Films by Tour Guides

Staff Picks: Cass Hesom-Williams

Of the handful of NZIFF 2014 films I’ve been fortunate enough to see so far, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya was the most affecting – while Studio Ghibli films are always pretty special, this one is a treasure. Moving from spiritual to cerebral (though perhaps both for some), Particle Fever shed light on the mysteries of the Large Hadron Collider (which I still haven’t quite managed to get my head around). I love photography so am looking forward to seeing Sebastião Selgado’s work on the big screen in The Salt of the Earth, Jane Bown’s portraits in Looking for Light and NZ artist Gavin Hipkins’ take on Samuel Butler’s utopian satire in Erewhon. Being a Raymond Chandler fan, I’m keen to meet detective Zhang in Black Coal, Thin Ice, and am also looking forward to another urban noir thriller made closer to home, REALITi. I’m expecting to scale interesting heights at Manakamana, while Tender – a small film exploring a big theme – will no doubt bring me back to earth. I’m also intrigued to see if Jimi: All Is By My Side; Pulp: a Film about Life, Death & Supermarkets and 20,000 Days on Earth can be added to my list of adored music films that make favourite old songs feel all shiny and new again (every single time I watch them).

20,000 Days on Earth

Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard

The legend of Nick Cave is explored and amplified in this seductive, music-filled documentary created in collaboration with British filmmaker/artists Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard. “Thrilling to behold.” — Time Out

Black Coal, Thin Ice

Bai ri yan huo

Diao Yinan

This inventive and atmospheric noir, set in China’s wintry industrial north, finds a hard-bitten former detective resurrecting the cold case that ended his career when an eerily similar new case surfaces years later.

Erewhon

Gavin Hipkins

For his first feature-length film the widely exhibited New Zealand photographer Gavin Hipkins invests a richly pictorial essay with the 21st-century resonance of Samuel Butler’s lively utopian satire Erewhon, written in 1872.

Jimi: All Is By My Side

John Ridley

This provocative portrait of Jimi Hendrix as a fledgling rock legend features Outkast’s André Benjamin as the supremely gifted young guitarist in Swinging London. Directed by 12 Years a Slave screenwriter John Ridley.

Looking for Light: Jane Bown

Luke Dodd, Michael Whyte

“A quiet, moving portrait of Jane Bown, the longstanding Observer photographer who has taken all those iconic portraits you know, but probably didn’t know she’d taken.” — Deborah Ross, The Spectactor

Manakamana

Stephanie Spray, Pacho Velez

In this hypnotic observational documentary from Harvard’s Sensory Ethnography Lab, a fixed camera captures diverse travellers – from devout pilgrims to media-savvy metalheads – riding the gondola to and from a Hindu temple in Nepal.

Particle Fever

Mark A. Levinson

“This documentary accessibly conveys the science and the human drama behind the largest machine ever built – the Large Hadron Collider – and its crowning achievement, the discovery of the Higgs boson particle.” — Scientific American

Pulp: a Film about Life, Death & Supermarkets

Florian Habicht

NZer Florian Habicht’s acclaimed collaboration with Jarvis Cocker fixes the triumphant 2012 concert billed as Pulp’s last ever within a loving portrait of Sheffield and Sheffielders.

REALITi

Jonathan King

An up-and-coming media executive has good reason to question the very facts of his existence in this micro-budget sci-fi chiller from director Jonathan King ( Black Sheep, Under the Mountain) and novelist Chad Taylor.

The Salt of the Earth

Le sel de la terre

Wim Wenders, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado

The life and work of Sebastião Salgado, the undisputed master of monumental photojournalism, is explored in this wonderful doco, jointly directed by his son, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, and German director Wim Wenders.

The Tale of The Princess Kaguya

Kaguya-hime no monogatari

Takahata Isao

Hot on the heels of Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises comes another animated masterpiece. Studio Ghibli co-founder Takahata’s rich and astonishing swansong vividly brings an ancient Japanese folktale to life.

Tender

Lynette Wallworth

In this remarkably rewarding documentary we meet a feisty community group in Port Kembla, NSW that sets out to bypass the corporate drivers of the funeral industry and set up their own non-profit funeral business.