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 7   A U G U S T  -
  W E D N E S D A Y   2   S E P T E M B E R   2 0 1 5  

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  • The Wellington Film Society, 6.15pm Monday 31 August: HOME FROM HOME: CHRONICLE OF A VISION Part One (Edgar Reitz, Germany 2013).
    Edgar Reitz's marvellous film immerses us in the affairs of a German country town in 1844, a time when rural life is harsh and feudal order still prevails... Reitz's drama of a rural community whose young disappeared to populate the New World is richly detailed, extremely moving and securely grounded in historical fact. Descendants of the same generation of European poor who made their way to New Zealand will surely feel its resonance. To aficionados of German culture it has added significance as a prequel to Reitz's massive Heimat, over 50 hours of television dramatising 20th-century life in the same town. But his leap back in time requires no prior acquaintance at all. Shot with razor-sharp clarity in black-and-white digital CinemaScope, with occasional graphic incursions of colour, this is cinema both gloriously panoramic and intimately interior. Werner Herzog has an amusing cameo as naturalist, linguist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt. - Bill Gosen, NZIFF 2014.
    Members free. Memberships available before the screening starts. Public by donation at the door (notes only please). Part Two next week.

  • Nga Taonga Sound and Vision. In the Mediatheatre until Thursday 3 September, Horror Unleashed! - A celebration of the dark and fantastic films of Kiwi enfant terrible David Blyth, a surreal week of cinema, which brings together eight of Blyth's films. For more, check out Nga Taonga's calendar of screenings and events.

  • Film Festivals to note:
  • The 7th German Film Festival will run in Wellington 15 - 19 September at Nga Taonga Sound and Vision. Seats will be free, except for the Soup and Seat screening of Concrete Love - The Bohm Family at 12.15pm on 18 September. You will find a link to a downloadable programme on the website.
  • 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!

    ATTACK ON TITAN Part One - A young-adult adventure set in a dystopian future with steampunk technology where the heroes fight kaiju zombies. Massively popular in Japan and around the world, the manga has been given a two-part live-action adaptation, and while fans of the source material may quibble about what's been changed or streamlined, they'll have to admit that it's a pretty amazing spectacle. Linited release.

    WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS - Zac Efron stars as a San Fernando Valley DJ trying to go Hollywood in this electronic dance music-themed drama. It is predictable, sometimes tacky, but the energy is unflagging, the eye candy plentiful and writer-director Max Joseph (making his feature debut) brings sincerity and a skillfully modulated sweetness to the material. Don't be shocked if the movie steamrolls past your defenses - unless you're an EDM aficionado, in which case you'll surely find reason to roll your eyes. Also Empire, Reading Courtenay, Queensgate and Coastlands.

    SUNSHINE SUPERMAN - This documentary portrait of the thrill-seeking movement's founding father, Carl Boenish, is an all-too-palpable reminder of the peril that comes with extreme rock climbing. While this buoyant account of his brief but eventful life might feel like a rock climber's Man on a Wire, director Marah Strauch gives the film an exhilarating uplift of its own. From the International Film Festival.

    THE WOLFPACK - This striking documentary from new film-maker Crystal Moselle, is just the thing to get people wondering what sociology experiments are happening in the apartment next door. The six Angulo brothers (two of whom are twins) dress the same and all have long black hair, and, despite living in somewhat cramped public housing on Manhattan's Lower East Side, have almost never left their apartment. They get some air once or twice a year, but when they do, it is under strict parental supervision. Not since Grey Gardens has a film invited us into such a strange, barely-functioning home and allowed us to gawk without reservation. From the International Film Festival.

    RICKI AND THE FLASH - There are several authors at work in this, a lively musical dramedy about an aging rocker trying to make amends with her estranged family. Diablo Cody's warm and occasionally cheeky screenplay follows the usual sentimental beats with standard Cody snark sprinkled liberally throughout. Director Jonathan Demme transforms the material into an infectious treatise on the healing power of music. Meanwhile, Meryl Streep - as the titular Ricki - beams for the camera and shows off her singing range, veering from overly glamorous to spectacularly in the moment and back again. In other words, everyone's doing their usual thing, not always in perfect harmony but with plenty of vigor. Also Empire, Roxy, Readings, Lighthouse, Queensgate and Coastlands.

    LAST CAB TO DARWIN - Offing oneself has never been more winning than it is in director Jeremy Sims' wryly comic tale of a grizzled taxi driver dying of cancer who drives from Broken Hill to Darwin in order to legally end his life via lethal injection. Adapted from Reg Cribb's stage play of the same name, the film shows little trace of its theatrical origins, not least because it consists of one ravishing shot of the blood-orange outback after another, and Sims wrings gentle pleasures from this most unlikely of subjects. Also Lighthouse Petone.

    u p c o m i n g   f i l m s
    HOLDING THE MAN Sep 03 Paramount
    A WALK IN THE WOODS Sep 03 Penthouse
    Sep 10 Reading
    FAR FROM MEN Sep 10 Paramount
    13 MINUTES [Elser] Sep 10 Penthouse
    PEOPLE PLACES THINGS Sep 10 Lighthouse
    THE FOOL [Durak] Sep 10 Lighthouse
    THE NIGHTINGALE Sep 24 Lighthouse


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