More on Anzac Day, and other TV

This year’s Anzac Day was rather wet, even here in West Wollongong.

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You know how I spent the night from my previous post, but during the day I didn’t go out, except to buy the paper in the morning. I watched proceedings on ABC. I thought the telecast of the Sydney march was very well done – nice to see that large Sydney Boys High band marching too. It was bigger than this one, but on the other hand this was also rather special – 2010:

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Anzac Day Commemorations held at Bullecourt France on 25th April 2010

I preferred the dawn service at Villers Bretonneux to the one at Gallipoli, I have to say – though it is interesting to reflect on the fact that New Zealand has a Maori Governor-General and to note the place Maori language had in the order of service.

Lieutenant General The Right Honourable Sir Jerry Mateparae was sworn in as New Zealand’s 20th Governor-General for a five year term on 31 August 2011.   He has previously worked at senior levels in the New Zealand public service and military as well as contributing to many sporting and community organisations.

He was born in Whanganui in 1954 and went to Castlecliff School, Rutherford Intermediate and Wanganui High School.  Of Māori descent, his tribal affiliations are to Ngāti Tūwharetoa and Ngāti Kahungunu.  He also has links to Tūhoe and tribes in the upper Whanganui.  He is New Zealand’s second Governor-General of Māori descent…

In the afternoon there were a couple of treats. 

First an excellent short movie, The Telegram Man.

Second, a 2011 documentary called — unfortunately if you try to Google it! – The Art of War.  No, not Sun Tzu!

The First World War has been examined in many programs from a political and military point of view but it has rarely been seen through the eyes of painters.

The period 1914-1918 was a virtual catalogue of art movements: Impressionists, Expressionists, Realists, Cubists and Futurists all contributed images from the battlefields which were both accurate and intense. These styles often reflected avant garde movements in a number of countries, particularly Britain, France, Germany and Russia. The list of painters includes Braque, Derain, Bonnard, Chagall, Kandinsky, Hitler, Otto Dix, Schiele, Picasso, Augustus John, Wyndham Lewis, David Jones and Stanley Spencer.

Before 1914 pictures of soldiers were patriotic or heroic. They were subjects of national pride but this war was different. It was mechanized. Technology enabled armies to kill each other on an industrial scale and the levels of destruction were unprecedented in history.

This unique documentary shows how the First World War transformed the world of art and changed the way images of war are conveyed.

And that from YouTube is all I could find about it! But you will note the international coverage in it.  An art historian named Richard Cook illuminated the many works shown, including these two:

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Wyndham Lewis

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John Singer Sargent — Gassed

Tonight ABC has a telemovie about war photographer/cinematogapher Damien Parer whose images of Kokoda in particular still resonate so strongly.

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I would normally watch it, but for the fact that NITV is showing the final episode of The Tipping Points which brings it all home to Australia. After that I think I will watch Professor Iain Stewart, having greatly admired his earlier work – and being a sucker for Scottish accents.

Professor Iain Stewart, geoscientist and broadcaster, came to his old alma mater on the 4th of March.  Iain was at Strathclyde University to present the 2013 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Annual Lecture entitled “A Geologist’s View of Britain’s Energy Future”. Now at the University of Plymouth, Iain graduated from the University of Strathclyde in 1986 with a degree in Geology and Geography.  Since then he has built a research career examining earthquakes, natural disasters and their effect on human culture. Iain has won acclaim for his awe-inspiring BBC documentaries on our planet and the forces that shape it. This includes Journeys From the Centre of the Earth, Earth: The Power of the Planet, The Climate Wars, How Earth Made Us, How to Grow a Planet, and Making Scotland’s Landscape. He has also appeared in numerous Horizons and the Rough Science series.

His lecture at Strathclyde built on research for his new Horizon documentary he is currently filming. He summarised the current and future state of energy supply in Britain, and examined new sources of energy with a particular focus on shale gas and fracking. He looked in detail at the fracking industry of North Dakota.  Overall he took a neutral stance to this new way of extracting oil and gas, but his ideas constantly challenged the audience.  This capacity audience of more than 400 people included students and staff from seven Scottish Universities, representatives of the energy, engineering and water industries, local government, media and NGOs. The talk was followed by a lively debate around the future of energy supply in the UK, which ranged from discussion of gas extraction in Falkirk, the implications for Scottish independence, and issues of global politics, ethics and economics.

The documentary tonight is Fracking: the New Energy Rush. A blogging friend in the UK, Martin Lack, posted about it last year. SBS1 at 9.30pm.