Home' Greymouth Star : June 20th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Friday, June 20, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1756 - Scores of British prisoners (146, by
British account) are shut in a cell known as
the “Black Hole of Calcutta” by the nawab of
Bengal, and only 21 escape suffocation during
1837 - Q ueen Victoria succeeds to
British throne on death of her uncle,
King William IV.
1864 - More than 2500 men from
the Australian colonies cross the
Tasman to fight in the New Zealand
1893 - Jury in New Bedford,
Massachusetts, finds Lizzie Borden innocent of
the axe murders of her father and stepmother.
1909 - Actor Errol Flynn is born in Hobart.
1943 - Japanese aircraft bomb Darwin.
1947 - Benjamin “Bugsy ” Siegel is shot dead
at the Beverly Hills, California, mansion of his
girlfriend, Virginia Hill, at the order of the mob.
1967 - Champion boxer Muhammad Ali is
convicted in Houston of violating Selective
Service laws by refusing to be drafted.
1973 - Juan Peron returns to Argentina after
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Errol Flynn, Australian actor (1909-1959);
Chet Atkins, US guitarist (1924-2001); Brian
Wilson, Beach Boys co-founder (1942-);
Anne Murray, Canadian pop
singer (1945-); Xanana Gusmao,
East Timorese president (1946-);
Lionel Richie, US singer (1949-);
John Goodman, US actor (1952-);
Michael Anthony (Van Halen),
US musician (1955-); John Taylor,
English musician (Duran D uran)
(1960-); Nicole Kidman, Australian actress
(1967-); Christopher Mintz-Plasse, American
“ You can do very little with faith, but you
can do nothing without it. ” — Samuel Butler,
English satirist (1835-1902).
“As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The
Kingdom of Heaven has come near’. ”
— (Matthew 10.7).
are not rigged. The
contestants’ morals are
considered by the judges. These are two straight
answers given to two of the straight questions
put to Miss New Zealand and her runner-up
Miss Canterbury by a Greymouth Evening
Star reporter last night.
The two girls, Miss Lyndal Cruickshank and
Miss Helen Iggo were here taking part in the
Howard Morrison show at the Regent Theatre
over two nights.
And from the stage to the playing field is but
a short stride. Miss New Zealand set a new
pattern at Rugby Park on Wednesday when
she togged up in Ron King’s All Black jersey,
long tights, socks and boots to kick off in the
Canterbury-West Coast police match. The new
style is not expected to last.
West Coast senior rugby captain this season,
Kiwi lock T E (Tom) Rogers has been selected
for the Southern Maori side to play Northern
Maori for the Prince of Wales Cup at
Te Awamutu on June 25.
The New Zealand Maori team will be
selected after the game and this side will tour
Fiji in July.
Television cooking personality Graham Kerr
has been asked by the Government to carry
out experiments aimed at cooking, canning and
exporting possum meat. All he wants is some
Both possum and venison were canned in
small quantities on the West Coast some
years ago. A factory was even suggested at
Coal Creek. The Greymouth firm of Westland
Natural Foods is on the verge of exporting
frozen possum meat and has already sent
samples away, the manager Mr John Charlton
uFood for thought
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any Spaniards are
hoping for a lot
more than polish and
glamour from new
King Felipe VI as he
takes the throne after
his father’s surprise abdication.
The new monarch faces daunting
expectations that he can help resolve some
thorny political problems — especially
a surging independence movement in
wealthy Catalonia in north-eastern Spain
— even though his role as head of state is
Part of this is because the 46-year-old,
who has a degree in diplomacy from
Washington DC’s Georgetown University
and is married to a television journalist, is
He also has an untainted image that
contrasts with that of his father and other
members of his family.
But some constitutional experts and
politicians are hoping the new king will
use behind-the-scenes influence to push
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and
opposition leaders into reforming Spain’s
1978 constitution to resolve the Catalan
crisis by redesigning relations between
autonomous regions and the central
“The new king could push in some way a
constitutional reform to help to legitimise
the monarchy more fully,” said Joaquin
Tornos, a law professor at the University
Felipe — whose father King Juan Carlos
lost favour after going on a secret elephant
hunting trip at the height of Spain’s
financial crisis in 2012 — could use
gestures, conversations and consultations
to push dialogue, Tornos said.
As constitutional monarch, he is seen as
the only player who could break a stand
off between Catalan leader Artur Mas —
who vows to hold a vote on independence
in November — and Rajoy, who pledges
to block the vote.
Mas has tapped into a growing Catalan
independence mood fuelled by a long
recession and perceptions of unfair
It cannot hurt that Felipe has studied
Catalan — the language spoken by 7
million people in north-eastern Spain
— s etting him apart from most of the
Spanish-speaking Madrid-based ruling
“He can function as a moderator or
arbitrator to help a new consensus emerge
on a possible constitutional reform, which
is very necessary and which I believe
should be profound,” said Gregorio
Camara, a professor of constitutional
law at the University of Granada, who
led a team that drafted a white paper
on constitutional reform last year for
Spain’s 1978 constitution was the fruit of
a delicate consensus on stability after the
long dictatorship that followed the brutal
civil war of the 1930s.
After the 1975 death of General
Francisco Franco, Spain’s polarised leaders
agreed to a constitutional monarchy to
mollify rightists. They also created 17
autonomous regions with a promise of
significant devolution for the separatist-
minded Basques and for Catalonia.
Thirty-six years later, the consensus has
crumbled, undermined by economic hard
times and high-level corruption.
Criminal charges against Felipe’s
brother-in-law — accused of embezzling
millions of euros of public funds — were a
major factor in King Juan Carlos’ stepping
down. Separately, a former ruling People’s
Party (PP) treasurer is in jail on bribery,
money-laundering and other charges.
Still reeling from the euro zone crisis
and battered by crippling unemployment,
Spaniards are in a feisty mood.
A recent poll showed that most now say
they would like to vote on whether they
have a monarchy; many Catalans and
Basques feel the promise of self-rule was
a cruel hoax as the central government
has balked at further devolution; and the
Socialists and centre-right PP who have
shared power for decades have hit historic
lows with voters.
Emerging leaders from the left are
calling for a complete overhaul at a
constitutional convention followed by
ratification in a freshly elected Parliament
and a people’s referendum.
“The consensus of ‘78, of the transition,
doesn’t work any more. The media, the
political parties, the unions, the judges,
the monarchy, none of it works,” said
Juan Carlos Monedero, spokesman for
Podemos, a new leftist political party that
took a surprise 8% of the vote in the May
25 European election.
The beleaguered Socialists —
haemorrhaging voters and struggling to
renew their discredited leadership — have
also embraced constitutional reform.
In the white paper led by Camara last
year, Socialists argued a new constitution
should change Spain’s territorial model
into a federal state that explicitly
recognises the historical, cultural and
linguistic differences of Catalonia, the
Basque country and Galicia.
The idea is to address weaknesses in the
1978 constitution, which critics say diluted
self-rule for Catalonia and the Basques by
trying to treat all 17 autonomous regions
equally, even those with no historical quest
It also proposes making the Senate —
one of Spain’s most criticised institutions
— into a body that represents the interests
of 17 regions — another way to address
Few in the ruling People’s Party, however,
support constitutional reform and many
question how far the king can play a
negotiating role given the limitations on
“The important thing would be to
rebuild a wider consensus, a political
accord, between the PP and the Socialists,
rather than destroy the constitutional
architecture,” said Javier Zarzalejos, head
of the conser vative FAES think tank.
Others argue that the PP and Socialists
could agree minor changes to the
constitution and pass them through
Parliament as they did in 2011, for
example, to put a deficit ceiling into the
constitution at the height of the fiscal
Rajoy is resisting debate on reform.
Officials close to him say his view is that
a new constitution would not satisfy
Catalans who want to secede. They say the
prime minister believes Spain is already
so highly decentralised — under a series
of pacts the central government has with
each region — that a constitutional reform
could even lead to less devolution.
Viva la king!
PICTURE: Getty Images
King Juan Carlos of Spain, left, and Prince Felipe of Spain attend the official abdication ceremony at the Royal Palace in Madrid.
Director Quentin Tarantino lambasts
digital film-making as nothing less
than the “death of cinema as I know it”.
Converts hail it as a democratising force
for good that is cheaper and faster than
A debate is raging in the film world
about the merits of shooting movies on
35mm film versus digital cameras.
In one corner are those who believe
digital’s practical and economic benefits
make it impossible to resist.
In the other, “purists” such as Tarantino
and The Dark Knight Rises director
Christopher Nolan who cherish the
visual “texture” of 35mm and warn that
something important is being lost.
“The fact that most films now are not
presented in 35mm means that the
war is lost,” Tarantino told the Cannes
Film Festival last month, describing digital
projections as “ just television in public” .
“Apparently the whole world is okay
with television in public — but what I
knew as cinema is dead!” the Pulp Fiction
and Kill Bill director said.
J J Abrams, another celluloid devotee,
who has just started shooting the new
Star Wars movie, has also warned that
without 35mm “the standard for the
highest, best quality” will be lost.
Nolan, meanwhile, predicts studios will
allow 35mm to completely disappear
unless directors insist on it.
Alain Roulleau, whose family has run
Paris’s oldest cinema since 1948, however,
dismisses all this as “nostalgia” — and
points out most studios have already
stopped supplying films in 35mm.
Located on the slopes of Montmartre,
Paris’s old artists’ quarter, Studio 28 with
its Jean Cocteau-designed lamps and
painted red steps, has old-world charm in
In the projection room, though, Roulleau
has made sure this small independent
cinema is bang up to date.
Roulleau took the decision to install
digital projection equipment four years
ago and admits he “almost cried ” when he
saw the quality of the first digital images,
which he described as “very icy, too
perfect, with no atmosphere”.
Fortunately, he says, since then the
quality has seen constant improvements
and in the past year he has shown only
two films in 35mm.
“ When you have a 35mm print, when
the print is quite new the image is
perfect, but after two weeks in a theatre
you have little dark spots on the screen
from the dust,” he told AFP.
“ With digital, from the first screening
to the last, six months later, it’s the same
quality of image,” he said.
Others stress that even movies shot
in 35mm are now quickly converted to
digital for distribution and that the real
clincher is the impact on the studios’
Printing just one film on 35mm film
and delivering it to the cinema where it
will be shown can cost $1500 alone —
compared to $150 for digital.
With a copy needed for each of several
thousand cinemas, it is easy to see why
digital seems to have won the day.
Patrick DiRenna, founder of the New
York-based Digital Film Academy, called
the shift to digital a natural evolution,
adding that the lower start-up costs were
allowing new voices to be heard.
“The only thing that ’s lacking at this
point is a slight level of picture quality, but
that will change and in exchange we have
a democratisation with artists who are
now really able to do their work,” he said.
He predicted that Tarantino too would
eventually be won round.
“Charlie Chaplin’s discomfort with
talkies is a perfect example — but when
he finally made the adjustment, he turned
around and made the The Great Dictator
and his mastery showed through again,”
For now, however, Tarantino shows no
sign of wavering and hopes 35mm could
make a comeback.
“ While this generation is completely
hopeless, (I hope) that the next
generation that will come up will demand
the real thing — in the way that after 20
years, albums are slowly coming back.”
Digital v celluloid grips Hollywood
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