Many newspapers reported that Wellington movie big-shot Peter Jackson had led the tributes to Sir Christopher Lee, who died last Sunday at the age of 93.
Among them is this report from The Guardian, which quoted from Jackson’t Facebook page:
As he confessed at the time (here), he is now taking a more jaundiced view of things.
His mates similarly were telling him they are just a tad sceptical, when they heard Sir Peter Jackson say there was a very real danger the Hobbit movies would be made outside New Zealand.
Accordingly, Alf finds himself doing the nigh-unpardonable and – brace for this, dear constituents – agreeing with Winston Peters.
Sir Peter Jackson, we may suppose, is laughing all the way to the bank on the back of The Hobbit.
Movie-goers, too, are doubtless chuffed by the film’s three-hour length, although Alf is bound to observe that this must require them to sit on their chuffs for three hours, which must be worse than sitting in the debating chamber for that period of time while Labour and Green politicians are banging on about this, that and the other.
But the people who run cinemas are not so thrilled, as you will learn here.
While those watching The Hobbit might have felt they got their money’s worth when it came down to the film’s three-hour length, cinemas showing the blockbuster were left feeling a little hard done by.
Now U.S. cinema owners have commissioned a report into losses suffered when screening a longer film four times a day rather than on six occasions, which is standard for a normal 90-minute film.
The National Association of Theatre Owners is the mob behind this initiative.
Alf had agreed with The Boss about providing troughs for the snouts of movie moguls.
If we’ve got to pick winners, and then nourish the buggers with public funding, then let’s pick winners from a glamourous industry like movie-making.
The photo opportunities for The Boss and his team are apt to have much more appeal to voters when they are pictured with movie people than – for example – coal miners.
At least, that’s what Alf thought until he found the Grumbles weren’t on the invitation list for the premiere of The Hobbit.
He is now taking a more jaundiced view of things, and especially he is wondering why the Government doesn’t want to disclose information about their handouts and other help to The Hobbit makers.
Alf is seriously considering a change of occupation.
He is keeping his considerations very private, of course, because support for a politician is apt to erode if constituents get the idea he might be thinking of a career change to make more money.
Those constituents would be tempted to view such ambitions as avaricious, greedy and grasping.
But Alf happens to be mindful that a bloke of his maturing years should be salting away a few bucks for his retirement.
So where can a bloke get plenty of bucks for salting away in his retirement?
In the consultancy business.
Alf has never met a hobbit and therefore is in no position to judge the merits of a complaint about colour discrimination.
But in principle, he is not very sympathetic to the complaint being aired publicly today by a Pom with Paki whakapapa.
People are apt to become disgruntled when told they are the wrong colour, of course.
And so Stuff today reports:
At 1.5 metres (5ft), Naz Humphreys has the essential requirement to be a hobbit extra, but the British Pakistani has been told she’s not white enough.
“It’s 2010 and I still can’t believe I’m being discriminated against because I have brown skin,” Ms Humphreys said.
How do you kill the goose that laid the golden egg and turned our capital into Wellywood?
Very quickly, when you bring in the bloody trade unionists.
NZ Actors Equity has allied itself with Australia’s Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance , which has called for a boycott of The Hobbit films.
Other actors’ unions around the world are supporting that call.