Robin Williams: backlash over details of suicide

Amid the pictures and news clips shared about Robin Williams on social media following his death, a wave of criticism emerged after a


Eye on budding country talent

New Zealand singer-songwriter Aly Cook is returning to the Kiwi Pro-Am National Country Music Awards in Hamilton on Saturday to present the Horizon Award winner with a Maton guitar.

Cook was the recipient of the Kiwi Pro-Am New Zealand Female Country Artist of the Year in 2012 and is endorsed by Maton Guitars in Australia.

“I have arranged the Maton sponsorship for this year’s award winner, ” says Cook.

While in Australia Cook also tutored at a song writing retreat at The Dag Sheep Station in Nundle NSW, where funding from APRA (NZ) was also secured.

“I have bought that to the Hamilton awards so one of the finalists of the Horizon Award will win five days at the song writing retreat next July with all airfares included courtesy of APRA.” Cook says she enjoys helping and inspiring budding country artists to fuel and promote the genre.

“It is part of my ethos, ” she says.

Cook has also been busy for the past year writing songs for her new album Horseshoe Radio Hotel, due for release in October. It is the follow-up to her critically acclaimed debut, Brand New Day in 2009.

Both albums were funded by the


Robin Williams’ family pays tribute

Carrying a subject line that simply says: “Remembrances from Robin Williams Children and Loved Ones”, Robin Williams’ publicists have issued a statement collecting together thoughts from those who will feel his absence the most.

Robin William’s assistant found body

Thoughts from his three children, Zak,31, Zelda, 25, and Cody Williams, 19 plus a statement from his former wife Marsha Garces Williams, have been released, alongside the comment issued yesterday by his wife Susan Schneider.


X-Men star heads to Marlborough

A-list actor and X-Men star Michael Fassbender will touch down in Blenheim next month to begin filming a new movie at an undisclosed location in Marlborough.

Fassbender will star alongside actress Alicia Vikander in the film The Light Between Oceans, a DreamWorks Studios’ adaptation of a book by M L Stedman. Oscar winner Rachel Weisz will also star in the film.

The movie is in pre-production and filming is due to start in Marlborough at the end of September. Scenes will also be filmed in Otago and Tasmania.

The movie is about a young lighthouse keeper and his wife who live on a remote island off Western Australia following World War I.

They find a boat washed ashore carrying a dead man and a 2-year-old child. The couple decide they will raise the child as their own but the consequences of their choice are devastating.

The film will be directed by Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine, The Place Beyond the Pines) and co-produced by Heyday Films’ David Heyman, who produced all eight Harry Potter films, and Jeffrey Clifford (No Strings Attached, Up in the Air).

Speaking from Wellington yesterday, Clifford said he was “thrilled” to be shooting a film in New Zealand.

Clifford and his family arrived in the country about a month ago and had been enjoying city life in Wellington before starting work on set.

He will head to Marlborough in the second week of September, a week after the star-studded cast.

While he would not disclose the exact location of the film, he said the particular area of Marlborough was chosen because it was “wonderfully timeless”.

“This is a project which demanded location – a location that can take it back in time because it’s set in the 1920s and it needed to give a sense of the end of the Earth. We needed one little spot and we found that.

“We knew early in the process we wanted to look in New Zealand. There is a richness of culture, a richness of architecture and a richness of landscape. We are very lucky.”

Scenes making up half the movie would be filmed in Marlborough over a 4 -week period, he said.

About 70 cast and crew members are involved with the film, he said.

LBO Productions supervising location manager Jared Connon said they were in the planning and logistics stage.

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On location they had been removing vehicle tracks and taking out fences to create a 1920s scene, he said.

“We want to recreate that [1920s] look as much as possible . . . so it’s just a bit of aesthetic enhancement.”

DreamWorks Studios production president Holly Bario said she wanted to thank Film New Zealand for their assistance.

“It was important to find the perfect locations to help fulfil our director’s vision for the film and we couldn’t be more excited to be filming in New Zealand and Australia.”

Film New Zealand chief executive Gisella Carr said the country was delighted to welcome DreamWorks Studios to the country back and see the production working in a variety of centres across the South Island.

“The production coming here is the result of successful collaboration between a range of agencies including Marlborough District Council, Film Otago Southland and Film New Zealand working together with the producers.”

– The Marlborough Express


Screen legend Lauren Bacall dies

Hollywood legend Lauren Bacall has died. She was 89 years old.

According to US media reports, Bacall died of a massive stroke at her home in Los Angeles on Tuesday morning.

TMZ quoted a family source and trade website


$100k reward to find AC/DC manager’s killer

Police hope a AU$100,000 (NZ$119,000) reward will lead to the killer of a former AC/DC manager who died after being assaulted and robbed in Sydney more than 20 years ago.

Crispin Dye, 41, from far North Queensland, was visiting friends and family in the inner city in December 1993 when he was assaulted and robbed of his wallet after drinking with friends in Surry Hills.

A witness reported seeing three men of Pacific Islander appearance, aged in their late teens or early 20s, standing over Dye’s unconscious body before they ran from the scene.

Dye, a long-time manager for the Australian rock band, died in hospital of head injuries.

The incident occurred during a spate of gay-hate killings in Sydney.

More than 20 years later, the NSW government has offered a AU$100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Mr Dye’s death.

“By all accounts, Crispin Dye was a fun-loving, friendly and decent man, who was robbed of his life far too soon,” Detective Superintendent Mick Willing, from the NSW Police’s unsolved homicide team, said in a statement.

“There are people out there who know those responsible for Dye’s death and we’re hoping this reward may prompt them to get in touch with police.”

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Kendall Jenner ‘throws money at waitress’



Forget the phoney psychoanalysis and celebrate Robin Williams


People die every day. In their thousands, in their millions and in a horrible variety of ways. We are forever being saddened, shocked and repulsed by the deaths we see and hear about. But only occasionally does a death really shake us, make us reconsider whether we actually understand anything, make us feel we are on shifting ground and that, in Auden’s words, “nothing now can come to any good”.

Such a time comes when we hear of a death that seems so unexpected, unnecessary and untimely; the death of a man who had been so funny and beloved and


Barbara Graham was born to sing

Barbara Graham


End Times Undone