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History

Back in the day, I used write a regular film review column for Wellington’s free community newspaper Capital Times. My intention was to review everything released theatrically in the city and – from 2006 to 2013 – I did just that. Except, for some reason, Beverley Hills Chihuahua.

It was a pretty popular column, winning the readers’ choice award for Best Capital Times Writer three years in a row.

All of those reviews – and lots of my other work for FishHead Magazine and RNZ – are archived at funeralsandsnakes.net.

Relaunch

Despite having a decent platform and audience when I appear on New Zealand’s public broadcaster, RNZ, I have missed writing those weekly columns. And I haven’t seen anyone doing anything quite like them.

So, I have decided to use this here Substack platform to bring Funerals & Snakes back to life.

Schedule

Every weekday at about 3.15pm (NZT) subscribers will receive an update from the site.

The Friday edition will be the big one, resembling those Capital Times columns of old.

Monday to Thursday will be a brief recommendation: Something to watch tonight. And, maybe some links to new free content of mine on the RNZ website. There will be no updates on weekends or public holidays.

I hope not to bombard you with emails and will do my best to never outstay my welcome. Access to your inbox is a privilege, not a right, and I take that privilege seriously.

Paid or Free?

Some of these updates are for paid subscribers. Posts that are mostly made up of recycled material from elsewhere (RNZ, the old F&S site) will be available to all. Posts that contain all-new material will be for paid subscribers.

I have opted for the cheapest monthly subscription rate that they allow – NZD$6 per month.

Rancho Notorious

Rancho Notorious was a podcast that I produced and co-hosted between 2014 and 2022 that for a time was part of the RNZ stable of podcasts and series.

I would love to bring a version of it back from hiatus and make that free content for anyone but I don’t want to do that unless I can reimburse contributors for their time. Hence, paid subscriber numbers have to reach a certain level before that is feasible.

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To find out more about the company that provides the tech for this newsletter, visit Substack.com.

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Dan Slevin has been reviewing films for RNZ since 2007 (and even longer for other outlets). His daily recommendations newsletter is essential reading for film and TV fans.

People

Gentleman of Silverstream, etc.