Something to watch tonight: Tuesday 9 January
The Castle (Sitch, 1997)
For TVNZ in Aotearoa, the best Christmas present of all would’ve been the news that both Prime Video (aka Amazon) and Neon (aka Sky) were introducing ads on their streaming services in 2024.
With large numbers of Netflix subscribers dropping to an ad-supported subscription tier, the big disadvantage that TVNZ had in comparison with those big-time players disappears.
So now – despite my own aversion to advertising – I should probably stop treating the ad-supported streamers as second best and start featuring them more heavily in these updates.
Especially as TVNZ has a terrific slate of classic films available, with new titles arriving regularly.
This is exemplified by the recent addition of one of the greatest films of all time: Rob Sitch’s The Castle. If you haven’t seen it, I won’t spoil things by going into too much detail here but if you have seen it, I’m sure you’ll confirm that it’s probably the most quotable film of all time.
The premise is that a working class family decides to fight back against the forced acquisition of their suburban home for a new runway at Melbourne Airport. It’s a classic David and Goliath story, perfect for the Australian vernacular.
Back in 1997, I was working at the Paramount picture theatre in Wellington and we had an extremely busy Friday night preview screening of The Castle. Outside, I heard one patron complain that the film “talked down” to its characters and, to this day, I still believe that the comment says more about that person than it does about a film that patently loves every single one them.
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