The Chris Knox Collection on NZ On Screen

Published: Fri 13 Nov 2009 09:52 AM
13 November 2009
The Chris Knox Collection on NZ On Screen
NZ On Screen has today launched a collection of Chris Knox music videos to support the release of the New Zealand music legend’s tribute album Stroke - the Songs of Chris Knox.
The 32-track double album features covers of Knox songs by local and off-island indie music luminaries and is due out on Monday (November 16th). There will be a benefit gig in Auckland on Friday next week (November 20th). Proceeds will go towards Knox’s rehabilitation from the stroke he suffered in June of this year.
Project Director Brenda Leeuwenberg said NZ On Screen wanted to support the promotion of the album and fundraising efforts, and showcase the incredible contribution Knox has made to NZ screen culture through his music and filmmaking.
The Chris Knox Collection was curated by Flying Nun founder Roger Shepherd: “this is a unique and important collection of work perfectly illustrating what is possible with the barest of resources and a free wheeling imagination.”
The DIY ethos of the “godfather of New Zealand punk” and “low-tech legend” is captured magnificently in the collection. It includes songs from Toy Love, the Tall Dwarfs, and from Knox’s solo career (most with music videos directed by Knox); as well as some classic videos he directed for other Flying Nun artists (including The Clean classic Tally Ho).
NZ On Screen Content Director Irene Gardiner said it had been a true pleasure working on the collection and watching all of Knox’s music videos again.
“Chris has been such a prolific music and video maker, that you almost take his talent for granted. He’s known internationally for his brilliantly simple low-tech approach to music, and his music video directing shares the same energy and cleverness."
“Many of these clips were absolute originals, eclectic, ground-breaking with their use of animation or film scratching .. or whatever form was to hand that could deliver his ideas. Chris always credits the people he was influenced by, in particular Len Lye, but he in turn has been a big influence on countless musicians and video directors.”
As noted US music critic Byron Coley writes, "[Knox's] sense of humor is excellent and if he weren't around New Zealand would be a far duller place".
Roger Shepherd has written a background essay to go with the collection that gets to the crux of Knox’s filmmaking talent: “to marry virtuosity and naivety – with honesty, always, as the glue ...”
Russell Brown has also written a tribute piece, where he breaks down the punk energy of the Knox magic: “this ability to conjure with the most basic palette”.
Fans can contribute their own thoughts about the collection and Knox’s work in NZ On Screen’s ScreenTalk forum, and can leave messages of aroha on Knox’s Stroke website also.
Fully funded by NZ On Air, NZ On Screen was established last year to showcase New Zealand television, film, and music video. The Chris Knox Collection, and 700 other titles, can all be seen free of charge on
NZ On Screen is fully funded by NZ On Air. All content is free to view.

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