01 July 2015

Anticipating the Film Festival

It's that time of year again - the time to shell out hundreds of dollars for the privilege of viewing marvellous, obscure, treasured glimpses of cinema from outside the megaplex mainstream. It's always the highlight of the season and a chance to see what inevitably turn out to be some of the best movies I see throughout the entire year.

In 2015 my roster is the largest I remember booking - 19 films in total. While there is the notable omission of any New Zealand films in my list this year, most of the usual bases are covered. I'm legitimately thrilled to be seeing yet another modern classic from the Japanese director Kore-eda Hirokazu, whose family dramas I Wish and Like Father, Like Son made previous festival outings so special. There's also the chance to see the eternally idiosyncratic Canadian director Guy Maddin's The Forbidden Room, savouring his singularly peculiar filmmaking that in a previous film, The Saddest Music in the World, saw Isabella Rossellini cast as a legless brewing magnate's wife who performed a cabaret dance with glass beer-filled legs. There's a great selection of documentaries and music films, an Icelandic family drama, and a sure-fire crowd pleaser in The Assassin from Taiwan. And who could fail to be charmed by the prospect of Lawrence Arabia performing live accompaniment to a 1928 silent film?  

Friday 24 July, 6:15 PM
’71 (dir. Yann Demange, UK, 2014)
Troubles drama :: The Roxy Cinema 99 mins

Saturday 25 July, 7:15 PM
The Forbidden Room (dir. Guy Maddin & Evan Johnson, Canada, 2015, feat. Mathieu Amalric, Charlotte Rampling)
General surrealism :: Paramount Bergman 130 mins

Sunday 26 July, 1:00 PM
Lambert & Stamp (dir. James D. Cooper, USA, 2014)
Music doco - The Who's 'management' :: Embassy Deluxe 117 mins

Sunday 26 July, 3:15 PM
Jauja (dir. Lisandro Alonso, Argentina, 2014, feat. Viggo Mortensen, Vilibjork Mallin Agger)
Drama - Viggo's gaucho tale :: Embassy Deluxe 108 mins

Tuesday 28 July, 6:15 PM
From Scotland with Love (dir. Virginia Heath, feat. music by King Creosote)
Found footage of Scottish memories :: Paramount 75 mins + Q&A to follow

Wednesday 29 July, 8:30 PM
Best of Enemies (dir. Robert Gordon & Morgan Neville, USA, 2015)
Doco - Gore Vidal & William F. Buckley Jr.'s telly rivalry :: Penthouse Cinema 88 mins

Saturday 1 August, 1:30 PM
The 50 Year Argument (dir. Martin Scorsese & David Tedeschi, USA, 2015)
Doco - the New York Review of Books :: Paramount 97 mins

Saturday 1 August, 6:30 PM
The Assassin (dir. Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taiwan, 2015, feat. Shu Qi)
Nie Yinniang
Epic historical drama :: Embassy Theatre 105 mins

Sunday 2 August, 1:00 PM
The End of the Tour (dir. James Ponsoldt, USA, 2015, feat. Jesse Eisenberg, Jason Segel, Becky Ann Baker, Anna Chlumsky, Joan Cusack)
Dramatisation of a famous interview with David Foster Wallace :: Paramount 106 mins + short

Sunday 2 August, 6:00 PM
Kiss Me Kate 3D (dir. George Sidney, USA, 1953, feat. Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel, Ann Miller)
Technicolor widescreen 3D garishness :: Embassy Theatre 110 mins

Sunday 2 August, 8:30 PM
Inherent Vice (dir. Paul Thomas Anderson, USA, 2014, feat. Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio del Toro)
Pynchon on the big screen :: Embassy Theatre 149 mins

Tuesday 4 August, 6:15 PM
Rams (dir. Grimur Hakonarson, Iceland, 2015)
Two estranged brothers, butting heads :: Paramount 93 mins + short

Wednesday 5 August, 6:15 PM
The Wrecking Crew (dir. Danny Tedesco, USA, 2008)
Legendary sessioners for hire :: Light House Petone 101 mins

Thursday 6 August, 6:15 PM
Very Semi-Serious (dir. Leah Wolchok, USA, 2015)
New Yorker cartoons and their awesomeness :: Penthouse Cinema 83 mins + short

Thursday 6 August, 9:00 PM
The Diary of a Teenage Girl (dir. Marielle Heller, USA, 2015, feat. Bel Powley, Alexander Skarsgård, Kristen Wiig)
Coming of age black comedy :: Embassy Theatre 102 mins

Friday 7 August, 8:45 PM
A Poem Is a Naked Person (dir. Les Blank, USA, 1974/2015)
Music doco - Dr John :: Embassy Deluxe 90 mins

Saturday 8 August, 6:15 PM
Queen and Country (dir. John Boorman, UK, 2014)
Drama - National Service in 50s England :: Embassy Theatre 115 mins

Sunday 9 August, 2:00 PM
Lonesome (dir. Paul Fejos, USA, 1928)
Live Cinema with Lawrence Arabia and Carnivorous Plant Society
Live accompaniment to a forgotten silent film classic :: Paramount 69 mins

Sunday 9 August, 3:30 PM
Our Little Sister (dir. Kore-eda Hirokazu, Japan, 2015)
Umimachi Diary
Japanese family drama of three sisters reunited :: Embassy Theatre 128 mins

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