A delicate and frequently touching debut drama, Australian director Sophie Hyde’s film, shot over a year of Tuesdays, traces a teenage girl’s explorations of her own sexual identity while her mother undergoes gender transition.
Investigative filmmaker Alex Gibney (Enron, We Steal Secrets) incorporates amazing all-access footage of the 2009 Tour de France into a comprehensive interrogation of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong and the world he dominated.
‘Baba-dook-dook-dook’ joins ‘Candyman’ and ‘Bloody Mary’ as words too terrifying to say, but too tempting not to, thanks to Australian writer-director Jennifer Kent’s startling and thought-provoking horror house thriller.
The many ambitions that come into play when a vast oil field is discovered off the coast of Ghana are revealed with amazing insight in this doco filmed over seven years, with access to executives, politicos and militants alike.
Bai ri yan huo
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.
This delirious Dutch thriller, with shades of the comic and surreal, sees a vagrant trickster named Borgman insinuate himself into the lives of an arrogant and affluent upper class family, with darkly hilarious results.
Aussie maverick Rolf de Heer’s latest collaboration with the great Aboriginal actor David Gulpilil, after the folkloric Ten Canoes and historical The Tracker, is a moving picture of present-day life in Australia’s far north.
A faceless bureaucrat (Jesse Eisenberg) and his suave doppelgänger (Jesse Eisenberg) compete for Mia Wasikowska’s attention in Richard Ayoade’s stylish, retro-future take on Dostoevsky.
Jake Gyllenhaal delivers two great performances in this compelling and creepy doppelgänger tale about a dishevelled university professor who spots his exact double performing in a movie, and tracks him down.
Magnificent and haunting, the official record of the legendary 1924 Everest expedition screens in a superb restoration. Filmed by Captain John Noel, who accompanied doomed mountaineers George Mallory and Andrew Irvine.
A man, a woman and a four-year-old boy retreat to a house outside town. What are they hiding from? Debut writer/director Max Currie staggers its revelations to dramatic effect in this suspenseful psychological drama.
Michael Fassbender and Maggie Gyllenhall play fiercely avant-garde musicians in this weirdly celebratory satire of an obscure art rock band propelled via Twitter into the limelight.
A flamboyant Viennese baroness and her two lovers bring mystery and murder to a lonely Pacific paradise in this lavishly archived, stranger-than-fiction documentary whodunit.
This long-awaited, massively crowd-funded pop musical – written, composed and directed by Belle and Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch – stars a radiant Emily Browning as an up-and-coming Glasgow singer.
The incredible story of Mosab Hassan Yousef – the son of one of the founders of Hamas who became an informant for the Israeli secret service – is staged almost like an espionage thriller in this taut Sundance-winning doco.
If you’ve been there, you know: house-hunting can be the ultimate horror show. Home pumps up the suspense as it weaves the tale of an ambitious young realtor tasked with selling a house with a horrible past.
In the years since New Zealand politicians began to grapple with climate change our greenhouse gas emissions have burgeoned. Alister Barry’s doco draws on TV archives and interviews with key participants to find out why.
This lucid, punchy doco tells the story of Aaron Swartz, the tech genius who eschewed the rewards of Silicon Valley to become a net freedom activist and found himself targeted by the FBI.
“With its marvellously suggestive title and thought-provoking exploration of sex, this indie chiller is a contemporary horror fan’s dream come true.” — Tim Robey, The Telegraph
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.
A riotous look behind the scenes of the greatest movie never made: Alejandro Jodorowsky’s proposed super-production of Frank Herbert’s cult sci-fi novel Dune, which was to star Orson Welles, Salvador Dali and Mick Jagger.
This charmingly off-beat, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy breathes new life into the zombie flick. Starring Parks & Recreation’s Aubrey Plaza as back-from-the-dead Beth and Dane DeHaan as her confused boyfriend.
Tom Hardy mesmerises as a man dealing with crisis on all fronts, making and taking frantic phone calls as he steers his BMW through the night. Steven Knight’s breathless feat of real-time drama is set entirely inside the car.
From Dec 2013 until Feb 2014 the Ukrainian director Sergeï Loznitsa ( In the Fog, My Joy) recorded the unfolding of a revolution as the crowds gathered in protest in Kiev’s Independence Square and military police cracked down.
A reluctant and seriously inept drug-runner finds himself in police custody with a belly full of heroin in this ingeniously gut-wrenching comedy of suspense set in the Melbourne crime-world of the 80s.
For our third New Zealand’s Best short film competition Festival programmers Bill Gosden and Michael McDonnell viewed 115 submissions to make a shortlist of 12 from which filmmaker Andrew Adamson selected these six finalists.
Jesse Eisenberg, Peter Sarsgaard and Dakota Fanning are eco-activists in Kelly Reichardt’s skillful political thriller set in a world of shifting loyalties and tensely debated ethics.
Hross í oss
In a rustic valley in Iceland, people and horses have lived together for centuries. This stunningly staged collection of tales tall and true explores the curious, complicated bonds between the two species.
In writer/director Paolo Rotondo’s debut feature, three teenagers on the run break into a deluxe Waiheke Island home and find themselves caught in a tense psychodrama with the conflicted owner.
“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
Sakasama no Patema
In this charming and ingeniously elaborate anime world one tribe’s gravity is another tribe’s anti-gravity. A plucky upside-down girl and a gallant right-way-up boy switch perspectives.
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
“A technology that promises (some would say threatens) to permanently transform our lives gets compelling behind-the-scenes treatment in this skillful overview of the major players in the 3D printing industry.” — Justin Chang, Variety
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.
Two unlikely travelling companions traverse the existential badlands of the Australian outback in Animal Kingdom director David Michôd’s intense and atmospheric picture of the lucky country gone feral.
Sepideh – Drømmen om stjernerne
In a provincial town in Iran, young Sepideh dreams of becoming an astronomer, although almost no one she knows thinks this a fit pursuit for a young woman. Filmed over several years, this doco traces her surprising progress.
Saturday Night Live veterans Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig are brilliant as long-estranged twins who reunite in a crisis in this warm, often outrageously funny dramedy of late-30-something angst. Also starring Luke Wilson.
Jack O’Connell plays a violent young offender transferred to the same high security facility as his long incarcerated father (Ben Mendelsohn). Jonathan Asser’s script imbues brutal prison drama with raw inside knowledge.
This beautiful new film from the director of Tatarakihi honours the longstanding struggle of Whanganui iwi to reclaim guardianship over their ancestral river.
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.
Ukraina ne bordel
In Australian filmmaker Kitty Green’s intimate, insider portrait, FEMEN, the controversial topless female protestors of Ukraine, talk about life, danger and confronting male domination in their country.
La Vénus à la fourrure
In Roman Polanski’s film of the stage hit, Mathieu Amalric and Emmanuelle Seigner are terrific as director and auditioning actress acting out Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s classic text of dominance and submission.
An intrepid park ranger and his team protect an endangered population of mountain gorillas in the Congo from poachers, rebel militia and British oil exploration company SOCO International.
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.
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.
Jigoku de naze warui
The latest from Japanese cult favourite Sono Sion (Suicide Club, Love Exposure ) delivers a rousing and hilarious midnight movie pitching two bloodthirsty Yakuza clans against a band of chaotic wannabe filmmakers.