The Wellington Film Guide

Places to stay

Radio NZ Widescreen
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   5   M A Y  -
  W E D N E S D A Y   4   M A Y   2 0 1 6  

t h e   f i l m s

n e w s   c l i p s

  • The Wellington Film Society, 6.15pm Monday 9 May:
    A TIME TO LIVE, A TIME TO DIE (Hou Hsiao-hsian, Taiwan 1985).
    A reflective autobiographical film about filmmaker Hou Hsiao-hsien's youth in the late 40s and early 50s. Largely filmed in the same places in Taiwan where the events originally happened, this unhurried family chronicle carries an emotional force and a historical significance that may not be immediately apparent. Working in long takes and wide-screen, deep-focus compositions that frame the characters from a discreet distance, Hou allows the locations to seep into our own memories and experience, so that, as in Olmi's The Tree of the Wooden Clogs and Tian's The Blue Kite, we come to know them almost as intimately as touchstones in our own lives. Subtly interweaving everyday details with processes and understandings that evolve over years, the film conveys a density of familial detail that we usually encounter only in certain novels, and a sense of the tragic within hailing distance of Ozu. - Jonathan Rosenbaum, The Chicago Reader.
    Members only. Memberships available before the screening starts - but please be early!

  • Nga Taonga Sound and Vision. In the Mediatheatre till Sauurday, Christopher Jones' WIZARD: THE MAGICAL REALIST (NZ 2010). For more, check out Nga Taonga's calendar of screenings and events.

  • Film Festivals to note:
  • NZIFF Autumn Events 2016 Now at the Embassy until 22 May. Bookings available at the cinemas, or on line from NZIFF.
  • Turkish Film Festival 2016 Paramount 19 - 29 May. Click on the link to thumb through the brochure. Bookings now available from the Paramount.
  • Architecture and Design Film Festival 2016 Embassy 26 May - 12 June. Tickets available now from the Embassy.
  • Cinema Italiano Festival Empire and Lighthouse, 2 - 12 June.
  • NZ International Film Festival 2016 Wellington 22 July-7 August. Save the dates now.
  • 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.

    If you are looking for a new web host, by using the Host Bee link at the foot of this page, the small commission we receive will help offset the cost of hosting this website.

    For comments and movie news, contact the Cinemaster at

    s t a r t s   t h i s   w e e k!

    CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR - Very much an Avengers movie in scope and ambition if not title, this chronicle of an epic clash between two equally noble factions, led by Captain America and Iron Man, proves as remarkable for its dramatic coherence and thematic unity as for its dizzyingly inventive action sequences; viewers who have grown weary of seeing cities blow up ad nauseam will scarcely believe their luck at the relative restraint and ingenuity on display. The most mature and substantive picture to have yet emerged from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Also Empire, Readings, Queensgate, Monterey and Coastlands.

    FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS - The show's not over 'til the flat lady sings in Stephen Frears' bright, bubbly and suitably ear-bursting biopic of surely the least gifted chanteuse ever to sell out Carnegie Hall. She sings rather early on, however, leaving Frears and screenwriter Nicholas Martin with few dramatic or comedic cards to play for the pic's remaining 90 minutes - beyond the admittedly delicious spectacle of the ever-game Meryl Streep taking a musical meat cleaver to respectable operetta. This good-humored confection will nonetheless strike a chord with auds who thrilled to Streep's comparably high-camp impersonation of Julia Child. Also Penthouse, Lighthouse, Readings, Queensgate, Monterey and Coastlands.

    THE GREAT MAIDEN'S BLUSH - The intimate tale of two women from very different walks of life whose paths cross in the ante-natal ward of a hospital. The writing-directing team of Andrea Bosshard and Shane Loader keep their characters, and the audience, engaged through a delicately-paced plot of slow reveals and mysterious flashbacks - occasionally too opaque, although leaving questions in the audience's minds certainly provokes post-match discussion. Also Lighthouse Petone and Shoreline.

    THE MAN WHO KNEW INFINITY - The true story of groundbreaking Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan, the "Prince Of Intuition", forms the basis of this inspirational tearjerker. A well-heeled, sincere production following the memories of Ramanujan's English mentor and friend, the film is unashamedly middle-brow and sentimental but it tells such a good story that it is hard to resist. Also Lighthouse, Monterey and Shoreline.

    u p c o m i n g   f i l m s
    THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE May 12 Readings
    BAD NEIGHBOURS 2 May 12 Readings
    NOTES TO ETERNITY May 12 Lighthouse
    X-MEN APOCALYPSE May 19 Readings
    MARGUERITE May 19 Lighthouse
    THE GREENSTONE May 19 Paramount
    WHERE TO INVADE NEXT May 19 Penthouse
    THE NICE GUYS May 26 Readings
    TICKLED May 26 Lighthouse
    OUR LITTLE SISTER Jun 02 Penthouse


    Affordable, Reliable Website Hosting for New Zealanders. Use this link to join and offset out own hosting costs

    Classic and contemporary cinema from around the world, from NZ's only non-profit network of film exhibition