01 July 2014

Looking forward to the Film Festival

This morning tickets for the 2014 NZ International Film Festival finally went on sale, thereby setting the scene for the highlight of the winter months in New Zealand. And if I'm being honest, it's probably the highlight of the whole year for me. I don't go wild seeing dozens of films, but I know that whatever I do see at the festival is likely to feature in my annual best-of lists - because while there are some quality offerings in cinemas throughout the rest of the year, it's always the Film Festival that digs up some of the best cinema experiences, and some of the work that doesn't make it to regular cinema screenings.

This year I'm seeing 16 films - unless, that is, I fill up some of the gaps in the calendar with a few extras. That's two more than last year. And I'm pretty satisfied with what's on offer in this year's festival. On initial viewing online the list of titles didn't seem particularly enthralling, but it's really the festival guide itself that sells the films. Clearly we festival fans are a sucker for a well-honed Manohla Darghis or Mark Kermode quote or a deft endorsement from Jo Randerson.

Anyway, here's my running list in chronological order. The one I'm most excited about is Florian Habicht's Pulp documentary - can't wait! And the director will be there at the Embassy to speak before the screening, which could be entertaining.

The Skeleton Twins (dir. Craig Johnson, USA, 2014, feat. Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Luke Wilson)

The Noble Family (dir. Gary Alazraki, Mexico, 2013, feat. Gonzalo Vega, Karla Souza, Luis Gerardo Mendez)
Nosotros los Nobles

Pulp: a Film about Life, Death & Supermarkets (dir. Florian Habicht, UK, 2014, feat. Jarvis Cocker)

Jimmy's Hall (dir. Ken Loach, UK/Ireland/France, 2014, feat. Barry Ward, Simone Kirby)

Diplomacy (dir. Volker Schlondorff, France/Germany, 2014, feat. Niels Arestrup, Andre Dussollier)

The Double (dir. Richard Ayoade, UK, 2013, feat. Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska)

The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden (dir. Dayne Goldfine & Dan Geller, USA, 2013)

Frank (dir. Lenny Abrahamson, Ireland/UK, 2014, feat. Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Fassbender)

The Salt of the Earth (dir. Wim Wenders & Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, France/Italy, 2014)
Le sel de la terre

Boyhood (dir. Richard Linklater, USA, 2014, feat. Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Ellar Coltrane)

The Lady from Shanghai (dir. Orson Welles, USA, 1947, feat. Orson Welles, Rita Hayworth)

Snowpiercer (dir. Bong Joon-ho, South Korea/USA/France, 2013, feat. Chris Evans, Song Kang-ho, Ed Harris)

National Gallery (dir.Frederick Wiseman, USA/France, 2014)

The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet 3D (dir. Jean-Pierre Jeunet, France/Canada, 2013, feat. Helena Bonham Carter)
L’extravagant voyage du jeune et prodigieux T.S. Spivet

Show People (dir. King Vidor, USA, 1928, feat. Marion Davies)

Wild Tales (dir. Damian Szifron, Argentina/Spain, 2014)
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