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   1 7   A U G U S T  -
  W E D N E S D A Y   2 3   A U G U S T   2 0 1 7  

t h e   f i l m s

n e w s   c l i p s

  • The Wellington Film Society, Paramount, Monday 21 August, 6.15pm: ABOUT ELLY (Asghar Farhadi, Iran/France 2009).
    This is the film that Iran's Asghar Farhadi made before winning the Best Foreign Language Oscar with A Separation. Three years old, it is as fresh as paint: paint that hasn't flaked or faded, paint that daubs a subtly encrypted anti-totalitarian message in the "simple" fresco of its tragic tale. A woman disappears, presumed drowned, during a weekend trip to the Caspian... Her friends - though soon discovered to be barely that - roam the beach, bonding in their distress, wavering between hope and hopelessness... Farhadi uses a handheld camera, as if to eavesdrop on reality. Here is the chatter of panic trying to organise itself. The body is bound to wash up, some say. But is there a body? The virtues that glowed with a scary wattage in A Separation - that incandescent social fable mixed with a mordant jostle of contrasting psyches - are softer here. They seem to present or attempt a picture of solidarity in sorrow. But really it's a picture of loneliness, in a land where speaking together in honesty and sharing the cries of the heart are things you do only in a crisis or an emergency. - Nigel Andrews, Financial Times.
    Anyone can join in the half before the screening starts, or anytime, on line.

  • Nga Taonga Sound and Vision. This week in the Main Cinema: WAHINE: BEYOND THE DUSKY MAIDEN - I KNOW THREE SHEILAS LIKE THAT. Check out Nga Taonga's calendar of screenings and events for details.

  • Film Festivals to note:
  • German Film Festival 2017. Nga Taonga Sound and Vision 13 -16 September. Free Admission
  • Japanese Film Festival 2017. Paramount 14-17 September. Free Admission. But you can reserve a seat through Eventfinda.
  • 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 Host Bee, linking from their graphic at the foot of this page, the small commission we receive will help offset the cost of running 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!

    THE DARK TOWER - After over a decade of attempts, Stephen King's self-described magnum opus comes to the big screen via director Nikolaj Arcel. However it lacks the world-constructing gravitas of either the Tolkien books that inspired King or the franchise-launching movies that Sony execs surely have in mind. Though satisfying enough to please many casual moviegoers drawn in by King's name and stars Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, it will likely disappoint many serious fans and leave other newbies underwhelmed. Also Empire, Readings, Monterey and Coastlands.

    GINTAMA - Gag manga, whose readers are largely maturity-challenged males, are rude and crude by design, and so are the films based on them. By (admittedly low) genre standards, this does a superior job of extracting laughs from the products of Hideaki Sorachi's demented comic imagination, which soars beyond booger jokes to the higher realms of local pop-culture parody.

    LOGAN LUCKY - Channing Tatum and Adam Driver play brothers who decide they've had enough and are going to do something about it. This is a brilliantly constructed, whip-smart, and laugh-out-loud-funny romp from a filmmaker whose precision and craft is nearly unparalleled. It's hard to think of a movie this year that has been as singularly delightful, one that, with each passing moment, reveals something charming or odd or real. It hasn't been that long since Stephen Soderbergh stopped directing movies but it feels like forever. Here he beautifully exhibits everything we've been missing. Also Penthouse, Empire, Roxy, Lighthouse, Readings and Monterey.

    SEVEN RIVERS WALKING - HAERE MARIRE - Direct from its world premiere at the NZIFF in Christchurch, this documentary journeys from the alpine to spring rivers of Canterbury, exploring above and below the surfaces in search of ways through a freshwater crisis.

    THE TRIP TO SPAIN - Once again, British comedians Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan eat their way through a week-long drive through some repugnantly gorgeous European countryside. Director Michael Winterbottom hasn't just delivered the funniest movie of the year, but also a comedy that casts its characters in a harsh new light. Far from empty calories, It's nearly as bitter and necessary a commentary on its story's previous chapters as Before Midnight was to the first two episodes of Richard Linklater's trilogy. Also Roxy, Lighthouse, and Shoreline.

    u p c o m i n g   f i l m s
    AMERICAN MADE Aug 24 Readings
    THE HITMAN'S BODYGUARD Aug 24 Readings
    WIND RIVER Aug 31 Readings
    MY YEAR WITH HELEN Aug 31 Lighthouse
    THE BEGUILED Aug 31 Lighthouse
    IT Sep 07 Readings
    6 DAYS Sep 07 Penthouse
    A DATE FOR MAD MARY Sep 07 Penthouse
    AMERICAN ASSASSIN Sep 14 Readings
    VICTORIA AND ABDUL Sep 14 Readings
    TOMMY'S HONOUR Sep 14 Penthouse
    MOTHER ! Sep 14 Lighthouse


    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