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   2 1   M A Y  -
  W E D N E S D A Y   2 7   M A Y   2 0 1 5  

t h e   f i l m s

n e w s   c l i p s

  • The Wellington Film Society, Paramount 6.15pm Monday 25 May:
    PLEIN SOLEIL [Purple Noon] (Rene Clement, France, 1960).
    This iconic French thriller, which was remade in the late Anthony Minghella's The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), is a portrayal of a murderer who is at once alluring and terrifying. Much of Ripley's anti-hero mystique is tied up with his ambiguous sexuality, expressed in the film not only through his bronzed torso but also through the use of fashion and adornment. His polished look of Gucci loafers, white jeans and suede shirts brings to the screen a breeze of wealthy and easy living, but also comes to represent his perverse criminality. Director Clement cast Alain Delon in the lead role, implicitly aware that the actor's own association with the criminal underworld would aid his notoriety and international stardom. - Fashion in Film Festival.
    Members only - memberships available before the screening starts.

  • Nga Taonga Sound and Vision. At the Mediatheatre to Saturday 23 May, The Wellington Underground Film Festival 2015, profiling New Zealand and international filmmakers who have an original, radically artistic approach and are producing work outside mainstream film production and distribution. For more details, check out the calendar of screenings and events.

  • Film Festivals to note:
  • The Resene Architecture and Design Film Festival 2015 will run at the Embassy 28 May - 10 June. The movie titles and schedule is now available on the festival website as a .pdf for downloading. Bookings open at the Embassy.
  • The NZ International Film Festival 2015 , will run in Wellington this year 24 July-9 August. Mark those dates in your diary now. The first few titles, emerging from the Sundance Film Film Festival, have been announced. And more titles will progressively be released. Keep an eye on their website to keep up to date.
  • 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.
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    For comments and movie news, contact the Cinemaster at

    s t a r t s   t h i s   w e e k!

    SPY - An uproarious blast of globe-trotting action-comedy delirium that doesn't spoof the espionage-thriller genre so much as drop a series of banana peels in its path. Melissa McCarthy plays an eager-to-please desk jockey turned full-blown CIA operative who learns to wield a gun as skillfully as she does a one-liner - a dazzling transformation that represents the actress' smartest, funniest, most versatile and fully sustained bigscreen showcase to date. Also Empire, Readings, Lighthouse, Queengate and Coastlands.

    I SURVIVED A ZOMBIE HOLOCAUST - Written and directed by Guy Pidgen, making his feature film debut, this takes all that is good about New Zealand comedy-horror and ups the ante. The script is incredibly witty, there are a ton of "in-jokes" for genre fans and the main character is one of the most likeable heroes in a zom-com. In fact I could watch Harley Neville's nebbish script-writer wannabe Wesley over Simon Pegg;s layabout Shaun any day of the week. Wellington premiere.

    GEMMA BOVERY - Martin is an ex-Parisian who is now living in the Normandy countryside with his wife and son. He's constantly immersed in literature, and is quite fond of Gustave Flaubert's novel Madame Bovary. When Gemma and Charles Bovery move in the neighbourhood, he's delighted that Gemma is very much like the heroine of Flaubert's novel, and Martin is immediately smitten with her. A beautifully acted film that manages to merge the worlds of literature and film. This dramatic romance is a guaranteed hit for cinephiles with a taste for classic literature. Advance screenings this weekend.

    SLOW WEST - Slow-burning and simmering, this knows how to kick the voltage into high gear. A dark, but spirited fable about the pitilessness of the West, the meaning of home on the range and the worthwhile qualities of wicked, seemingly irredeemable men, this is a terrific little parable, and a strong debut by John Maclean worth treasuring. Also Lighthouse.

    POLTERGEIST - In addition to being one of the most unsettling PG-rated films ever made, the original Poltergeist - directed by Tobe Hooper, with not-insignificant input from producer-scripter Steven Spielberg - touched a particularly sensitive nerve thanks to its grasp on the early Reagan era zeitgeist. Even when one is inclined to admire the cleverness with which the remake revisits and reincorporates the original's themes, it's hard to pinpoint a single moment where it improves on them, and the aura of inessentiality hangs thick over the proceedings. Also Queensgate, Reading Porirua and Coastlands.

    u p c o m i n g   f i l m s
    GEMMA BOVERY May 28 Penthouse
    SAN ANDREAS May 28 Readings
    TOMORROWLAND May 28 Readings
    NOBLE May 28 Penthouse
    ENTOURAGE Jun 04 Readings
    THE GUEST Jun 04 Paramount
    TANGERINES Jun 04 Paramount
    ALOHA Jun 04 Penthouse
    JURASSIC WORLD Jun 11 Readings
    MARSHLAND Jun 11 Paramount
    HOT PURSUIT Jun 11 Readings
    MARSHLAND Jun 11 Paramount
    BEFORE THE WINTER CHILL Jun 11 Penthouse


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