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 4   A P R I L  -
  W E D N E S D A Y   3 0   A P R I L   2 0 1 4  

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 28 April,
    SAMSON AND DELILAH (Warwick Thornton, Australia 2009) R16.
    Warwick Thornton's potent, tacitly contentious feature about a pair of outcast Aboriginal kids who flee from their tiny central Australian community won the Camera d'Or for Best First Film at Cannes. The film has entered the national conversation across the Tasman the way Once Were Warriors once did here. It's not the taut poetry of Thornton's sublimely visual narrative style that people are talking about: it's violence and addiction in Aboriginal communities, and how they limit the options of young Samson and Delilah, two tender, uncertain kids whose spirits are sustained by little more than their teasing, unadmitted love for each other. The frankness with which Thornton depicts their descent into pariahdom in Alice Springs has a staunch matter-of-fact humanity about it, a determination to stand by one's own, that is both excruciating and stirring to behold. Thornton always nurtures the hopefulness that allow us and his young protagonists a chance at redemption. Unmissable. - Bill Gosden, NZ Internation Film Festival 2009.
    Members Only. Memberships available before the screening.

  • The NZ Film Archive's Mediatheatre, 84 Taranaki Street. Through to Saturday 26 April, Anthony Powell's ANTARCTICA: A YEAR ON ICE (NZ 2013). Also at 11.00am for the school holidays Mini-Sized Archive: Western Woods. For details of all Mediaplex events check the Archive's events calendar.

  • Film Festivals to note in your diary:
  • The Reel Brazil Film Festival, Paramount 8 - 18 May 2014.
    Brochures are out and bookings for the first week are now open at the Paramount.
  • Resene Architecture and Design Film Festival, Embassy 29 May - 11 June.
    Brochures are now available at the Embassy and bookings are open.
  • The Documentary Edge Festival, Roxy 5 - 15 June 2014.
    The programme is available on their website, and bookings are available on the Roxy website - just scroll down the programme listing.
  • 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!

    THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 - The sequel - a more intricately woven skein of action, effects, character development and cheesy one-liners. The eponymous hero hits his super-heroic stride here, as does Andrew Garfield in the role, especially when Spider-Man's alter ego Peter Parker learns there's always some fine print in a contract with this many benefits. The plot gets itself tangled up in multiple villain strands, but in the main, this installment is emotionally weightier and more satisfying than its predecessor. Also Roxy, Readings, Queengate and Coastlands.

    HALF OF A YELLOW SUN - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's knottily constructed narrative, arguably the most evocative literary account to date of the Nigerian Civil War that brutalized the country between 1967 and 1970, wound up splitting that storytelling responsibility among four distinct perspectives, but in picking a single protagonist and ironing out its nonlinear structure, frosh helmer Biyi Bandele's attractive, ideally cast adaptation does the novel a disservice. Superb performances, particularly from Thandie Newton and Anika Noni Rose as sometimes-estranged twins, rep the most sellable aspect of a diverting but surface-level saga that can't always sustain the personal-political balance of its source; the festival-friendly result, unwittingly true to its title, feels less than whole.

    SUNSHINE ON LEITH - A remorselessly rousing attempt to do for the Scottish pub rock twins what Mamma Mia! did for Abba or Tommy for The Who. The story is moulded to the setlist of the Proclaimers, the plot a jukebox algorithm. Two squaddies return from Afghanistan and head to the pub to forget their troubles. Meanwhile, Peter Mullan, the dad of one of the boys, finds his marriage to Jane Horrocks tested by ill-health and a secret daughter. Full-throttle is the only viable option for this, and Dexter Fletcher keeps his foot on the pedal throughout. Advance screenings this long weekend. Also Lighthouse.

    u p c o m i n g   f i l m s
    TRANSCENDENCE May 01 Readings
    SABOTAGE May 01 Readings
    SUNSHINE ON LEITH May 01 Penthouse
    ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE May 01 Paramount
    ON MY WAY May 01 Paramount
    BAD NEIGHBOURS May 08 Readings
    BELLE May 08 Penthouse
    CHEF May 08 Lighthouse
    GODZILLA May 15 Readings
    FADING GIGOLO May 15 Paramount
    SON OF GOD May 15 Penthouse
    IN SEARCH OF CHOPIN May 15 Penthouse
    X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST May 22 Readings
    IDA May 22 Lighthouse


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