Jurassic Larkby Tim Watkin
It began with an exercise book in the middle of the design room at Weta Workshop - "a room full of 30-somethings who have never gotten over their six-year-old fascination with dinosaurs and monsters", according to conceptual designer Daniel Falconer. As the designers worked on Peter Jackson's King Kong, the exercise book was slowly filled with ideas for the flora and fauna on Skull Island, the giant gorilla's uncharted home.
Only a slither of the island's eco-system can be seen in the film, but "the attitude here at Weta is that we design full worlds", says Falconer.
So for the first time Weta has put out a book, The World of Kong (HarperCollins, $59), written by Falconer; 224 gorgeously illustrated pages explore the ape's entire, brutal realm, down to its insects. The conceit behind Skull Island is that dinosaurs survived there when the rest of their kind became extinct 65 million years ago. And they've evolved. T rex have become V rex (Vastatosaurus rex) and never-before-heard-of dinosaurs, such as a four-legged predatory dinosaur, Feotodon, have emerged. Each is a combination of science and designers' fancy - purely imagined, but anatomically correct.
Damien Dempsey’s music recounts Ireland’s traumatic history, but it resonates half a world away in New Zealand.Read more
Andrew Little says the plan to enter the drift at Pike River, using the existing access tunnel, was by far the safest option.Read more
Is a defence force that regularly covers up and denies wrongdoings among its ranks – from war crimes to drunkenness – operating above the law?Read more
New Zealand screenwriter Anthony McCarten talks about Bohemian Rhapsody, his second big film of 2018 after the Churchill drama Darkest Hour.Read more
Released in 1977, Dario Argento’s campy Suspiria was a landmark in cult horror. Now, director Luca Guadagnino has remade it in a new style.Read more
Abir Mukherjee uses India’s painful struggle for independence as the backdrop for his Sam Wyndham detective stories.Read more
Restaurant veterans Chris Rupe, Krishna Botica, Tony Adcock, Geeling Ching and Judith Tabron reflect on the Auckland dining scene.Read more