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

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  W E D N E S D A Y   2 6   N O V E M B E R   2 0 1 4  

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  • The Wellington Film Society, 6.15pm Monday 24 November at the Paramount: AN AMERICAN IN PARIS (Vincente Minnelli, USA 1951).
    Gene Kelly is not just our completely charming romantic lead in this fantastic cinematic masterpiece, he's also the film's choreographer. Though best known for its groundbreaking twenty minute finale (which more than lives up to the hype), the whole of the film is essentially a ballet as Kelly doesn't even know how to breathe without it being a charged, sexy and utterly artful movement. He's exquisite to watch even when not in the midst of the superb Gershwin numbers. In the dance numbers themselves he's simply phenomenal. Kelly discovered co-star Caron when she was just 15 and he and director Vincente Minnelli give her every opportunity to let her acting but moreover her dancing shine here in her screen debut. Kelly's passion for dance and generosity towards Caron adds to the gentle sensuousness and authenticity of their dances and developing relationship. Although clearly all filmed on the traditional MGM soundstages this is a spectacular looking film replete with Technicolor brightness and glorious fifties tailoring. Though ballet may seem a traditional art form, An American in Paris revels in the vibrant modern jazz with a great deal of passion, enthusiasm for experimentation and energy underlying even it's most downbeat and cynical of moments. - Nicola Osborne, Edinbourough University Film Society, Autumn 2003.
    Film Society members only. Memberships available before the screening. Final film of the 2014 Season. Not too late to join. A 12-month membership now will be valid until this time next year - and you will get discounts at most cinemas in the city over the Summer break.

  • Nga Taonga Sound and Vision. In the Mediatheatre until Saturday, Zoe McIntosh's THE DEADLY PONIES GANG (NZ 2013). For more details, check out the calender of screenings and events.

  • Film Festivals to note:
  • 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!

    AMAZONIA - Meet the cutest animal in the entire known universe - a young capuchin monkey with impossibly huge eyes and human expressions - on a stunningly photographed 3D adventure into the heart of the Amazon rainforest. Director Thierry Ragobert's breathtaking footage, featuring a cast of forest animals such as jaguars, crocodiles, kinkajous, boas, and forty capuchin monkeys renders this beautiful and incredibly dangerous rainforest absolutely spellbinding. From the International Film Festival. Also Queensgate.

    THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 1 - Unsubtly resonant, at times quite rousing and somewhat unsatisfying by design, this penultimate series entry is a tale of mass uprising and media manipulation that itself evinces no hint of a rebellious streak or subversive spirit: Suzanne Collins' novels may have warned against the dangers of giving the masses exactly what they want to see, but at this point, the forces behind this hugely commercial property are not about to risk doing anything but. Also Roxy, Lighthouse, Readings, Queensgate and Coastlands.

    LIFE OF CRIME - Writer-director Daniel Schechter's adaptation of Elmore Leonard's The Switch, is a farcical tale of kidnapping, extortion, 1970s race relations and general stupidity. With the genial pairing of Jennifer Aniston as a rich guy's trophy wife and John Hawkes as a low-rent criminal at the center of a colorful cast and a pitch-perfect rendering of caste-divided Detroit, this is a bittersweet end-of-summer surprise.

    THE GOOD LIE - Inspired by the experience of the thousands of so-called "Lost Boys of Sudan", the Sudanese refugees of both genders who were allowed to emigrate to the U.S. from the 1980s to the early 2000s, this is a touching, generous-hearted movie, sensitively directed by Philippe Falardeau (Monsieur Lazhar) working with a smart, sly, long-gestated script by Margaret Nagle (Boardwalk Empire).

    JIMMY'S HALL - Ireland has been on Ken Loach's mind before. Now, with this rousing, quietly angry and slyly romantic film, Loach returns, to unearth the true story of 1930s folk hero James Gralton. He was a community leader unpopular with landowners and the church in 1920s and '30s County Leitrim. Mixing politics and education with fun, Gralton opened a village dancehall-cum-study centre where locals could educate themselves and kick their heels back. Eventually the government booted him out of the country. From the International Film Festival. Also Lighthouse Petone.

    u p c o m i n g   f i l m s
    JOHN WICK Nov 27 Readings
    NIGHTCRAWLER Nov 27 Readings
    ELSA AND FRED Nov 27 Lighthouse
    THE DROP Nov 27 Lighthouse
    Dec 04 Readings
    ADVANCED STYLE Dec 04 Paramount
    TWO LIVES Dec 04 Paramount
    WHAT WE DID ON OUR HIOLIDAY Dec 04 Penthouse
    YOU'RE NOT YOU Dec 04 Penthouse
    Dec 11 Readings


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