NZIFF: Lady Macbeth

The New Zealand International Film Festival reaches its final Friday in Auckland (don’t worry, the fest itself is by no means done), and with it another chance to catch British period drama Lady Macbeth. Directed by William Oldroyd, and penned by Alice Birch (from Nikolai Leskov’s text), the little gem tells the story of a […]

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NZIFF: The Love Witch

As the Auckland leg of the New Zealand International Film Festival nears its close, the magic continues with The Love Witch, a vivid, retro horror-drama – tongue firmly in cheek. Written and directed by Anna Biller, there’s a hefty 1960s vibe, paying homage to the technicolor horror flicks of that era of cinema. Samantha Robinson […]

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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 […]

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NZIFF: 20th Century Women

The New Zealand International Film Festival welcomes Mike MIlls’ latest movie 20th Century Women late today in Auckland. The American film from the director of Beginners is another bittersweet drama, this time set in the late 1970s Southern, and somewhat autobiographical. The screenplay by Mills was nominated for an Academy Award this year, following two […]

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NZIFF: A Date for Mad Mary

A bit of Irish spice lands in Auckland for the New Zealand International Film Festival with the quirky, but relevant, drama A Date for Mad Mary directed by Darren Thornton, adapted (with his brother Colin) from the Yasmine Akram play 10 Dates with Mad Mary – which he also directed. Seána Kerslake plays the title role, […]

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NZIFF: Una

Una, the new film with Rooney Mara and Ben Mendelsohn, has been talked about for months now, and arrives on the shores of the New Zealand International Film Festival. Touchy subject matter to say the least, Una delves into the personal past of a troubled young woman grown up to confront the man who succumbed […]

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NZIFF: A Monster Calls

The audiences at the New Zealand International Film Festival may have their heart strings tugged a little more here as surprise crowd favorite A Monster Calls pays a visit. Directed by J. A. Bayona with a screenplay adapted from his own novel by by Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls is a dark, sentimental tale of […]

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NZIFF: Frantz

A gorgeous shade of gloom starts its run at the New Zealand International Film Festival, nominated eleven times at the 42nd César Awards, Frantz is a drama that sees renowned French director François Ozon step away from his perhaps more outlandish, frisky film affairs. Drama being the operative word here, the story is a sullen […]

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NZIFF: My Year With Helen

Producer and director Gaylene Preston’s My Year With Helen premieres at the New Zealand International Film Festival on Sunday July 23rd July at Auckland’s Civic Theatre. The film’s first Wellington session on July 30th at the Embassy Theatre sold out on the first day of ticket sales. Preston will venture to each venue across the festival […]

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NZIFF: The Square

Following the astonishing Animation NOW! programmes that opened the New Zealand International Film Festival, over in Auckland the first feature film to screen is the Palme d’Or winner at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, The Square. Ruben Östlund’s intriguing, slick, somewhat disturbing drama also boasts a satirical reflection on the art world, our cultural and social […]

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NZIFF: Animation NOW! Dark Hearts

Already three days into the New Zealand International Film Festival, with animated shorts galore. The Animation NOW! section of the festival rounds itself off with Dark Hearts, a series of films described as bleak, sexual, creepy, macabre. Check the website for scheduling details, but here is the run-down for the Dark Hearts programme. The Inverted […]

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NZIFF: New Chinese Animation

How much of your daily thoughts are dedicated to independent Chinese animation? I thought so. Film is an education, of course, and the New Zealand International Film Festival continues its Animation NOW! programme with what might be referred to as a new wave of Chinese Animation. Take note of the following shorts screening at the […]

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NZIFF: International Showcase Animated Shorts

The Animation NOW! portion of the New Zealand International Film Festival will have an evening session entitled International Showcase. This will feature some inspiring animated shorts spanning the globe, demonstrating technical range, color, themes – including a short from New Zealand itself and a very direct reference to The Simpsons. Here’s the full line-up: Double […]

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NZIFF: Black & White Animated Shorts

The Animation NOW! segment of the New Zealand International Film Festival is broken down into appropriate categories, and day two of NZIFF showcases two more of those chapters. Firstly, the Black & White session, a series of short films that dazzle the senses even without color. The ten black and white animated shorts first showing […]

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NZIFF: Animation NOW! Opens The Festival

The New Zealand International Film Festival opens later today local time (Friday evening) with the Animation NOW! programme, beginning with Living Masters New Works. The nine short films shown derive from eight different countries, and offer diverse movies from veteran filmmakers. The School of Design at Victoria University of Wellington donated the $5,000 prize for […]

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New Zealand International Film Festival Is Here

Uniquely consolidated across the country in 2009, the New Zealand International Film Festival is about to kick-off, literally a national event which shows some of the biggest movies across 13 of the country’s cities. Starting in Auckland on July 14th, the varied and vast movie-going program spans 6 weeks or so on an overlapping schedule […]

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Cannes Compétition Prospectus – You Were Never Really Here

You Were Never Really Here Lynne Ramsay United Kingdom, United States, France CRITICAL RESPONSE “Male directors are often criticized for having a taste for gratuitous violence, but Ramsay gets down with the big boys in proving that blowing heads off can be a genderless pursuit. “You Were Never Really Here” is rumored to have only […]

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Cannes Compétition Prospectus – L’amant double

L’amant double François Ozon France CRITICAL RESPONSE “A sexy, deliciously silly and twisty thriller that laughs in the face of commonplace reason and ecstatically dials up its weirdness at every plot turn, Ozon’s film was a welcome reminder of the possibilities of cinema and its ability to fiendishly pull the rug from under a viewer.” […]

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Cannes Compétition Prospectus – In the Fade

In the Fade Fatih Akin Germany CRITICAL RESPONSE “For good or bad, Akin has to grapple with the fact that everyone continues to compare his recent films with “Head-On,” one of those rare, hip crossover movies with appeal to critics and general audiences alike. Given the theme and Kruger’s incandescence, “In the Fade” may do […]

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Cannes Compétition Prospectus – A Gentle Creature

A Gentle Creature Sergei Loznitsa Ukraine, France CRITICAL RESPONSE “Loznitsa has always been a director fascinated by faces, the sheer variety of human expressions and physiognomies, so even if the film seems underscored by a steady drum beat of fury at the cruelty people can inflict on one another, there’s also a keening air of […]

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Cannes Compétition Prospectus – Good Time

Good Time Joshua and Ben Safdie United States CRITICAL RESPONSE “Good Time is a poignantly ironic title: it means the reduction of jail time for good behaviour. Any time spent outside prison is good time, although the law-breakers here do not quite appreciate this and seem to be living in a kind of jail ante-chamber. […]

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