The Wellington Film Guide

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Funerals and Snakes
Cinemas of New Zealand

 T H I S   W E E K   I N   W E L L I N G T O N

T H U R S D A Y   1 0   J U L Y  -
  W E D N E S D A Y   1 6   J U L Y   2 0 1 4  

t h e   f i l m s

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  • The Wellington Film Society, Paramount, 6.15pm Monday 14 July, HOLY MOTORS (Leos Carax, France 2012).
    Weird and wonderful, rich and strange - barking mad, in fact... Really this is what we have all come to Cannes for: for something different, experimental, a tilting at windmills, a great big pole-vault over the barrier of normality by someone who feels that the possibilities of cinema have not been exhausted by conventional realist drama... Denis Lavant plays Monsieur Oscar, a strange figure who is chauffeured around in a white stretch limo by Celine (Edith Scob); he has a fully equipped theatrical dressing room in the back of the car, and prepares for a series of [eleven] 'appointments' by getting into various elaborate and deeply preposterous disguises... There is something of David Lynch here, a little of Fritz Lang's Metropolis, of Gaspar Noe's Kubrickian head-trips. There's a mulch of Kafka, JG Ballard, Aldous Huxley and Lewis Carroll... And what the heck does it all mean?... Perhaps it is a bravura exercise in pure imagination. Well, it's funny, it's freaky: a butterfly that breaks the wheel of convention. - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian.
    Members Only. Memberships available before the screening.

  • The NZ Film Archive's Mediatheatre, 84 Taranaki Street. Until Saturday, Daniel Joseph Borgman's THE WEIGHT OF ELEPHANTS (Denmark/NZ 2013). For details of all Mediaplex events check the Archive's events calendar.

  • Film Festivals to note in your diary:
  • NZIFF 2014 - WELLINGTON, Embassy, Paramount, etc., 25 July - 10 August.
    Bookings are now open. There are new arrangements this year, with seats for all sessions bookable. Read the instructions carefully. Bookings are available online through the NZIFF website and from a special NZIFF Box Office at the Paramount from 9.00am-5.00pm Monday to Friday, and 10.00am-4.00pm Saturday and Sunday.
  • SHOW ME SHORTS 2014, Paramount 13-14 November.
  • If your festival is not listed here, please advise the Cinemaster

    This site relies on the various cinemas having their own websites up to date to access their screening times.
    The paragraphs describing the films starting this week are in most cases adapted from the linked reviews.

    For comments and movie news, contact the Cinemaster at

    s t a r t s   t h i s   w e e k!

    DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES - This manages to do at least three things exceptionally well that are hard enough to pull off individually: Maintain a simmering level of tension without letup for two hours, seriously improve on a very good first entry in a franchise and produce a powerful humanistic statement using a significantly simian cast of characters. A mainstream blockbuster with a lot on its mind, director Matt Reeves' synthesis of brains and brawn kicks it over the goalposts and out of the stadium Also Roxy, Readings, Lighthouse, Queensgate, and Coastlands.

    JAKE - An imaginative and endlessly witty take on a potentially horrific premise: What if you awoke one day to find someone else living your life, and doing it better? As written and directed by Auckland local Doug Dillaman, the cleverly conceived story moves at pace from one humiliation to the next for our poor, incapable hero, played with great pathos by the statuesque Jason Fitch. The first screening at 8.30pm Friday features a Q&A with the film makers.

    TOUR DE FORCE - Racing ahead with a decent concept until it dopes itself on way too much feel-goodness, this French cycling comedy never nabs the yellow jersey, but doesn't exactly come in dead last, either. Rather, this slickly crafted effort from director Laurent Tuel sticks safely to the genre's chosen routes while providing a few touching moments in its tale of a forlorn biking fanatic who embarks on his very own Tour de France, hoping to win his wife back in the process. From the French Film Festival. Also Penthouse.

    BEGIN AGAIN - Irish writer-director John Carney on a larger canvas, revisits themes from his lo-fi 2006 indie hit Once - chief among them the emotional connectivity of music. Swapping Dublin for New York, and trading a single couple for a group of people all trying to mend broken bonds or forge new ones, the touching film again trades in uncynical heart-on-its-sleeve sentiment, and deploys a series of gentle ballads, a number of them performed by star Keira Knightley. Advance screenings this weekend. Also Lighthouse and Reading Courtenay.

    u p c o m i n g   f i l m s
    A PROMISE Jul 17 Penthouse
    [Quai d'Orsay]
    Jul 17 Paramount
    SEX TAPE Jul 17 Readings
    MRS BROWN'S BOYS D'MOVIE Jul 24 Readings
    HEALING Jul 24 Penthouse
    BEGIN AGAIN Jul 24 Lighthouse
    HERCULES Jul 31 Readings
    DELIVER US FROM EVIL Jul 31 Readings
    THE DARK HORSE Jul 31 Penthouse


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