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Lion – Film Review 5/5 Yulia Podrul

Adopting somebody from completely different culture is a challenge. It is a hard work. You not only adopting the person, you are adopting their past, and you have to accept it. Those who truly are committed to find their roots, will never give up looking for them. You also have to accept it. You adopted the child, because you want to create better future for them, not to help them to escape from the past. What if a biological mother keeps looking for her child, and after 25 years still resides in that same village she lost him from?

Just like Saroo’s mother that we see in a brand new Garth’s Davis film ‘Lion’, which is a translation from Saroo’s birth name. Garth Davis, the director of this film, will make us all to remember his name in cinematography, as I dare to think this is his best film of his so far.

Based on a true story written by Saroo Brierley, Lion touches our hearts. We feel sad, we feel happy, we love, we hate, we live through Saroo’s journey together with film characters. His story is tough, truly inspirational and completely incredible. Davis shows us all facets of struggle people face in India, completing it with his powerful statement at the end of the movie. 80,000 kids get lost in India every year. That’s unreal number. Makes us think we live in heaven.

Saroo, very well played by brilliant Dev Patel, went through all stages lost child can possibly go through. This story has two sides, from the one hand, Saroo was extremely lucky to be adopted by amazing Australian family from Tasmania, where he lived for 20 years before he discovered his real mother. On the other hand, he lost his family and lived with this for so long, before Google Earth helped him to trace the track of his past.

Nicole Kidman was picked to feature as his foster mum in this film, by a real Saroo’s foster mum, which I found quite fascinating. No surprise, Nicole did immaculate acting, living through the phases of what foster mother would live through. The fact that Nicole Kidman has two adopted kids helped her to show off real emotions in Lion.

Lion is a powerful movie. It demonstrates the contrast between safe Tasmania and dark corners of India. It teaches us about what’s possible if you really are determined to turn your life around. It makes us to realise how lucky majority of us are to have roof above our heads, food in our houses and to be able to raise a perfect complete family, while others do not have this opportunity.

Are you looking for some tiny inspiration? I’d encourage you to start your New Year with booking a movie ticket to get a huge portion of shock from Saroo’s story.

Interview With Sepultura’s Andreas Kisser

Brazilian metallers Sepultura have fans bracing themselves for new album Machine Messiah. The new album is abrasive as it genius, it races along at break-neck speed and is the band’s first studio album in four years since The Mediator Between Head and Hands Must Be the Heart, notably making it the longest gap between studio albums in their career.

“Were getting ready for the big year ahead for us.” Says guitarist Andreas Kisser in a faint but recognisable Brazilian lilt.

An ardent family man, he has adult children, but has no plans to become a grandparent admitting, “I hope soon but not so soon, let’s wait a little bit,”. The guitarist is also adamant the success of the band is due to his family – period.

“I couldn’t have my professional career without my family, it’s impossible,” he confesses. “They give you such strength, such motivation. I think it’s hard to be on the road, I’ve been away from home for many months, they are fundamental to everything I do.

“life on the road can be very dangerous if you believe in the myth. People give you everything, drugs, alcohol, the women, you can get locked into that kind of ‘fake world’ of fame. When you go back home to your family and do your daily normal life, pick up kids from school, go to the supermarket you go back and you balance your life.”

The new album marks a welcome return for the band, together with producer Jens Borgen it’s been a labour of love, but also one of the best experiences with Kisser citing “It’s one of our best recorded albums”.

“I’m happy, really happy with the result,” he continues. “The recording with Jens Borgen the producer, he did an amazing job with us. Everybody in the band really stepped up. We wanted to explore our musicianship at the highest level, so we really prepared ourselves physically and mentally to face the challenge ahead of us. We had a great time in Sweden recording the album, it was a lot of work of course but we enjoyed it.

“I think it’s our most musical album with instrumental songs. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for so long trying to incorporate the guitar more connected to the songs. We’re excited with the release; so far, people who have heard the album have positive reactions.”

The band have been playing a new tune off the album last year, I Am the Enemy, although quite a different direction for the band it still retains that raw Sepultura edge.

I Am the Enemy isn’t a very traditional Sepultura song,” he explains. “It’s very straight forward. It was one of the last songs we wrote for the album, that kind of explosiveness, it came out cool. We played the song live last year and the reaction was great. I think being faced with the whole running order of the album, it creates an atmosphere to Machine Messiah, with our other single Phantom Self, they are both different types of songs.

“The new album is very different from anything we did before. Brazil’s so big, from North to South. You have so many different rhythms and different characteristics, people, food, music – everything. On Roots we explored a lot of different aspects of Brazilian music, percussive rhythms from the North East, Samba and instruments from the South of Brazil. On the track Phantom Self we have Maracatu beats from the North East. We’ve got violins from Tunisia which Producer Jens thought would be a cool element. It’s added so many possibilities to my guitar playing like the connection between the orchestra and the guitar leads.”

The band’s private life with the departure of founding members Max & Igor Cavalera is almost as poignant to fans as the new album, especially with the duo announcing a Roots reunion, Kisser maintains he doesn’t “have much contact” while saying their relationship is “professional”. “We have to discuss stuff like matters for merchandising or music releases the label wants to put out.

“I don’t know,” he continues. “It’s so happy with Sepultura now, with everything that we achieved the difficult times, the great times. We have been enjoying ourselves for thirty years, it’s a great momentum. I really like to enjoy the moment, of course I’d love to do another solo album hopefully I’ll have time to do something soon with that, I’d love to do a Blues album.

“It’s such a privilege to part of a band like Sepultura. We travel the world every year, thirty-two years of a career and seventy-six countries so far, we’ve played. The fans that is motivation enough.”

The boys set keen to return back to our neck of the woods sometime this year in support of the world tour, after the last outing at Auckland’s Studio it’s a thought Kisser seems optimistic about.

“Yeah, we hope in the second half of the year to go to your region. We have nothing planned yet. We have the tour with Kreator in Europe, February and March, and then we go to the States to play with Testament & Prong. Hopefully in September we’ll go to Australia & New Zealand, we really hope to have the dates announced soon, were definitely working on it.”

NZ Tech Podcast 317: Let’s all be futurists, Home Tech – autonomous commuting, UFB vs ADSL, Flick Electric

Paul Spain shares thoughts on why we should all wear the hat of a Futurist, and tech related influences on housing – including access via autonomous vehicle, considering going from Ultra-Fast Broadband to ADSL connectivity and Flick Electric.

Hosted by Paul Spain (@paulspain) and this week’s episode Paul flew solo.

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You can keep current with our latest NZ Tech Podcast updates via Twitter @NZTechPodcast, the NZ Tech Podcast website or the facebook page.

NZ Business Podcast 23: Michael Buckley, Accenture – Customer Experience in a Digital World

Michael Buckley (Managing Director, Accenture Interactive – ANZ) shares his thoughts on customer experience. We hear insights from Michael’s background and his current thinking on what’s needed to deliver winning results in a highly competitive landscape.

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You can keep current with our latest NZ Business Podcast updates via Twitter @NZ_Business, the NZBusinessPodcast.com website and the NZ Business Podcast facebook page.

NZ Tech Podcast 316: iPhone 10-year Anniversary, CES 2017 – Virtual Reality, Cars, Voice Assistants, Long Range Wireless Charging

CES highlights – LG ‘wallpaper’ TV, long range wireless charging, Windows 10 Virtual Reality headsets, Faraday Future, Lucid Motors and devices with voice assistants – cars, washing machines, speakers, phones. We also look back at iPhone’s 10-years.

Hosted by Paul Spain (@paulspain) and this week’s guests were Bill Bennett and Ross McDougall.

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You can keep current with our latest NZ Tech Podcast updates via Twitter @NZTechPodcast, the NZ Tech Podcast website or the facebook page.

NZ Entertainment Podcast Ep64:> Dillon Reisterer from Hipstamatics

This episode Wal talks to studio guest Dillon Reisterer from the band Hipstamatics and about new Kiwi film Pork Pie – plus what was the first car he learnt to drive in? – plus all the usual chaos and mayhem.

To download use any good podcast app (IOS or Android) and search for NZ Entertainment Podcast then subscribe so you get the newest episode delivered – or click to listen here or subscribe via ITunes below:

You can keep current with our latest NZ Entertainment Podcast updates via Twitter @NZ_Ent, the NZEntertainmentPodcast.com website and Facebook page.

This episode hosted by Wal Reid & Jarred Tito, Paul Spain is the executive producer. The NZ Entertainment Podcast is published by Global Voice Media – the home of NZ’s favourite podcasts.

Interview With A Hipstamatic – Dillon Riesterer

Hipstamatics vocalist Dillon Riesterer is upbeat as we meet, his sartorial coolness matching his approachable demeanour. As we sit down to chat I can’t help but notice his distinct surname.

“My last name is Riesterer, it’s German but nobody can ever pronounce it, so I just say ‘Rooster.”
Hipstamatics are a dynamic eleven piece band with a distinct Soul flavour. The hardworking Kiwi band are about to head off on a nationwide tour, The Soul Revue Tour will be hitting all the favourite Kiwi Summer Hotspots including this years Soundsplash Music Festival in Raglan, which he admits is “looking forward to’
“They’re all great Summer gig locations, Mussel Inn at Golden Bay is awesome, a little gem at the top of the South Island, some good people down there.
“We take a lot of our inspiration from the old Motown Soul era,” he relates. “James brown, Stevie Wonder and all those guys had full on shows. It wasn’t about going to the gig and someone playing the song as per the cd, there’s a lot of showmanship with those artists, they were really soulful. Having such a big band on stage the energy is really huge. We try and do it like the greats; Michael Jackson, James Brown.”
The band will be playing their music in the vein of classic 70s and newer funk styles such as James Brown and Stevie Wonder. They have earned a ‘must see’ reputation for their energetic live performances which gets everyone on their feet and feeling funk.
“There’s three vocalists, myself included,” he says. “I’m one of the vocalists and Carla James and Lou’ana Pereira-Dina. We’re unique in the sense that there’s three lead vocalists so we’ll be showcasing those vocalists individually at the start of the show, then we’ll be doing our usual thing which is the three of us playing together.
“Not many bands have three lead vocalists so that means there’s a lot more ego on stage but that also means there’s also a lot more going on. It’s interesting to watch the interplay between all of us, it also means on stage it’s interesting to watch.”
The band is a who’s-who of the music world with most band members having worked with notable industry greats, as Dillon puts it, they are ‘the best’. The band all gig for a living and he tells me they also get strange requests from the audience. “We often get requested to play Wagon wheel, Its kind of weird considering we’re a Funk band, but there’s all sorts of strange requests.”
The band have released a new original single Stop. The song was released with the announcement of the tour and was written by Carla Flavell and Moses Sulusi (Bass player). One trap of playing energetic originals is as Dillon tells ‘people don’t realise its original, because it’s so fitting of that style,”
“Originals are something that’s new for us.” He says. “We’ve been working on it for about the last year now, there’s a lot of people in the band so it becomes hard to bring different songs in at times, ideas come in and slowly we’ve built up an e.p’s worth of originals and more.

“For this tour there’s going to be a decent amount of original material that we haven’t played live. Half the set is a new show that we’re presenting as well as the classic stuff we’ve done at festivals over the years.”
The singer admits to growing up with his parents ‘listening to the Eagles, Elton John stuff of that era,’ preferring singers like Ray Charles, who he says “delivers a line like nobody else, something that’s deeper,”
“I was attracted to singers who are real” he tells. “Anywhere you go or anywhere you listen to vocalists today, there’s a need for a 120% vocal performance on everything. You’re at instant climax, its completely over the top, it’s the craziest licks which is great but its not really attractive. I’m not attracted to it, I prefer people who can deliver things really well.”
He also admits as a musician it’s hard work, its his ‘bread & butter’ while quoting the Nike maxim “Just do it.” He likens people’s dreams to making it big as “the “fast consumer-type lifestyle.”
“It’s hard, you have to be a hustler,” he says. “People don’t realise that. They’ll be in their bedroom practising their best licks, think they’re going to be great, thinking it’s going to be amazing, but really you have to be a hustler. Look at people like James Brown or Marvin Gaye, they hustled really hard.”
It’s been busy year for the band, a couple of months ago they played with artists Aaradhna, Estère and Tyra Hammond & the Tornadoes at the Powerstation, “That was great, an awesome Soul night,” he says. “It was good to see New Zealand Soul artists together on one bill and people coming out for it, because often there’s a lot of Reggae a few Rock bands happening but it’s a rarity to see a big Soul Funk billing.”
The singer confesses the genre is a “feel-good music perfect for Summer” and also lets slip a couple of surprises they’ll be doing before the upcoming Soul Revue Tour.
“We’ll revamp songs to be unique to our style,” he says. “We’ll take songs that aren’t Funk Soul songs and they’ll sound Motown and be fitting of that genre. That’s what’s got us a lot of attention over the years, we’re about the only covers band that’s been doing songs of that era as well as other songs that people know in that Funk style, it grabs a lot of attention.
“There’s times where we have little scat battles on stage, someone will do something and the other one will like it, copy it, mimic it. We’ll learn from each other and play with other on stage, it makes it really exciting,”
“New Zealanders love it, they’re relaxed and chilled for a good time.”

The Soul Revue Tour visits summer hot spots including Waihi, Mt Maunganui, Gisborne, Napier, Nelson, Golden Bay, Whangarei, Auckland and Wellington as well as the Soundsplash Festival in Raglan

NZ Tech Podcast 315: Vocus update, TransferVans, Chorus new CEO, Amazon Echo in hotel rooms, Amazon Prime NZ, Yahoo Hack

NZTechPodcast1400

A Vocus update from Maxine Elliott, TransferVans story from CEO Brian Karlson, Amazon Echo heading to Wynn hotels, Amazon Prime officially in NZ, Chorus hires new CEO Kate McKenzie, Yahoo Hack revealed as biggest ever.

Hosted by Paul Spain (@paulspain) and this week’s guests were Brian Karlson (TransferCar, TransferVan), Maxine Elliott (Vocus).

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You can keep current with our latest NZ Tech Podcast updates via Twitter @NZTechPodcast, the NZ Tech Podcast website or the facebook page.

Sole Mio – Christmas In The Vines – Concert Review “Wonderful Heartfelt Show”

Sole Mio at last years Christmas In The Vines

It just wouldn’t be Christmas without Sole Mio, Christmas in the Vines. Brothers Pene and Amitai Pati together with cousin Moses Mackay singing together again after going their separate ways to concentrate on their solo careers.

The popular trio reunited in this special setting, the annual event fast becoming a festive tradition for many a Sole Mio fan. Always at the at the mercy of the weather gods, under the sweltering Auckland weather, the vineyard was picture perfect, the sound of Operatic ringing around the stunning Villa Maria backdrop.

“Welcome to South Auckland,” said tenor Amitai Pati, “I bet some of you are checking to see if you’re in the right place?” he cracked at the conspicuously middle-aged Pakeha audience.

“We brought the sun with us,” quipped brother Pene Pati, “And, we’ll take it away when we leave.”

Sole Mio shows are unique, their whimsical playfulness and showcase vocals equally matched by their parochial Samoan roots adding to the charm of the show, however one disgruntled fan behind us could be heard shouting “play some Samoan music.”

This years Highest Selling Album – Vodafone NZ Music Award recipients, were in fine form as they talked their way and entertained the sold out crowd. With Christmas classics like Mistletoe & Wine, Jinglebell Rock and as Pene put it “here’s one we can all relate to,” launching into Winter Wonderland.

Who could forget a few years back, Pene Pati proposing to then girlfriend Egyptian-born Amina Edris a couple of years back live on stage, or the incredible amount of vocal talent who have shared the stage at previous Vineyard outings?

Last nights show wasn’t to be outdone as special guests Dave Dobbyn, Bic Runga, Stan Walker & Hollie Smith lent their hand adding their ‘kiwi’ flavour to the festive occasion.

“I am the fourth Sole Mio” joked Stan Walker as he provided some amazing vocal gymnastics on Oh Holy Night & Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, his soaring vocal range working well with the boy’s operatic vibe while the guests providing a more contemporary edge to this year’s concert.

The crowd also in fine form, vocally accompanied the trio, as carol after carol was reeled off. The audience sensing a fantastic night we’re not disappointed as legendary stalwart Dave Dobbyn joined the boys for a stirring Little Drummer Boy, while Runga obliged with Silent Night dodging the boys ‘sway’ wisecracks.

Dressed in a resplendid dress, Hollie Smith took the stage remarking “I feel like I’m in a Disney movie, ”as she tore up the stage with a rousing rendition of Blue Christmas. It was sung with a gusto as if the song was written for her, at one stage the boys were taken back as they stared on.

I’d say it would’ve have been a gamble to include some of our musical greats on stage but it was masterful coup de grace, that for myself made this year’s Christmas In The Vines a pleasant experience.

As the trio took their final place on stage, the crowd erupted in applause, a fitting end to a wonderful heartfelt show. Let’s hope for that for us and that one heckler’s sake, that next time the boys include a few Samoan songs.