Godard's CONTEMPT with Brigitte Bardot

Watching Jean-Luc Godard's 1963 New Wave movie CONTEMPT last night on TMC reminded me how my parents used to take me to every French film at the LIDO in Auckland in the '60's. My mother loved Truffaut, my father was baffled by some of the films but always managed to say at the most inappropriate time: "Well at least I got to see a bit of tit." He would have loved Brigitte Bardot in CONTEMPT. Godard seems obsessed with her naked bottom. We see her spread out on her stomach on the red sofa, the white shag pile carpet, naked in Capri. Her buttocks must have appeared like landscape art shot in glorious Cinemascope. I wonder if modern day actresses would pose like this now?

CONTEMPT was not my favorite Godard film, I appreciated BREATHLESS and the original ONE PLUS ONE, now repackaged in its 4K - 50th Anniversary Edition as SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL. Witnessing in real time the chaos in creating this track in a studio, how the Stones worked,  far surpassed any Marxist posturing that was inserted into the film and that was designed to give the rock documentary a veneer of French intellectual pomposity.

I resolve to revisit Alberto Moravia's novels, including CONTEMPT, TWO WOMEN, THE CONFORMIST and many others that were turned into films and that I read as library books when I was a young teenager eager to learn what adults got up to in their free time.


The blind Chinese fiddle player in downtown Auckland

Geoff Dyer in his brilliant contemplation on photography, THE ONGOING MOMENT, talks about early 20th Century street photography and the obligatory blind accordion player. In New Zealand, Leon Smith​ and Nick Spill​ found a blind Chinese fiddle player on the corner of Queen Street and Commerce Street in downtown Auckland. Notice he is impeccably dressed unlike some the players captured by the likes of Walker Evans, Ben Shahn, Andre Kertesz, Bruce Davidson and Ed Clark. (Note to self: we ain't in that esteemed collection of photographers.)

Groundswell Avant-Garde Auckland 1971-79


I won't be able to make it to the Auckland City Art Gallery on December 7th, but would love to see old Mildura/Trans-Tasman Tie up alumni there: Phil Dadson, Matt McLean, David Mealing and Gray Nicol. Also Bruce Barber and Billy Apple. Wishing everyone a great opening and show.



Dolphin Kicks Cactus Pricks and K-129

The true story, rewritten for 2018, of how I travelled to Mexico with a bunch of psychics and what happened when events went cactus pear shaped. I rescued the wife of a Navy SEAL, a Greenpeace activist and a hippie left over from the Haight Ashbury days as we struggled to cross the border back in the U.S. of A. And yes there is a K-129 connection with a classified Congressional Medal of Honor Medal included. 32 pages - about an hour read.

The short story is available on Amazon Kindle for 99 cents or free on Kindle Direct.


Nick of the Antarctic

The Jaded Kiwi

Nick of the Antarctic Series # 1

Nick of the Antarctic here in another exciting episode live from the Antarctic.
We are floating on an iceberg, really an ice flow.
There are polar bears on another ice flow following us.
We haven't eaten in three days but we have lots of ice.
We ran out of King Penguins and bullets.
The polar bears don't know about the bullet shortage.
Stay tuned for another exciting episode of Nick of the Antarctic.

Will he survive to release the sequel to The Jaded Kiwi?

Reading about Proust, not Proust

Reading "How Proust can change your life" by Alain De Botton. He refers to the All England Proust Summarize Proust Competition by Monty Python. What better way to summarize Proust?   All England Summarize Proust Competition .

You have to love a writer who writes seriously and perceptively about Marcel Proust then quotes Monty Python.


The Jaded Kiwi 2017 Book Awards

The Jaded Kiwi 2017 Book Awards #1

Best non fiction:

The Taking of K-129 by Josh DeanI renamed it Grand Theft Sub -How the CIA stole a Soviet submarine.

We still do not have the complete story of how the CIA recovered the Soviet sub from deep in the Marianas trench in the Pacific, but this is the closest we have gotten, so far. The Navy SEALs who were on board and who received the (still sealed) Congressional Medal of Honor are not talking. And the NAVY Specialist who was responsible for dealing with nuclear material has died, so there are still unanswered questions.Recovering the sub has been compared to putting a man on the moon. Josh Dean follows the evidence and creates a thriller.

The Jaded Kiwi 2017 Book Awards #2

Best Non fiction Holocaust story

The Pharmacist of Auschwitz - the untold story by Patricia Posner.

Trisha Posner's research and story telling is second to none in a compelling and heartbreaking true account of what happened at Auschwitz. A valuable addition to Holocaust scholarship and a must read for anyone committed to World War II history.

The Jaded Kiwi 2017 Book Awards #3
Best Autobiography

The Pigeon Tunnel by John Le Carre

The Jaded Kiwi 2017 Book Awards # 4Best Kiwi Thriller 

MEGABYTE by Cat Connor

(Spoiler alert! That's my blurb on the cover.)

Cat Connor has written nine thrillers based on her FBI Special agent Ellie Conway who somehow manages to balance realistically portrayed family life with the unexpected and stressful adventures she is thrust into.

The Jaded Kiwi 2017 Book Awards #5

Best Continuing Cop Fiction Series set in an exotic location:Bruno Chief of Police by Martin Walker

Bruno, the first novel is eminently readable, like a great Bordeaux. Each novel in the series gets better and better, combining fascinating local history with national events, culinary wonders and interesting characters. Bruno continues to surprise and fascinate without having to have the obligatory hero faults over crime series writers rely on.

The Jaded Kiwi 2017 Book Awards #6
Best Self Help Book

When It's Never About You by Ilene Cohen Ph.D.

Dr Ilene's first book is a winner. 

Now I need her to write a guide  about "People-Pisser-Offs".

The Jaded Kiwi 2017 Book Awards #7
Best non fiction book rediscovered after being stolen from military library and sold on Amazon.

KGB The Secret Work of Soviet Secret Agents by John Barron.

All the well documented events and the relentless espionage, sabotage and assassinations of the KGB are presented in a very readable format. Still very relevant and a healthy reminder that Cold War or no War, we are still facing the same merciless tactics from a renamed agency.

The Jaded Kiwi 2017 Book Awards #8Best Mystery

Prussian Blue a Bernie Gunther novel by Philip Kerr.

Bernie Gunther continues to be seduced into insurmountable intrigues and violent amoral situations, but somehow survives in what must be one of the best written series in any category.

The Jaded Kiwi 2017 Book Awards #9

When you have to dig up a dead character (Smiley) and write one of your best novels despite what the critics claim.

A Legacy of Spies by John Le Carre.

The master story teller returns to his original sources and methods and creates a masterpiece.

Brought to you byThe Jaded Kiwi & 
Shadow the editor.