Films by Tour Guides

Staff Picks: Michael McDonnell

These are the top six films I've seen and recommend and the six films I'm most looking forward to seeing.

Fish & Cat

Mahi Va Gorbeh

Shahram Mokri

Boldly inventive and intricately choreographed, this Iranian one-shot wonder weaves an enigmatic time-warp narrative around a group of characters who have congregated at a lakeside camp.

Force Majeure

Turist

Ruben Östlund

Swedish director Ruben Östlund’s Cannes sensation combines black comedy, social satire and probing psycho-drama as a model family comes apart on a skiing holiday in the French Alps.

Goodbye to Language 3D

Adieu au langage

Jean-Luc Godard

In a dense and dazzling, disjunctive 3D mash-up of music, text, archive and image, the 83-year-old Jean-Luc Godard reflects on the significance, and possibly the decay, of language.

Hard to Be a God

Trudno byt’ bogom

Aleksei German

A visionary ‘medieval’ sci-fi epic based on the Strugatsky brothers’ 1964 novel, this brutal, visceral and densely detailed final masterpiece by the late Russian maestro Alexsei German was over a decade in the making.

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter

David Zellner

Inspired by an urban legend that was itself inspired by the Coen brothers’ Fargo, filmmaking brothers David and Nathan Zellner have crafted a quixotic adventure story as beguiling as it is wondrously strange.

Leviathan

Andrey Zvyagintsev

Direct from Competition in Cannes, the new film from the Russian director of The Return is an involving, magnificently envisaged and blackly funny tale of one man’s struggle in a densely corrupt world.

Point and Shoot

Marshall Curry

The fascinating story of Matthew VanDyke, an American adventure junkie, whose travels across the Middle East led to his joining – and filming – the Libyan revolution. Best Doco, Tribeca Film Festival 2014

Snowpiercer

Joon-ho Bong

Korean auteur Bong Joon-ho’s much anticipated sci-fi epic, his first English language production, finally hits NZ screens in his original director’s cut. Starring Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton and Song Kang-ho.

Timbuktu

Abderrahmane Sissako

Set in the early days of the jihadist takeover of northern Mali in 2012, African director Abderrahmane Sissako’s Cannes Competition drama delivers a beautiful and deeply humane condemnation of religious intolerance.

Under the Skin

Jonathan Glazer

Scarlett Johansson is an alien creature in human guise cruising Glasgow on a mysterious mission to lure young men. Jonathan Glazer’s eerie spellbinder amalgamates chilling fantasy with covertly filmed reality.

We Come As Friends

Hubert Sauper

Hubert Sauper (Darwin’s Nightmare) exposes the international powers at work in the world’s newest country, South Sudan, in this astounding doco which received an award for ‘Cinematic Bravery’ at the Sundance Film Festival.

White God

Fehér isten

Kornél Mundruczó

Hungarian director Kornél Mundruczó’s audacious drama, about how a young girl’s separation from her dog leads to a full-blown canine uprising, won the Un Certain Regard Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.