Films by Language

English

Agora

Alejandro Amenábar

Rachel Weisz is Hypatia, history's first recorded female philosopher, in Alejandro Amenábar's extravagantly mounted epic of the declining Roman Empire. “Fascinating… crammed with both stirring images and ideas." — LA Times

American: The Bill Hicks Story

Matt Harlock, Paul Thomas

Brit profile of an inflammatory American comic too hot for America. “A groundbreaking comedian gets a step closer to immortality.” — Hollywood Reporter. “Exceedingly funny… Scorched ears never felt so good.” — Austin Chronicle

Animal Kingdom

David Michôd

The best Australian badass movie since Chopper, David Michôd’s Sundance winner shows us a violent Melbourne crime family imploding in the iron grip of its pint-sized matriarch. With Guy Pearce, Joel Edgerton, Jacki Weaver.

The Arbor

Clio Barnard

Revelatory, complex and moving documentary about the legacy of British playwright Andrea Dunbar (Rita, Sue & Bob Too) whose incisive portrayals of working class life, from the time she was 15, mirrored her own.

Asylum Pieces

Kathy Dudding

Changes in official attitudes to mental illness from the 19th century until now are reflected in the architectural history of New Zealand’s psychiatric institutions, in Kathy Dudding’s poetic, emotionally-loaded essay film.

Beeswax

Andrew Bujalski

A sardonic drama about the entanglements of 20-something twins Lauren and Jeannie as they (don’t quite) confront romantic relationships and career-path crises. “Smart, sweet and deeply involving.” — Screendaily

Between Two Worlds

Ahasin Wetei

Vimukthi Jayasundara

This mesmerising, densely beautiful film from Sri Lanka takes us on a mysteriously symbolic journey with a young man who plunges to earth. “Like a freshly remembered dream.” — San Francisco Bay Guardian

Bill Cunningham New York

Richard Press

Charming portrait of NY Times fashion photo-columnist who identifies trends on the street and at high society parties. “We all get dressed for Bill.” — Anna Wintour. “A great documentary for a deserving fashion legend.” — Esquire

Birdemic: Shock and Terror

James Nguyen

James Nguyen’s insanely bad eco-horror, inspired by The Birds, Apocalypse Now and An Inconvenient Truth, is already a legend. “We confirm that it’s the worst-film-ever experience of the season and that you need to see it.” — Vice

Candyman

Costa Botes

Wellington filmmaker Costa Botes (Forgotten Silver) tells the story of David Klein who in 1976 invented the Jelly Belly, now a billion-dollar enterprise from which he earns barely anything. “Sweet and surprising.” — Hot Docs

Carlos

Olivier Assayas

An extraordinary three-part epic of the rise and fall of Carlos the Jackal. “Edgar Ramirez inhabits the title role with the arrogant charisma of Brando in his prime. It’s an astonishing film.” — indieWIRE

Certified Copy

Copie conforme

Abbas Kiarostami

Best Actress Award Cannes 2010. “An intriguing, not-quite love story featuring French superstar Juliette Binoche, English opera singer William Shimell and the spectacular Tuscan countryside.” — Salon.com

Collapse

Chris Smith

Imminent man-made catastrophe is explained with alarming clarity and conviction by doom theorist Michael Ruppert, who already accurately predicted the economic meltdown. “Shockingly persuasive.” — NY Times

Cyrus

Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass

In this slyly excruciating comedy of embarrassment from the Duplass brothers, John C. Reilly finds his courtship of Marisa Tomei seriously threatened by her jealous, awe-inspiringly passive-aggressive 21-year-old son (Jonah Hill).

Enter the Void

Soudain le vide

Gaspar Noé

France's fearless Gaspar Noé (Irreversible) has created a vast, stupefying vision of life after death, a hallucinatory extravaganza. "An experience equally sublime and infuriating, revelatory and painful, ecstatic and terrifying." — Philadelphia Inquirer

Exit through the Gift Shop

Banksy

Flagrantly attention-seeking but famously anonymous, Brit street-artist/prankster Banksy has now put his name to this energetic, headily entertaining item of art-world provocation. “A head-spinning, wild ride.” — Salon.com

Farewell

L’Affaire Farewell

Christian Carion

This tense, atmospheric, true Cold War spy movie centres on a disillusioned KGB colonel who risked everything in the early 80s to let the West know just how thoroughly Soviet spies had infiltrated American security.

A Film Unfinished

Yael Hersonski

This horrifying indictment reveals the full hour of much-quoted footage shot and subsequently abandoned by SS cameramen in 1942 in the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw – and encourages us to consider exactly why it was ever made.

Four Lions

Chris Morris

Boundary-pushing British comedian Chris Morris shatters the mythology of the lethally focused jihadist in a taboo-busting comedy about four terrorists who are complete dorks. “In the Loop meets Paradise Now.” — Salon.com

GasLand

Josh Fox

Award-winning doc about the ecological poisoning caused by ‘fracking’, the mining of ‘clean’ natural gas. “You haven’t experienced environmental dread until you’ve seen tap water catch fire.” — Now

Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould

Peter Raymont

“If you want to know why Glenn Gould is considered one of the greatest pianists of the last century… this is the movie to see.” — Vancouver International Film Festival. “An invigorating and brightly unsettling journey.” — Patti Smith

The Ghost Writer

Roman Polanski

Ewan McGregor and Pierce Brosnan star in Roman Polanski’s sharp-witted adaptation of the Robert Harris bestseller. “A gripping conspiracy thriller and scabrous political satire… addictive and outrageous.” — The Guardian

Gordon Crook: A Life of Art

Clare O'Leary

A charming and illuminating encounter with artist Gordon Crook, who settled in Wellington from the UK in 1972 and has produced a wealth of drawing, collage, photography, painting and tapestry.

Gordonia

Tom Reilly

“Council nemesis, freedom fighter and social revolutionary; Graham Gordon is one of the unique characters of the Waitakere Ranges… The West has never been wilder than in this beautifully crafted documentary.” — Bob Harvey

His & Hers

Ken Wardrop

Irish women, from preschoolers to elderly widows, talk about the men they love in this simple, affecting award-winning documentary. “Every moment is spot-on: touching, funny, modest, timeless.” — Austin Chronicle

Homegrown: Dance Films

A selection of new dance films, both performance and documentary, from New Zealand filmmakers; including a documentary portrait of the life of Shona Dunlop McTavish who brought modern dance to Dunedin.

Homegrown: Dramatic Digital Shorts

This year’s crop of digital short dramas embraces comedy and drama and demonstrates the diverse talents of up-and-coming New Zealand filmmakers. Selected from an overwhelming number of entries by a panel of industry experts.

Homegrown: Quirky Stories

A spicy mix of funny and imaginative stories that span animation, documentary and experimental genres. Short films by up-and-coming New Zealand filmmakers, selected from an overwhelming number of entries nationwide by a panel of industry experts.

Homegrown: Works on Film

The best New Zealand short films of the year as selected by a panel of industry experts. This wide-ranging programme includes new work by Katie Wolfe, Dan Salmon, Zia Mandviwalla and the bold and provocative Manurewa.

The Hopes & Dreams of Gazza Snell

Brendan Donovan

Actor William McInnes nails the can-do, get-ahead, ever-loving Kiwi dad (with rocks in his head) in Brendon Donovan’s comedy-drama. With Robyn Malcolm. Introducing Josh McKenzie as Gazza’s kart-racing son and number one hope.

HOWL

Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman

James Franco is uncannily right as young beat poet Allen Ginsberg in this film about his epochal 1957 poem. “It’s a heady flight into not just a particular poem but into the act of creativity itself.” — Hollywood Reporter

I Am Love

Io sono l’amore

Luca Guadagnino

Tilda Swinton in a hyper-stylish drama about a wealthy Milanese clan. “An exquisite, all-enveloping feast of sensual pleasures. It’s almost certainly the most elegant piece of cinema you’ll see this year.” — The Times

The Illusionist

L’Illusionniste

Sylvain Chomet

This new animated classic from the director of The Triplets of Belleville, scripted by Jacques Tati, tells the sweet, funny tale of a magician travelling in Scotland and the impressionable young girl who adopts him as her dad.

I Love You Phillip Morris

Glenn Ficarra, John Requa

Jim Carrey as flamboyant real-life con artist Steven Russell and Ewan McGregor as his quiet, camp boyfriend! “One of the sharpest, blackest and funniest comedies of the year.” — Empire

The Insatiable Moon

Rosemary Riddell

Rawiri Paratene is the self-proclaimed Second Son of God needing a miracle to save his down-and-out friends from eviction in Mike and Rosemary Riddell’s heartfelt drama. With Sara Wiseman, Ian Mune, Greg Johnson.

Inside Job

Charles Ferguson

“The definitive screen investigation of the global economic crisis, providing hard evidence of flagrant amorality – and of a new nonfiction master at work.” — Variety. Lucid and informative, the hottest doco at Cannes this year.

The Invention of Dr Nakamats

Opfindelsen af Dr Nakamats

Kaspar Astrup Schröder

Entertaining portrait of manically creative 80-year-old Japanese inventor who holds the record for individual patents – over 3,000 – and counts the floppy disk and an aphrodisiac called Love Jet amongst his inventions.

Jean-Michel Basquiat: Radiant Child

Tamra Davis

Moving, illuminating portrait of painter Jean-Michel Basquiat, graffiti artist and party boy who became an art world star at 21. Never-before-seen footage. “Definitive.” — Moving Pictures

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work

Annie Sundberg, Ricki Stern

“Pioneer comedian. Plastic-surgery freak. Red-carpet maven. Foul-mouthed shock artist. No matter how you think of her, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work is likely to expand your idea of who, exactly, Joan Rivers is.” — San Francisco International Film Festival

Kawasaki’s Rose

Kawasakiho rùže

Jan Hřebejk

Inspired by The Lives of Others, Czech director Jan Hřebejk (Divided We Fall) has created a resonant drama dealing with the complex intersection of personal lives and communist-era state surveillance in his own country.

The Killer Inside Me

Michael Winterbottom

Casey Affleck turns in a chilling performance as a psychopathic sheriff in Michael Winterbottom’s violent country noir, adapted from the Jim Thompson novel. “An entertaining and brilliant psychological portrait.” — Interview

La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet

La Danse: Le Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris

Frederick Wiseman

A portrait of one of the world’s great ballet companies by one of the world’s great documentarians. “Sumptuous in its length and graceful in its rhythm… this is one of the finest dance films ever made.” — NY Times

Last Paradise

Clive Neeson

A zealous, ingenious cinematographer from an early age, Kiwi Clive Neeson delivers a glorious compilation from a lifetime so far of filming surfing, snowboarding, skiing and adventure sports around the world.

Learning from Light: The Vision of I.M. Pei

Bo Landin, Sterling Van Wagenen

Architect I.M. Pei guides us through his creative process as he works, at the age of 92, on his serene, white Museum of Islamic Art in Doha. Beware: this film is designed to make you want to travel to Cairo, Córdoba and Qatar.

Lebanon

Levanone

Samuel Maoz

Widely dubbed the Das Boot of tank warfare, this visceral, indicting Israeli film was awarded the Golden Lion at last year’s Venice Film Festival. “Powerful and original… An astonishing piece of cinema.” — NY Times

Love, Lust & Lies

Gillian Armstrong

Gillian Armstrong (My Brilliant Career) has been documenting the lives of three Adelaide women since they were 14. We meet them now at 47. “A moving and challenging insight into the heroism of ordinary lives.” — ABC Radio

The Loved Ones

Sean Byrne

Sean Byrne’s macabre kidnapping tale is like a demented blend of Misery and an 80s high school prom flick. “Byrne spills blood, boils brains and cannibalises naked teens with wicked energy.” — Screendaily

Marwencol

Jeff Malmberg

A fascinating portrait of Mark Hogancamp, who built an elaborate scale-model world in his backyard as a way to cope with the after-effects of a brutal beating. “Outsider art has never been as riveting – or as revealing.” — Now

Michael Smither: Artist in Residence

Tony Hiles

This lively visit with artist Michael Smither marks the second in a series planned by filmmaker Tony Hiles to chronicle one of the country’s most instantly recognisable painters at work through his eighth decade.

The Most Dangerous Man in America

Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers

Judith Ehrlich, Rick Goldsmith

Oscar-nominated doco about Daniel Ellsberg, who in 1971 handed the NY Times a 7000-page top secret dossier revealing the truth about US involvement in Vietnam. “A straight-ahead, enthralling story of moral courage.” — New York

My Dog Tulip

Paul Fierlinger, Sandra Fierlinger

Beautifully animated film based on J.R. Ackerley’s classic tale of man and dog. “Droll and tender… The intensely personal, mutually possessive devotion between man and man’s best friend gets a thorough probing.” — Variety

The Myth of the American Sleepover

David Robert Mitchell

Set over a single night before the beginning of a new school year, The Myth of the American Sleepover captures the enduring wistfulness of teenhood and marks a unique and idiosyncratic debut from director David Robert Mitchell.

Ne change rien

Pedro Costa

In this intense contemplation of the singer’s art, Pedro Costa films Jeanne Balibar painstakingly rehearsing and recording. “A startling and lucid lesson in filming musical performance and a cinephilic marvel.” — New Yorker

Nostalgia for the Light

Nostalgia de la luz

Patricio Guzmán

Astronomy, archaeology and history are mesmerisingly interwoven and juxtaposed in this visually breathtaking meditation on Chile’s far distant and more recent past by the remarkable documentarian Patricio Guzmán.

NY Export: Opus Jazz

Henry Joost, Jody Lee Lipes

Superb modern revival of classic 50s choreography shot on location in NY. “Few ballets capture what it means to be young in New York City like Jerome Robbins’s 1958 NY Export: Opus Jazz.” — New York

The Oath

Laura Poitras

Absorbing, challenging critique of the ‘War on Terror’ interweaves the stories of two brothers-in-law: one Osama bin Laden’s former bodyguard (now driving a cab in Yemen), the other a Guantánamo Bay prisoner charged with war crimes.

Oceans

Océans

Jacques Perrin, Jacques Cluzaud

A miraculously photographed showcase of some of the sea’s least seen and most incredible specimens, this is an immersive cinema experience to be relished while you have the chance on the big screen.

Oil City Confidential

Julien Temple

“Julien Temple concludes his cinematic history of punk… making a persuasive, highly entertaining case for why rabble-rousing musical renegades Dr Feelgood are the unsung progenitors of the movement.” — The Scotsman

Once upon a Time in the West

C’era una volta il West

Sergio Leone

Charles Bronson, Henry Fonda, Claudia Cardinale, and Morricone in the Everest of Italian westerns. Superb new CinemaScope restoration of the 1968 classic. “Magnificent… the antiquated genre’s triumphant final masterpiece.” — Slant

Pianomania

Lilian Franck, Robert Cibis

Charming portrait of Stefan Knüpfer, Steinway piano tuner at work with some very famous clients: Lang Lang, Alfred Brendel, Rudolf Buchbinder, Till Fellner and Pierre-Laurent Aimard.

Please Give

Nicole Holofcener

Nicole Holofcener’s (Lovely & Amazing) spiky comedy of liberal guilt delivers a pleasingly rounded portrait of a handful of lively Manhattan women, bound together by family ties and real estate envy. With Catherine Keener.

Predicament

Jason Stutter

Jemaine Clement, Hayden Frost, Heath ‘Chopper’ Franklin, Tim Finn! A new generation of comic talent has a ball in Jason Stutter’s film of Ronald Hugh Morrieson’s cult classic of Kiwi Gothic lit.

Quarters

Jessica Sanderson(Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga & Te Āti Awa), Rowan Pierce, Ian Hammond, Richard Larsen

A collection of abstract, dream-like short films that capture diversity in Kiwi experience and challenge familiar concepts of national identity.

The Rainbow Warriors of Waiheke Island

Suzanne Raes

Twenty-five years after the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior, this Dutch documentary recalls the events and examines activism past and present with six of the original crew members now living on Waiheke.

The Red Shoes

Emeric Pressburger, Michael Powell

The sumptuous classic about a lovely young ballerina caught between love and her burning passion for dance has been restored to dazzling splendour. “Magnificent… Ballet’s most memorable depiction in film.” — Village Voice

The Runaways

Floria Sigismondi

Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning as Joan Jett and Cherie Currie, front girls of the 70s-era teen proto-punk sensation, The Runaways. “The sheer force of the girl-power energy… will leave you jumpy.” — Vanity Fair

Russian Snark

Stephen Sinclair

Screenwriter Stephen Sinclair (Braindead) turns writer/director with this bittersweet comedy about a couple of refugee artists from Russia (Stephen Papps, Elena Stejko) getting to grips with life in Auckland.

Salam Rugby

Faramarz Beheshti

Women’s rugby in patriarchal Iran may sound strange to rugby-mad Kiwis, but this documentary proves that there is a will, if only a way can be found around the discouragement of hardline authorities.

Sam Hunt: Purple Balloon and Other Stories

Tim Rose

Vivid, unvarnished portrait of New Zealand’s itinerant, ever-loquacious, rock ’n’ roll bard. With Robin White, Gary McCormick, C.K. Stead, David Kilgour, Dick Frizzell, Brian Edwards and a brief appearance by Minstrel.

Secrets of the Tribe

José Padilha

Startling doco about academic views of tribal life in the Amazon. “The field of anthropology goes under the magnifying glass in this fiery investigation of the seminal research on Yanomami Indians.” — Sundance Film Festival

Sherlock Jr

Buster Keaton

For the third successive year the Festival’s long-standing, popular and much-cherished collaboration with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra is dedicated to the eternal comic wonder of the great silent clowns.

Space Tourists

Christian Frei

This enlightening, visually stunning film takes us on a journey into privatised space travel and the 21st-century legacy of the Soviet space programme.

Splice

Vincenzo Natali

Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley are hipster geneticists and director Vincenzo Natali (Cube) ups the ante to create a hybrid horror that grafts the cine-DNA from Frankenstein, Rosemary’s Baby and The Fly.

Strange Birds in Paradise: A West Papuan Story

Charlie Hill-Smith

West Papuans speak (and sing) of years of persecution in this potent activist film by a white Australian who first travelled to West Papua as a tourist in 1999 and found himself caught up in the independence cause.

Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields

Kerthy Fix, Gail O’Hara

Fascinating, funny portrait of Stephin Merritt, the notoriously bad-tempered writer of beguiling literate American pop, and his band the Magnetic Fields. “Will intrigue and entertain even those unfamiliar with their music.” — Time Out

Sweetgrass

Ilisa Barbash, Lucien Castaing-Taylor

A team of 21st-century cowboys herd thousands of sheep to summer pastures in the mountain grasslands of Montana. “A really intimate, beautifully shot examination of the connection between man and beast.” — NY Times

Teenage Paparazzo

Adrian Grenier

Entourage star, filmmaker Adrian Grenier turns the camera on a teenage LA paparazzo in his smart, entertaining investigation of celebrity culture. With Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, Matt Damon. “Adrian Grenier gets it.” — LA Times

There Once Was an Island: Te Henua e Nnoho

Briar March

On Takuu, a tiny low-lying atoll in the south-west Pacific, the impact of climate change is real and immediate. NZer Briar March’s intimate, award-winning portrait of island life makes this confrontation with global crisis a vividly personal one.

Trash Humpers

Harmony Korine

Harmony Korine (Gummo) depicts the deviant exploits of a gang of demented geriatric peeping toms on stuttering low-grade VHS. “Is it a lost underground movie or a new species of freak-folk art?” — Cinema Scope

The Tree

Julie Bertuccelli

French director Julie Bertuccelli brings a startled outsider eye to this poetic Australian/French movie about a young widow (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and her little daughter’s solemn obsession with a giant tree.

Triangle

Christopher Smith

UK genre wunderkind Christopher Smith’s follow-up to Severance is as mystifying and haunting as is its connection to the Bermuda Triangle. With Melissa George. “A smart, supernatural time-shift chiller.” — The Guardian

Trimpin: The Sound of Invention

Peter Esmonde

Infectious portrait of Trimpin, an eccentric, extremely talented kinetic sculptor, sound artist, musician and composer who uses scavenged materials to craft fanciful musical instruments of his own design. With the Kronos Quartet.

TrinityRoots, Music Is Choice

Sarah Hunter

Sarah Hunter’s music-filled documentary is a sharp and lively memento of the jazz-inflected Wellington reggae unit TrinityRoots, with fresh interviews and great footage of the band rehearsing, recording and performing.

Turtle: The Incredible Journey

Nick Stringer

The 25-year journey of the loggerhead turtle, one of the most fascinating and extraordinary migration stories in the animal kingdom, is captured in a stunning natural history film for all ages. Narrated by Miranda Richardson.

The Two Escobars

Michael Zimbalist, Jeff Zimbalist

Documenting the entwined lives of soccer hero Andrés Escobar and notorious drug baron Pablo Escobar (no relation), this film uncovers Colombian soccer’s Faustian pact with the drug trade.

Wah Do Dem

Sam Fleischner, Ben Chace

Indie rock hipster Sean Bones goes with the flow on the beaches and backroads of Jamaica in this smart and funny comedy about a skinny New York white boy trying to cut it in a Rastaman world.

Waste Land

Lucy Walker

Brazilian art star Vik Muniz recycles garbage to make gigantic portraits of Rio’s amazingly upbeat garbage recyclers in this inspiring Sundance Audience Award-winning doco. Music by Moby. “A joy.” — Hollywood Reporter

When You’re Strange

Tom DiCillo

Performance-driven doco of inflammatory 60s art-rock group The Doors and blazing frontman Jim Morrison. Narrated by Johnny Depp. “Hallucinatory… genuinely cinematic, a visual journey.” — Screendaily

Winter’s Bone

Debra Granik

This bracing, backwoods drama of a young woman’s determination to deliver her young siblings from the bleak expectations of their kin was the big winner at Sundance this January. “Raw but utterly enveloping.” — Variety

Wound

David Blyth

Journey into the depraved mind of David Blyth, the bête noire of NZ cinema in a supernatural tale based on Greek mythology. Warning: contains extreme sadism and violence.