Muddy Waters and Johnny Lee Hooker as he taps into the life of his loved companion Ralph and the journey his life took after he was diagnosed with Hepatitis C.   Not forgetting a notable mention to his trusty guitar named Hazel.

A vibrant, colourful man and like most humans, flawed.  The film speaks of Ralph’s decision to make a deal with God to start playing Gospel, and in doing so he would relinquish the blues, if only he should be allowed to keep living.  ‘Dealing with the Devil’ so-to-speak, while his closest friends speak of his final days and the darkness that would often creep in after his fatal diagnosis, and Ralph’s inner-most fear of the ‘Man in Black’ …

Phil Davison, himself a talented and inwardly-thinking musician, sings the blues in his definitively hoarse, morose and poetic style. But with doses of dry humour that make the journey that little more entertaining.  The tracks ‘Embryonic Blues’ and ‘Hotel’ being such examples of his signature style of story-telling.

He films this documentary right up until Eades’s final days on his death-bed, echoing the sound of the deepest roots of the Mississippi as he sings of redemption and salvation, right here, in our backyard of N.Z  – while the fiddles and guitars of his backing group unite in the name of Gospel, this performance being a tribute to his dear friend and mentor, and a promise to him, he vowed to keep.

‘Dealing With The Devil’,  was at times quite an undertaking to follow, with the sadness and decline of someone suffering from an incurable illness.   However, I enjoyed the philosophical essence of the film as a whole, and found it absorbing with it’s visual content, as well as it’s welcoming moments of humour, that provided refreshment from the dark subject matter.  With an uplifting sense of peace towards the end, it is a loving tribute to a man who has lived his life to the brim and his wish to leave a lasting legacy that truly reflects who he was/is.

Ralph Bennett Eades had a wicked sense of humour as he clearly demonstrates,  even from his death-bed, with a mischievous hoax that defies gravity …

***3.5 Stars!

 

 

 

 

“Dealin with the Devil’ – is now showing in Auckland at the following times:

Loft / Thu 31 May 8:30PM
Rangatira / Fri 1 June 4:30PM

 

NZICF 18 | Dot Con

James Veitch…A Giant Gummy Lizard’s nightmare!

Known for his love for ducks, investment tips in hummus, and views on the internet; British comedian James Veitch performed the last show of his 2018 Australasian tour in front of a sold-out crowd at Auckland’s Q Theatre (it has to be noted, he was in the biggest venue at Q!).

To be a comedian who has presented a TED talk (and the fastest ever to reach over two million views!) is an accolade to admire, thus it was no surprise his Kiwi fans were of all ages and demographics. The hour of hilarity that ensued were the antics of a conman to conmen. If there was one thing to learn from the show, it was; don’t mess with James unless you have time to spare!

Dot Con is a fitting title for the show as James explores his tryst with scammers; from Solomon Odonkoh who wants to move gold, to his American friend Alex’s email account being hacked (they’ll always have Tuscany).

The show is dotted with stories both old and new and fans were delighted either way. James has the ability to breakdown an email chain and reenact the bond he’s formed with the scammer in a way that audiences appreciate.

Dot Con was a show not to be missed and can easily be labelled as one of my favourites for this year’s International Comedy season. It’s easy to see why his videos have gained over 12m views on YouTube.

5 stars.

NZICF | Frenchy Unleashed

Frenchy’s show can be describe in two words: pure evil.
Having followed his presence online for a while I was somewhat prepared for a show of filthy, lewd and most likely offensive jokes. I wasn’t disappointed.
The lanky Australian bounded onstage at the Q Theatre and launched straight into it. Content ranged from religion and sex fails to Tinder stories and the Kardashians. Highlights included two surprisingly good raps and one severe telling-off of a persistent talker. He also played a couple of hilarious tunes on the guitar, which was a good way of breaking things up.
The man’s humour is gnarly, in the best way. He’s got a rough wit that causes the odd wince but gets the hearty laughs rolling in nonetheless. The show was very well executed, running smoothly while still allowing time for audience interaction, at which Frenchy excels. If you don’t mind excessive amounts of swearing, graphic sexual material and some semi-offensive jokes, Frenchy is definitely worth a watch.
**** 4/5 stars
FRENCHY performed in Auckland as part of the 2017 NZ International Comedy Festival.  Catch him throughout the country on the following dates:
  • May 20 – Theatre Royal, Nelson
  • May 21 – Civic Theatre, Invercargill
  • May 22 – Glenroy Auditorium, Dunedin
  • May 23 – Aurora Centre, Christchurch
  • May 24 – Clarence Street, Hamilton
  • May 26 – The Mayfair, New Plymouth
  • May 27 – Opera House, Wellington
Find out more here.