Films by Country

USA

51 Birch Street

Doug Block

As widower father moves out of the family house, filmmaker son unpacks the secrets of his parents’ 55-year marriage. One of the year’s most involving and moving investigative documentaries.

Abduction: The Megumi Yokota Story

Chris Sheridan, Patty Kim

Gripping documentary account (produced by Jane Campion) of the outrageous conspiracy exposed in the aftermath of a 13-year-old Japanese girl’s abduction in 1977.

American Cannibal: The Road to Reality

Michael Nigro, Perry Grebin

A documentary for everyone who hates reality television – two struggling sitcom writers sell their souls to pitch a show in which contestants may have to eat each other.

American Hardcore

Paul Rachman

Riveting documentary follows sarcastic, anarchistic rebels on a sonic assault from Los Angeles to NYC for the birth of Straight Edge – the early 80s American answer to punk rock.

Animation for Kids 2006

Art, fun, folly, fairytales, folkstories and more feature in this collection of animation for ages four to seven.

Animation Now 2006

Diversity is the word this year in our annual collage of animated gems – films that dare you to reach out and run your hands over the textures of paint and pencil.

Ballets Russes

Dayna Goldfine, Dan Gellar

Rich, lovely history of the rival ballet companies, originally founded in Paris in 1909, whose troupes toured the world in costumes by Dali, Picasso and Matisse.

The Blood of My Brother

Andrew Berends

Visceral documentary traces the radicalising effect of the US occupation on one Shi-ite family. “A revealing insight into the war in Iraq from the locals' point of view.” — Variety

Brick

Rian Johnson

Joseph Gordon-Levitt channels Bogart to investigate the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend in this inspired fusion of teenage confidential and film noir set in a Southern California high school.

Bubble

Steven Soderbergh

Steven Soderbergh shoots gripping true crime on high-def video in a small town near the Ohio-West Virginia border, proving he is one of America’s most restless and inventive filmmakers.

China Blue

Micha X. Peled

Life in a Chinese garment factory through the eyes of one of its 14-year-old workers. "A must-see film for anyone interested in global politics, economics, and the socio-cultural issues of contemporary China." — Globe and Mail

Dave Chappelle’s Block Party

Michel Gondry

Michel Gondry directs comedian Dave Chapelle’s joyous celebration of all that is affirmative, soulful and triumphant in black music now. Don’t miss the party of the year on the giant screen.

Drawing Restraint 9

Matthew Barney

Artworld superstar Matthew Barney, creator of the Cremaster series, joins forces with wife Björk to dumbfound the rest of us with this spectacular epic of bizarre courtship rituals and even weirder consummation.

Factotum

Robert Hamer

Norwegian director of Kitchen Stories gives a lovely doleful glow to beat poet Charles Bukowski’s autobiographical account of his early life as a low-life slob. Starring Matt Dillon.

Friends With Money

Nicole Holofcener

Delicious, serio-comic tale of four friends in affluent, liberal, west LA takes on an avoided subject: money. Stars Jennifer Aniston as a pot-smoking housecleaner.

Hard Candy

David Slade

The most brutal, disturbing and clever thriller of the Internet age sees a feisty 14-year-old girl turn the tables on the 32-year-old fashion photographer she met online.

The Heart of the Game

Ward Serrill

Documentary follows hoop dreams of Seattle schoolgirl team. "A smartly paced chronicle that nails the socialization of girls, the costs of playing ball, and the perils of female adolescence." — San Francisco Bay Guardian

I Am a Sex Addict

Caveh Zahedi

Documentary filmmaker Caveh Zahedi’s itch for anonymous, commitment-free sex is fatally paired with a need to confess his peccadilloes – ideally to a totally committed girlfriend.

In Between Days

So Yong Kim

Korean American So Yong Kim explores the ghost world of teenage alienation with watchful, intelligent minimalism. Judged Best Film in the Sundance dramatic competition.

An Inconvenient Truth

Davis Guggenheim

In a landmark year for hard-hitting activist cinema, Al Gore’s straightforward and devastating film on global warming stands out as exceptionally well-honed and persuasive.

Iraq in Fragments

James Longley

Beautifully crafted, poetic documentary frames war-torn Iraq through three male clans: a Sunni master and apprentice, a young Shiite commander and his men, and a Kurd farmer and son.

Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple

Stanley Nelson

The rise and fall of the Peoples Temple movement, whose charismatic founder convinced hundreds of his followers in Jonestown, Guyana to participate in a mass ‘suicide’ on November 18, 1978.

The Joy of Life

Jenni Olson

The beauty of San Francisco imbues every frame of Jenni Olson’s compelling hybrid of city symphony, personal lament and political activism against suicide.

Keane

Lodge H. Kerrigan

A man searches for his lost daughter, imprisoned by his own guilt and shame. Haunting, expressionistic psychodrama from the director of Clean, Shaven.

A Lion in the House

Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert

Five real life dramas from the pediatric oncology centre at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital testify to the resources of science, moral imagination and compassion dedicated to the care of children with cancer.

Lonesome Jim

Steve Buscemi

Failed writer Jim (Casey Affleck) heads home for a nervous breakdown, where kind-hearted nurse (Liv Tyler) takes a shine to him. Steve Buscemi directs this deadpan comedy with downbeat charm.

loudQUIETloud: A Film about the Pixies

Steven Cantor, Matthew Galkin

Boston band The Pixies reunite for a world tour, 12 years after their acrimonious split. “Onstage … they sound as good – if not tighter, leaner and actually better – than ever.” — salon.com

Mary

Abel Ferrara

Abel Ferrara (Bad Lieutenant) takes on Mel Gibson style showbiz religiosity, starring Matthew Modine as a man who directs a movie in which he plays Christ, with Juliette Binoche as Mary Magdalene.

Matthew Barney: No Restraint

Alison Chernick

The most baffling film in the Festival (Drawing Restraint 9) is elucidated in this admiring career portrait of artist/filmmaker Matthew Barney.

Maxed Out

James D. Scurlock

James Scurlock’s alarmist exploration of the vastness of the debt that underlies the American economy, is as visceral as it is illuminating.

Mutual Appreciation

Andrew Bujalski

Perceptive comedy around an incipient ménage-a-trois set on the fringes of the indie-pop world in hipster Brooklyn. “Nails the walk and talk of twentysomething iPeople like nothing else.”— Slate

The New World

Terrence Malick

In the great Terrence Malick’s (Badlands, The Thin Red Line) new film, the romance of Pocahontas and Captain John Smith (Colin Farrell) becomes a breathtaking ode to Eden before the fall. Ravishing.

Once in a Lifetime

The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos

Paul Crowder, John Dower

The rise and fall of the short-lived North American Soccer League gets juiced-up E!-style coverage in this often hilarious account of 70s excess.

The Phantom of the Opera

Rupert Julian

A Live Cinema performance of one of the greatest hits of the silent era and an early benchmark in movie horror, with a thrilling orchestral score composed by Carl Davis. (1925)

Police Beat

Robinson Devor

An immigrant cop from Senegal patrols a David Lynch-like Seattle on a bicycle. Strange and hauntingly memorable. “A deceptively quiet, and completely genuine thing of beauty." — Film Comment

The Sasquatch Dumpling Gang

Tim Skousen

With more nerd chic than Napoleon Dynamite, this tale of three geeks who dig laser tag and medieval swordfighting is hilariously off-kilter and chock-full of wholesome fun.

A Scanner Darkly

Richard Linklater

Richard Linklater’s much anticipated adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s nightmarish 1977 novel has an all-star rotoscoped cast: Keanu Reeves, Robert Downey Jr. and Winona Ryder. Direct from Cannes.

Shortbus

John Cameron Mitchell

John Cameron Mitchell’s Cannes sensation is a joyous and expressive tragicomedy of sex and sexuality in New York City.

Sketches of Frank Gehry

Sydney Pollack

Hollywood director Sydney Pollack provides an engaging personal introduction to one of the most popular architects of our time, his close friend 77-year-old Frank Gehry.

Thank You For Smoking

Jason Reitman

Aaron Eckhart was born to play the fast-talking Washington lobbyist and public affairs frontman for Big Tobacco in this gleefully cynical satire on the black art of spin-doctoring.

This Film is Not Yet Rated

Kirby Dick

Kirby Dick’s gleeful assault exposes the hypocrisy, inscrutability, cronyism and downright wackiness of the all-powerful unregulated, United States film censorship board, the MPAA.

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

Tommy Lee Jones

Tommy Lee Jones’ remarkable directorial debut (in which he also stars) dismantles the racism endemic in the western revenge drama genre. Written by Mexican Guillermo Arriaga (Amores Perros, 21 Grams).

Time & Tide

Julie Bayer, Josh Salzman

Thought-provoking documentary on the tiny Pacific nation of Tuvalu, threatened with possible extinction by the twin oppressions of global warming and economic globalisation.

Twelve and Holding

Michael Cuesta

Deeply moving and hilarious tale switches from achingly funny to achingly sad in the twitch of a child’s finger. Could well be this precocious generation’s Stand by Me.

United 93

Paul Greengrass

British director Paul Greengrass’ (Bloody Sunday) harrowing reenactment, in real time, of what might have happened on the one airplane that didn't fulfill the terrorists' intended goals on Sept. 11, 2001.

Who Killed the Electric Car?

Chris Paine

Fashioned as a tongue-in-cheek murder mystery, this disarmingly entertaining documentary looks at the optimistic rise and swift demise of the electric car in 1990s California.

The Wind

Victor Sjöström

The Festival and the Auckland Philharmonia are proud to present a single rare screening of one of the great dramatic classics of the silent era from 1928.

You're Gonna Miss Me

Keven McAlester

Funny, heartbreaking documentary charts the tragic tale of Roky Erickson, charming lead singer of the legendary 13th Floor Elevators, who stared into the cosmos and never came back.