Thursday, January 26, 2006

These are a few of my favourite things

Footrot Flats is something of a New Zealand treasure. It's a daily newspaper strip about the misadventures of sheep farmer Wal and his dog, Dog. The strip's been running for decades and, at its peak of popularity, was published in nwspapers around the world. It was reprinted in book collections [Titan used to publish these in Britain - alas, no more] and inspired everything from a theme park to an animated movie. That film was a huge hit in New Zealand and Australia. Best of all, it's recently been released on DVD. Admittedly the disc is Region 4 coded, but any sane DVD owner these days has a multi-region player, so that's not a problem for most people. If you get the chance, I recommend watching Footrot Flats - a true slice of Kiwiana.

My copy arrived on Tuesday, only a week after I ordered it from the redoubtable website. The joys of a generous exchange rate meant I got Footrot Flats, the double-disc DVD of another much loved NZ film Goobye Pork Pie, the new Bic Runga CD birds and a 6-CD plus DVD collection of NZ rock - all for under a hundred quid. As they like to say back home in Aotearoa: 'Choice!'

While I'm here, I also want to give a big shout to Sun-Maid Raisins. These little boxes of joy were a staple ingredient in my school lunches. When I saw a big of 18 boxes lurking on the shelves at the nearest supermarket recently, I couldn't resist trying them again. It's amazing how a tiny cardboard box full of raisins can transport you back 30 years in time. I don't need to be plunged into a coma to relive the past, a packet of Sun-Maid will do it. Just one question: how big is that girl's bonnet?


Paul Scoones said...

Footrot Flats ended many years ago. Murray Ball gave up writing/drawing the strip after the death of his dog who had provided much of the inspiration for the lead character. There are 27 numbered Footrot Flats books, and these days certain out of print numbers are highly sought after by collectors - as the wife will attest to, having made a very tidy sum from selling a copy of volume 24 recently.

Alas, Goodbye Pork Pie turns out to missing part of its filling. The film print used for the 2 disc directors cut DVD is missing a number of scenes that were in the original theatrical print. There is another DVD of the film available - a complete version on a single DVD, but the picture quality isn't nearly as good. Apparently the producers are currently on the hunt for a complete copy of the theatrical version, and if they're successful in their search there will no doubt be a third slice of Pork Pie!

David Bishop said...

Somebody's been nibbling at the pie? The greedy buggers. Oh well, I've still my copy of the VHS too.