NZIFF Review - Housebound

Writer / director Gerard Johnstone's inventively witty Housebound is already picking up accolades - both here and abroad.

With SXSW success and NZIFF Festival director Bill Gosden's praise ringing in its ears, the mash up of horror and comedy stars Morgana O'Reilly as Kylie, a sullen woman placed on home detention after a particularly Kiwi robbery goes somewhat awry.

Confined to the house with her mother Miriam (a sensational Rima Te Wiata), rebel without a cause Kylie discovers there are more horrors than just dial up broadband and regular dollops of Coro to contend with after she hears her mum talking about how she believes the house is haunted.

With a security guard Amos in tow, Kylie begins to investigate the spooky goings on...

Housebound serves up a riotous mix of shock moments, suspenseful scenes and bang on gags. 

With a delicious premise and an awe-inspiring treatment of the genres, director Johnstone's infused his script with mixes of The Innkeepers, The Frighteners, a hint of Beetlejuice and a gory dollop of Kiwi blood and guts' homage to Sir Peter Jackson's earlier works.

But as well as infusing these all together, he's done something uniquely kiwi as well as making a film which universally accessible, thanks to O'Reilly's sullen Kylie, Glen Paul-Waru's brilliant Amos and Te Wiata's perfectly shrill and cuckolding mother. 

With an eye for great one-liners ("You can't punch ectoplasm" to name but one) and a burgeoning trademark in suspenseful set ups and masterfully subtle execution, Housebound is an absolute riot, an unashamed blockbuster treat and a triumph of film-making (let's leave the New Zealand out of this one, eh?)

The pay-off is cleverly constructed and the final sequences deliver and wrap up everything that was promised so deliciously throughout the comic beats. 

As infectious as Ghostbusters was all those years ago, Johnstone's flair for the comic paranormal and grip on the various genres he's paying homage to treads the right balance between out and out scares and good time humour - it's truly unmissable.



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Project Runway NZ Recap: Teams of two and the ego of one

Within the first few seconds of the show, the judges’ choices in the previous episodes move Kerry to wonder what they really want from the designers. By the end of the hour, I’ll be wondering the same.

In a computer recycling facility, Andreas tells the designers that they will need to integrate outdated technology into a fashionable two-piece look. For this first unconventional material challenge, designers will work in teams of two.

The designers ready to take on this week's challenge.
The designers ready to take on this week's challenge. Source: Tom Hollow

Matt who doesn’t like unconventional materials is paired with Beau.

Although Kerry protested her taste in the previous challenge, he seems happy to be teamed up with Judy.

Jess isn’t thrilled to be working with Massey.

Massey and Jess sketch their designs in the computer recycling facility. Source: Tom Hollow

The other teams are Caitlin and Benjamin, Misty and Beth, and Cami and Peni.

After 15 minutes collecting materials around the facility, and with $150, the designers go on the search of fabrics to complement their designs.

In the workroom, Peni checks out and allows Cami to run the show. She’s been top three in the last two runways, so she must know what she’s doing.

Matt senses Beau is not helping him and worries that he will throw him under the bus. He may be right. Beau’s made up his mind about Matt the moment they were paired. He’s not willing to compromise his designs to work along with Matt’s ideas.

The next day when Andreas comes for feedback, he tells Caitlin and Benjamin that passing electric cord as leather may not work. Benjamin disagrees and is confident they’ll make it work.

Cami and Peni try to come up with a unique design.
Cami and Peni try to come up with a unique design. Source: Tom Hollow

When the models come for a fitting, Cami and Peni have nothing for their model to try on. They have created a textile out of green electronic boards joint together by copper wiring, but they haven’t assembled the garment yet. I like the pieces they’ve created, but they look more like accessories than a suitable material for a dress.

On the day of the runway show, Georgia asks Beau how well he and Matt worked together. He sells Matt down the river and says it was challenging.

Georgia – who I must say is doing a fantastic job as the host of the show, introduces the regular judges, Sally-Ann and Benny, plus guest judge Stephen Tilley, an international fashion photographer.

After the anonymous runway show, Massey and Jess’ corporate futuristic look, and Caitlin and Benjamin’s cord passing by leather design put them through next week’s episode.

This week's safe looks, Caitlin and Benjamin's on the left, and Massy and Jess' on the right.
This week's safe looks, Caitlin and Benjamin's on the left, and Massy and Jess' on the right. Source: Tom Hollow

From the winning team, one designer will be this week’s winner, and from the losing team, one will walk.

Misty and Beth are both happy with their collaboration. The combination of 1950s silhouette and Maori patterns celebrating strength and empowerment is a winning look with the judges. Sally-Ann loves the panelling, and guest judge Stephen admires the use of colour. I’m happy to see Misty on the top, I’ve liked her previous designs.

The glamorous look for a mature goth girl that Kerry and Judy have created is a success among the judges. The use of telephone cord as sleeves in the jacket designed by Kerry prompts Benny to label it ‘Vodafone goth’ and fashion forward.

I believe it’s a great look and without a doubt the best design on the runway this week.

This week's looks at the top. Kerry and Judy's on the left, and Misty and Beth's on the right.
This week's looks at the top. Kerry and Judy's on the left, and Misty and Beth's on the right. Source: Tom Hollow

The judges are impressed by the skirt in Matt and Beau’s ensemble. Beau swiftly takes credit for it and tells them it is VHS tape stapled to organza with computer keys covering each staple. But that’s about the only thing they like about the design.

Benny questions the sexiness of the over-sized minimal look top created by Matt. Sally-Ann is the only one who commends him for sticking to what he likes, shame there’s no more cohesion in the look. Sure, but let’s not forget that early on the show Beau announced he wasn’t willing to compromise his vision. So, who’s at fault for the lack of cohesion?

Although Cami loves the movement and colours of their design, both Peni and her agree they could have spent more time putting it together. I can’t see the two distinct pieces that they were expected to create. I only see a dress.

The looks that got with the lower scores. Cami and Peni's, and Matt and Beau's.
The looks that got with the lower scores. Cami and Peni's, and Matt and Beau's. Source: Tom Hollow

Peni tries to defend this arts and craft mess as something a young artist would wear to a music awards show. Why? Because young people have no taste?

Although their design needs work, Georgia knows women who would wear pieces like this on the carpet. Stephen says it’d make a great editorial piece, and Sally-Ann also sees it at a music awards show. Benny is the only one who calls it what it is, a "visual nasty rash".

The winning team is Kerry and Judy, Kerry is named this week’s winner. The losing team is Matt and Beau.

Matt walks. I’m scratching my head on this one. I thought this was a team challenge, and Beau’s remarkable sexy skirt should have been enough to carry them both through.

Like Kerry at the start of this episode, I’m left wondering what the judges really like.

It's the end of the road for Matt.
It's the end of the road for Matt. Source: Tom Hollow

* Project Runway is on TVNZ 2 at 7.30pm on Mondays and on TVNZ OnDemand

Matt and Beau gather their unconventional materials.
Matt and Beau gather their unconventional materials. Source: Tom Hollow

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Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson call it quits

Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson have reportedly split.

The couple are said to have called time on their engagement but aren't ruling anything out when it comes to the future of their romance.

According to TMZ, the pair decided to end their relationship this weekend after agreeing that it just wasn't working out. The former couple reportedly still have love for each other and haven't ruled out something happening again one day.

It comes just a day after Ariana's manager Scooter Braun said the star still "needs time" to recover after a tough few years, which saw 22 people die at her concert in Manchester, north west England after a suicide bomber detonated a bomb in the arena's foyer area and more recently, the death of her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller from a suspected overdose at the age of just 26.

Scooter said: "One of the most amazing things about this organization is that they help people when they're having the worst moments in their life, and they give sympathy and a calm nature to people in need in those moments. And you saw your invite, someone I'm very close to was supposed to come sing for you today, and because of things that she's going through, she couldn't be here today. And while I was frustrated, being the manager, my wife, being who she always is, just looked at me and she goes, 'She needs this time.'"

Meanwhile, Pete previously revealed he and Ariana bonded over their failed relationships.

He said: "Timing I feel like is everything, and we both were in a similar situation at the same time. It’s like the weirdest, coolest thing that’s ever happened."

Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson. Source: Bang Showbiz


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Rap superstar Eminem to play massive Wellington show

Rapper Eminem will play Wellington's Westpac Stadium next year, his only New Zealand appearance.

He will perform on March 2, in what Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency told Stuff could be the capital's biggest show.

The show is the second installment on his Rapture tour, which took in Auckland in 2014.

Tickets go on sale from Tuesday October 23.

Eminem Source: Bang Showbiz


Indian actresses, writers flood social media with allegations of sexual harassment amid calls to enforce 2013 law

Indian actresses and writers are flooding social media with allegations of sexual harassment and assault, releasing pent-up frustration with a law that was lauded internationally but that critics say has done little to change the status quo in the world's largest democracy.

"People using social media to articulate their complaints should be recognised in the context of failure. The system has in effect failed us, has failed women," T.K. Rajalakshmi, the president of the Indian Women's Press Corps, said in a panel discussion yesterday in New Delhi.

The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act of 2013 holds Indian workplaces liable for sexual harassment, and prescribes a system for investigating and redressing complaints. Employers must create committees that are at least 50 per cent women, presided over by a woman and with one external expert, to process complaints. The law builds on the landmark 1997 Vishakha case, in which India's Supreme Court held that sexual harassment at work violated a woman's constitutional right to equality.

But nearly five years since the law came into effect, many managers and employees are not aware of it.

Those who are rarely implement it fully, in part because of the enormous taboo in India of discussing anything related to sex, said Naina Kapur, the attorney who argued the Vishakha case before the Supreme Court.

"Every time I get a call it's after the event has happened. It's supposed to be effectively communicated and it hasn't been," Kapur said, adding that in India, "as women get more into the marketplace and the workplace, their experience of sex harassment and violence is a growing area of concern but it's not being heard."

Based on the nonstop TV coverage, alleged victims are making themselves heard on social media, bypassing completely the protocol created by the 2013 law.

The social media storm began in September, when former Bollywood actress Tanushree Dutta spoke to several Indian TV news channels about her frustration with a fruitless police complaint she filed in 2008 against actor Nana Patekar for alleged sexual harassment on a Mumbai movie set.

Retired Bollywood actor Tanushree Dutta. Source: Associated Press

Dutta said that after Patekar groped her during a dance routine, she fled the set and a mob surrounded her car, smashed the windshield and trapped her inside.

Patekar has denied the allegations.

Then on October 4, Mumbai comedy group AIB announced it had decided to de-list every video featuring former member Utsav Chakraborty, whom women had taken to social media to condemn for alleged sexual harassment.

On October 7, an unnamed former employee at Phantom Films writing in the Huffington Post described allegations she had made in 2015 against one of the company's partners, director Vikas Bahl, whom she said behaved inappropriately during a trip to Goa.

The following day, company partners Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane dissolved Phantom Films. Bahl has filed an intent to sue his former partners for defamation.

Also on October 8, journalist Sandhya Menon shared screenshots of her conversation with two women claiming that actor Rajat Kapoor harassed them over the phone.

Kapoor apologised on Twitter if he had "slipped and through my actions or words caused pain or hurt."

That same day, former TV producer, director and writer Vinta Nanda said on Facebook and in TV interviews that she was raped 19 years ago by actor Alok Nath.

Nath said in a TV interview that he neither denied or agreed with the allegations. "It must have happened, but someone else would have done it," Nath said.

TV actress Sandy Mridul expressed her support for Nanda in a tweet. Fellow TV actress Deepika Amin followed on Twitter: "Everyone in the industry knows that #AlokNath is an obnoxious drunkard who harasses women."

On October 10, actor and heavyweight Bollywood producer Aamir Khan and his wife Kiran Rao put out a statement saying they were "committed to doing any and everything to make our film industry a safe and happy one to work in." In a tweet, Khan said they were about to begin work with someone who had been accused of sexual misconduct and that the matter was pending in court.

Perhaps the most startling development has been the string of accusations against Junior External Affairs Minister M.J. Akbar. In less than a week, at least nine women journalists have accused Akbar of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior when he was a newspaper editor in Kolkata and Delhi.

Neither Akbar nor the ministry has responded.

But for India's burgeoning #MeToo movement to take hold in the broader strata of Indian society, the 2013 sex harassment law must be implemented more broadly, said Sunieta Ojha, a lawyer who regularly conducts workshops on the law.

"It requires a complete change of attitude toward women and toward workplace ethics. Employers instead of looking at it as a hassle, they have to see it as an investment. If they start doing that, it starts to have a very positive effect," she said.

Mumbai police yesterday said they had opened an investigation into Patekar after Dutta filed a fresh complaint, charging him with violating two sections of the Indian Penal Code related to offending a woman's modesty. If found guilty, the maximum penalty is two years in prison.

Dutta said that after the alleged attack in 2008, she also lodged a complaint with Cine and TV Artists Association (CINTAA), an agency now subject to the 2013 law.

Dutta's lawyer, Nitin Satpute, said Dutta decided to speak out again about what allegedly happened to her in 2008 because she hoped the spotlight would help enforce the workplace sex harassment law within CINTAA.

"Some are rich, some are poor, but many women are working there, and it will benefit all," Satpute said.

Activists of Congress party’s women’s wing shout slogans against Bollywood actor Nana Patekar during a protest in support of former Bollywood actress Tanushree Dutta. Source: Associated Press