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   A P R I L  -
  W E D N E S D A Y   8   A P R I L   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 takes a break on Easter Monday but returns, Paramount 6.15pm Monday 13 April, with
    A TIME TO LOVE AND A TIME TO DIE (Douglas Sirk, USA, 1930).
    Sirk's penultimate Hollywood film, an adaptation of the novel by Erich Maria Remarque, might be one of his lesser-known later pictures. Nevertheless, it remains one of his most affecting, moving masterworks. John Gavin, a German foot soldier on an all-too-brief leave from the Eastern Front during WWII, returns to his hometown to find it a bombed-out shell. But he comes across unexpected tenderness amongst the ruins in the form of grown childhood friend, Liselotte Pulver. A classic evocation of the fleeting quality of a fragile, precious love soon to be immolated in a barbaric world consumed by flames. Legendary writer Remarque himself appears in a supporting role as Professor Pohlmann and Don Defore and Keenan Wynn are Gavin's hapless comrades. Co-starring underrated performers Jock Mahoney and John Van Dreelen in prime supporting roles; and keep your eyes peeled for Klaus Kinski in one of his rare appearances in a 1950's Hollywood film. "A masterpiece of mise-en-scene... a haunting story of the search for beauty in a dead world... happiness hovers just beyond reach in Sirk's metaphysically charged CinemaScope images. A stunning triumph of form of the sort only possible in Hollywood." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader.
    Members only - memberships available before the screening starts.

  • Nga Taonga Sound and Vision. At the Mediatheatre until Saturday 11 April, Florian Habicht's PULP: A FILM ABOUT LIFE, DEATH AND SUPERMARKETS (NZ 2014). For more details, check out the calendar of screenings and events.

  • Film Festivals to note:
  • Details of the NZIFF Autumn Events 2015 have been announced. First up is the documentary THAT SUGAR FILM by Damon Gameau. It will run at the Paramount on Friday 17 April at 6.15pm and Saturday 18 April at 1.00pm. Bookings are now open. The rest of the Wellington screenings will be across three weekends in May at the Embassy. The NZ documentary THE GROUND WE WON by Christopher Pryor. Also five classic films: Walt Disney's PINOCCHIO and two very different Kubrick epics - SPARTACUS and 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY - all come in freshly minted studio digital transfers, while new digital restorations offer the best possible reason to celebrate A HARD DAY'S NIGHT and Bertolucci's ravishing THE CONFORMIST. Tickets are now on sale directly from the Embassy. In all cases you can follow the booking arrangements through the individual links above.
  • 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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    s t a r t s   t h i s   w e e k!

    FAST AND FURIOUS 7 - Any moviegoer who didn't know about the untimely death of Paul Walker would never guess it had occurred during production of this film that is as stupendously stupid and stupidly diverting as it could have hoped to be had everything gone as planned. Just go along with a reworked screenplay that ushers him off the stage with as much grace as any other development in this muscle-car melodrama. Also Roxy, Readings, Queensgate and Coastlands..

    ODE TO MY FATHER - With all the noise about North Korea lately, it's valuable to find a movie that actually conveys something meaningful about Korean character and culture. Indeed, this truly spectacular film is almost insanely ambitious in its determination to cover 60 years of frequently traumatic history.

    WOMAN IN GOLD - A classy real-life story of one woman's journey to reclaim her family's heritage in the face of opposition from the Austrian establishment, Simon Curtis' impressively staged drama features yet another towering performance from Helen Mirren as an elderly Jewish woman who seeks to retrieve family possessions stolen by the Nazi's some 60 years earlier. Also Penthouse, Lighthouse and Queensgate.

    DIOR AND I - Fast-rising helmer Frederic Tcheng privileges the creative process over stereotyped glamor or backstabbing in this documentary which follows Raf Simons as he launches his first haute couture collection for Christian Dior in spring 2012. Multilayered, meticulously woven and a model of its kind, it deserves a place on specialized screens. From the NZ International Film Festival. Also Penthouse.

    GET WELL SOON - A retired curmudgeon finds his life literally upended when he's hit by a car and confined to a lengthy hospital stay in this latest senior-skewed crowdpleaser from French director Jean Becker. Not unlike the filmmaker's recent My Afternoons with Marguerite and Conversations with My Gardner, this is a broad but witty dramedy that's perfect for the Gallic AARP set, with a strong central turn from Gerard Lanvin (Point Blank), who spends most of the movie laid up in bed with a cast and a catheter. From the recent French Film Festival. Penthouse and Lighthouse Petone.

    THE BOOK OF LIFE - It's not surprising that a companion art book to the new animated film directed by Jorge R. Gutierrez and produced by Guillermo del Toro has already been released. Steeped in Mexican folk art and inspired by that country's holiday the Day of the Dead, it is a visually stunning effort that makes up for its formulaic storyline with an enchanting atmosphere that sweeps you into its fantastical world, or in this case, three worlds. Also Reading Courtenay, Queensgate and Coastlands.

    THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE OUT OF WATER - The last SpongeBob SquarePants movie, released over a decade ago, found our undersea friend heading off on an adventure that eventually landed him in our own, un-animated world for a spell. Here, SpongeBob rewrites his own story to create superhero personas for his friends, and the transition from the 2-D world to our 3-D one is seamless enough to be stunning. Also Readings, Queensgate and Coastlands.

    TINKER BELL AND THE LEGEND OF THE NEVERBEAST - A colorful and cheery fantasy that duplicates its series predecessors' cutesy humor and feel-good message making, it's apt to garner moderate interest from very young fans both during its limited-engagement theatrical run and subsequent homevideo release, though anyone over the age of 7 will likely find it too immature by half. Also Readings, Queensgate and Coastlands.

    u p c o m i n g   f i l m s
    THE LONGEST RIDE Apr 09 Readings
    SAMBA Apr 09 Penthouse
    THE AGE OF ADALINE Apr 16 Readings
    THE GUNMAN Apr 16 Readings
    LEVIATHAN Apr 23 Paramount
    LUCKY THEM Apr 23 Lighthouse
    Apr 23 Readings


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