The Wellington Film Guide

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 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 1   F E B R U A R Y  -
  W E D N E S D A Y   2 7   F E B R U A R Y   2 0 1 9  

t h e   f i l m s

n e w s   c l i p s

  • The Wellington Film Society's opening film of the 2019 season, Embassy at 6.15pm Monday 4 March: MULHOLLAND DRIVE (David Lynch, France/USA, 2001). Like Billy Wilder's film named after another iconic Hollywood street, Mulholland Drive tells a sordid tale of the industry of illusion and its boulevards of broken dreams - but for Lynch, these dreams fold into dreams within dreams within dreams. Originally intended as a pilot for a television series, Lynch's mobius riddle was rejected by TV executives. In restructuring it for the silver screen, Lynch crafted one of his finest masterworks. When the perky, wholesome Betty Elms lands in Hollywood for what could be her big break, she meets 'Rita', an ostensible femme fatale who is rendered identity-less because of amnesia from a car accident. Lynch's (and Hollywood's) dazzling dream factory sets to work with mysterious objects, startling visions, amusing detours and revelatory alterations in acting styles and character identities. The noir cracks open and gives way to a multi-toned, terrifyingly beautiful hallucination that is as much a complex reflection on Hollywood as it is an endlessly transforming psychological puzzle. - Harvard Film Archive. Anyone can join the Film Society at any time on line.

  • Film Festivals to note:
  • French Film Festival - 2019. 12 - 27 March. Penthouse and Lighthouse Petone. Details now on the website. Bookings now open.
  • NZ International Film Festival - 2019. 26 July - 11 August.
  • If your festival is not listed here, please advise the Cinemaster

  • The Nga Taonga Sound and Vision cinema has closed. Archive employees are now located in office space within the National Library building on Molesworth Street and are actively looking at alternative screening venues to bring their work to Wellington audiences.

    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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    For comments and movie news, contact the Cinemaster at

    s t a r t s   t h i s   w e e k!

    STAN AND OLLIE - Featuring uncanny and hugely personable performances by Steve Coogan as Stan Laurel, and John C. Reilly as Oliver Hardy, and a smart script by Jeff Pope that delivers laughs from both familiar and unexpected quarters, this is a fond, frequently very funny homage to an act that has lost none of its genius. A new generation of fans awaits. Director Jon S. Baird may seem a surprise choice to helm such gently bitter-sweet fare. But he's clearly a showman, who revels in his characters' innate ability and desire to entertain. Also Penthouse, Empire, Lighthouse, Monterey, Coastlands and Shoreline.

    ESCAPE ROOM - Adam Robitel's latest New Year's gift to the world, a gimmicky William Castle-inspired thriller is 10 pounds of silly in a five-pound bag. It's a movie about escape rooms that literally kill you, and if you're willing to buy into that premise, it's about as good as a movie with that premise could probably be. It's gimmicky and simplistic, but there's no sense in complaining about that. That is, after all, why we bought our tickets. An impressive display of truth in advertising with a little bit more panache than we were probably expecting. Also Roxy, Monterey and Reading Porirua.

    VOX LUX - Pop has always been purposeful, and its populist purpose tends to drive it away from the self - a quandary that Brady Corbet's extraordinary second feature picks at with icy fascination. Powered in its second half by a riveting performance of fiercely mannered bravado by Natalie Portman, as a kamikaze electropop diva running her Faustian fame off and under the rails, this paints a sharp, shellacked portrait of a ghost in the celebrity machine. Also Lighthouse Cuba.

    u p c o m i n g   f i l m s
    A DOG'S WAY HOME Feb 28 Readings
    EVERYBODY KNOWS Feb 28 Lighthouse
    GRETA Feb 28 Penthouse
    SWIMMING WITH MEN Feb 28 Penthouse
    CELIA Feb 28 Readings
    THE GUILTY Feb 28 Lighthouse
    CAPTAIN MARVEL Mar 07 Readings
    IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK Mar 07 Lighthouse
    OLDER THAN IRELAND Mar 07 Penthouse
    HOTEL MUMBAI Mar 14 Readings
    DESTROYER Mar 14 Penthouse
    DAFFODILS Mar 21 Readings


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