NZIFF: Wellington Opening Weekend

So the second venue of the New Zealand International Film Festival is underway, and the uncompromising selection of films on offer at Wellington is mouth-watering. Kicking off yesterday (28th July New Zealand time zone) the venue holds festival films through to 13th August. Here are just some of the highlights screening this very weekend.

Citizen Jane: Battle for the City

Documentary telling the tale that gave planners and architects nightmares following the release of Jane Jacobs’s book The Death and Life of Great American Cities in 1960. Activist Jacobs was involved in several New York city feuds but also championed a plight of urban culture.

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Manifesto SOLD OUT

So Cate Blanchett plays 13 different characters, and when we say different I mean vastly so. As if we did not know Blanchett was one of  the best of her generation of performers the Australian gets to sink her teeth into even more depths to entertain her audience.

Kobi

Another documentary worth your time, this time about Kobi Bosshard, “the grandfather of contemporary New Zealand jewellery”, intimately put together by his daughter Andrea Bosshard – who will also be present at the Q+A sessions after the screenings.

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Ethel & Ernest SOLD OUT

Based on the book by Raymond Briggs, Ethel & Ernest is an animated movie directed by Roger Mainwood. Premiering at the London Film Festival last year, the poignant story follows the lifetime together of the title characters. You may well recognize the voices of Jim Broadbent and Brenda Blethyn.

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Stalker

The 1979 Soviet sci-fi film from Andrei Tarkovsky is a philosophical, psychological journey The term in the film’s title was attributed to the Strugatsky brothers’ use in their novel Roadside Picnic and Rudyard Kipling’s Stalky & Co. tales.

Beatriz at Dinner

Salma Hayek impresses as Beatriz who walks unintentionally into some strife when a massage soon turns into an invitation to a dinner party where the death of a  goat becomes the topic of conversation. Released this year, Beatriz at Dinner also stars John Lithgow, Connie Britton, and Chloë Sevigny, to name but three.

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The Lost City of Z

The Lost City of Z depicts the real events when British explorer Percy Fawcett traveled to Bolivia on numerous occasions to try and find an ancient lost city in the Amazon. Charlie Hunnam plays the lead in a film literally about the exploration and intrigue a man can experience if he has the determination to never give up on what he believes.

Call Me by Your Name SOLD OUT

Premiering at the Sundance Film Festival earlier in the year, Call Me by Your Name received high praise by critics. Directed and co-written by Luca Guadagnino, with James Ivory and Walter Fasano also scripting, the film is adapted from André Aciman’s novel. Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer, Michael Stuhlbarg and Amira Casar star.

Head on over to the Wellington section of the NZIFF website.

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