A gritty romantic thriller set on the mean streets and alleys of Barcelona, 25 Carat delivers classic, character-driven pulp fiction. “The real thing… down-to-earth, wiry and taut.” — Variety
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
“Emotionally mesmerizing. Set in the multiethnic city of Jaffa, this Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film is like an Israeli Amores Perros crossed with City of God.” — Entertainment Weekly
To the Sea
In this lyrically simple film a five-year-old city boy is introduced to the traditional fisherman’s life of his father and grandfather as they pass a summer at work and play in the pristine waters of the Mexican Caribbean.
Amazing, abstracted, razor-sharp homage to 70s Italian horror movies. “A delirious, enigmatic, almost wordless death-dance of fear and desire… An outrageous and intoxicating cinematic head-trip.” — New Directors/New Films
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
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.
Wild tales, great characters, a colourful sprinkling of laughs, a catchy song or two, different ways to play with your food, and plenty of surprises from the international world of animation. Recommended for ages 5–9.
More than 2,000 films from 45 countries covering every conceivable subject and every imaginable technique were previewed to select this programme of the year’s most imaginative and beautifully realised animated shorts.
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.
36 vues du Pic St-Loup
“French New Wave alumnus Jacques Rivette offers a ramshackle road trip across France’s Languedoc region with an underperforming circus troupe in this effervescent miniature.” — Time Out. With Jane Birkin.
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.
An action-packed sampler from Autour de Minuit, one of the most dynamic animation production houses in Europe whose eclectic stable of animators include the crew who put together this year’s Academy Award-winner, Logorama.
With wit, tenderness and a keen eye for the fledgling signs of intelligence and sociability, this beautifully shot documentary follows the first year in the lives of four infants from different parts of the world.
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
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
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
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
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
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
A rookie prison guard finds himself trapped on the wrong side of a riot in this powerhouse prison drama that cleaned up at the Spanish Academy Awards. “Satisfyingly intense and suitably incendiary.” — Variety
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
Documentary about the legacy of the late Samuel Mockbee and the Rural Studio who design and build innovative structures for the less fortunate in impoverished Alabama.
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
A band of out-of-work Moscow musicians travels to Paris posing as the celebrated Bolshoi Orchestra in this lavish, shamelessly entertaining comedy-drama from the director of Live and Become. With Mélanie Laurent.
Ako sa varia dejiny
Irreverent and wry, this engrossing documentary hybrid observes 20th-century European upheaval from the field kitchen, casting startling new culinary perspectives on warfare. “Fascinating.” — Variety
Life in the Siberian countryside is celebrated in this delightful film that follows an itinerant photographer on a mission to provide country folk with the photos necessary for new Russian identity papers.
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).
La doppia ora
A pretty Slovenian chambermaid joins a speed-dating club, meets a handsome security guard – and is mysteriously implicated in a crime she can’t remember in this cunningly plotted Italian psychological thriller.
Draquila – L’Italia che trema
Banned from television, Sabina Guzzanti, Italy’s answer to Michael Moore, delivers a spectacular indictment of the Berlusconi government’s self-serving response to the Aquila earthquake in April last year.
Wai dor lei ah yut ho
If you think house prices are a nightmare then check out the grisly house hunt in this macabre horror-comedy from Hong Kong. “Hilarious, outrageously stylish and thoroughly disgusting.” — Salon.com
Soudain le vide
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
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
This Argentinean epic is the ultimate shaggy dog tale, a vast entertaining compendium of stories within stories, equal parts modernist yarn and noirish mystery. “Pleasurably intoxicating.” — LA Weekly
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.
Le père de mes enfants
This moving family drama from a young woman writer/director takes shape around the absence of a charismatic, workaholic film producer husband and father. “Vividly authentic… an extraordinarily humanistic drama.” — LA Times
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.
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
Robin Greenberg (Huloo) uncovers the remarkable adventure of five inexperienced young fishermen who set off from Taiwan in 1955 to cross the Pacific in an old junk. Frank and funny interviews complement superb colour footage of their voyage.
Fascinating, lavishly illustrated story of the successful life and career of boxer Tom Heeney, New Zealand’s first international sporting hero, and contender in New York for the World Heavyweight title in 1928.
Gainsbourg (vie héroïque)
A quintessential French icon gets his big-screen bio. Sixties singer Serge Gainsbourg mixed pop outlawry with low-down lechery to blaze his own hipster manifesto, seducing Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin along the way.
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
“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
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
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.
“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
This wry rom-com from Festival regular Hong Sang-soo took the Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes in May. “A midsummer night (and day) sex comedy… as tangy and refreshing as sangria.” — Hollywood Reporter
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
This beautiful film, set in a Turkish forest, shows remarkable understanding of a small boy’s evolving view of the natural world. “Touching, truthful and overpoweringly charming, one of those classic screen turns by a child.” — Financial Times
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.
A housemaid is caught up in the deadly games of her wealthy employers in this stellar, voluptuous remake of a Korean classic, fresh from competition in Cannes. “Slick, polished and sexy.” — Twitch
Kak ya provel etim letom
In this spectacular psychological thriller two men working on an isolated Arctic weather station are locked in a lethal battle of wills. “Gripping… a magnificent adventure in outward-bound filmmaking.” — Sight & Sound
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
Io sono l’amore
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
J’ai tué ma mère
Actor/writer/director Xavier Dolan was 20 when he made this fiery, funny picture of a teenage boy and his single mother bound together by their intense dislike of each other. “A tour de force.” — Screendaily
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.
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
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.
“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.
Na pùdì aneb Kdo má dneska narozeniny?
Digital-era geeks, eight and over, stand to be amazed by this ingeniously hand-crafted, fully realised, secret world of toys. “Diabolically inventive… four parts Toy Story and one part David Lynch.” — NY Children’s Film Festival
Opfindelsen af Dr Nakamats
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.
Viajo porque preciso, volto porque te amo
A road trip through the beautiful Brazilian North East takes on the trajectory of a journey through personal desolation in this exquisite, ultimately glorious film. “Utterly unpretentious and deeply touching.” — Variety
Following the fortunes of several Chinese high school students through their final, high-stress year, this documentary offers compelling insight into the China of tomorrow.
The new film from Jia Zhang-ke, the pre-eminent Chinese filmmaker of his generation, is a richly detailed, largely admiring portrait of the history, architecture and cinematic heritage of Shanghai.
Je suis heureux que ma mère soit vivante
This compelling, superbly acted psychological drama of a rebellious teenage boy’s obsessive pursuit of his birth mother is based on a true story. “A fascinating drama… tremendously effective.” — Screendaily
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
“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
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.
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: Le Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris
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
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.
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.
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
Jal aljido motamyunseo
“Film festivals and cinema workshops come across as hotbeds of drunken brawls, fulsome schmoozing and adulterous sex in Korean auteur Hong Sang-soo’s pertly observant and endearingly droll send-up.” — Hollywood Reporter
Lourdes takes viewers deep inside the famous religious shrine while providing a subtle drama about hope, faith and the random nature of miracles. “As magically, richly ambivalent as life itself.” — Financial Times
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
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
Chi ming yu chun kiu
“Ever-attuned to the lifestyle choices of contemporary 20-something Hong Kongers, director Pang Ho-Cheung takes the change in smoking laws as his cue for this exuberant romantic comedy.” — Sydney Film Festival
In this sweetly grotesque comedy from the directors of Louise-Michel, an elephantine Gérard Depardieu retires and takes to the road on his old motorbike. “Droll, often outrageous and completely fresh.” — Hollywood Reporter
Rare, colourful films from the earliest days of The Moving Picture are vividly reanimated in this entertaining Live Cinema show presented by The Film Archive with Free Theatre performers Chris Reddington and Dr Ryan Reynolds.
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
Melodiya dlya sharmanki
This moving, extravagantly realised tale of two children lost on the streets of Kiev is a new masterpiece by the brilliant Kira Muratova (The Aesthenic Syndrome) and a damning vision of the post-Soviet era.
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.
De helaasheid der dingen
A bawdy, boisterous, but heartfelt comedy about the perils of growing up in a proudly dysfunctional Belgian family. “Full of hilarity, horror and heartbreak.” — Time Out NY
Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers
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
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
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.
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
Superb restored print of a haunting, rarely seen classic of Egyptian cinema, based on a true story of tomb plunder from 1881. “Stately, poetic… an astonishing piece of cinema.” — Martin Scorsese
Nostalgia de la luz
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.
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
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.
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.
“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
C’era una volta il West
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
This gentle documentary follows a grandfatherly Argentinean who earns a living travelling from pueblo to pueblo making and showing action movies featuring the locals. “Extraordinary… a real charmer.” — Variety
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.
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.
This glowing, unsentimental tribute to the sanity and grace of an elderly woman (the wonderful Yun Jung-hee) tested by the viciousness of her wild grandson was clearly the most universally loved film at Cannes this year.
“Another triumph for the new Romanian cinema, this wry, witty account of a policeman’s lot is politically, philosophically and linguistically astute – and formally audacious as drama.” — Sight & Sound
A Religiosa Portuguesa
A young French actress playing a nun has a profound encounter with a real Portuguese nun during the shooting in Lisbon. An eccentric study of religious doubt steeped in the beauty of Lisbon and the sadness of fado.
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.
Corruption in the Mexican justice system comes into vivid focus in this close-up account of a campaign to free a young breakdancer serving a 20-year sentence for a murder he could not possibly have committed.
Jacques Audiard’s dense, involving, Oscar-nominated crimeworld drama is one of the year’s standout films. “Lean, dangerous, urgent… Instantly takes its place among the greats of the prison and crime genres.” — The Times
This astutely observed, wryly gracious little film tells the tale of a 50-year-old wife and mother who discovers richly deserved respite from domestic routine in her remarkable newfound skill with giant jigsaw puzzles.
A collection of abstract, dream-like short films that capture diversity in Kiwi experience and challenge familiar concepts of national identity.
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 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
An omnibus film celebrating the centenary of the Mexican revolution. “A magnificent crash course in the who’s who of contemporary Mexican directors.” — Hollywood Reporter
Crowned by Entertainment Weekly as the ‘Citizen Kane of Bad Movies’, The Room has been slaying audiences now for seven years throughout the US and UK, with rabid fans screaming out lines and throwing props at the screen.
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
The Russian-Georgian War in August 2008 is captured live from the front lines in astonishing first-hand coverage that counters the official version relayed by Russia and broadcast, unchallenged, by the Western media.
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.
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.
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.
Ehky ya Schahrazad
A popular TV talk show host risks everything to unearth startling stories of women’s subjugation in contemporary Cairo. “Brilliantly provoking, fierce and audacious… a film that Egypt thoroughly needs.” — Daily News Egypt
Un homme qui crie
A father’s world collapses when he loses his job as a pool attendant to his son, while his central African country is torn apart by civil war. Winner Jury Prize, Cannes Film Festival.
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
Visconti’s lush 19th-century tale of a Venetian countess (Alida Valli) in love with an Austrian officer (Farley Granger) in a sumptuous new restoration presented by The Film Foundation and GUCCI.
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.
En ganske snill mann
Dry Nordic humour is at its most diabolically deadpan in this cool comedy thriller which pitches an ex-con (Stellan Skarsgård) aiming to lead a quiet, simple life into a deadbeat world determined to thwart his every effort.
This enlightening, visually stunning film takes us on a journey into privatised space travel and the 21st-century legacy of the Soviet space programme.
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.
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.
O estranho caso de Angélica
At 101 Manoel de Oliveira, the world’s oldest filmmaker, mixes up antique formality and the high visual style of the pre-sound era to rich and strange effect in a surreal tale of perverse love.
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
This much fêted new anime imagines an online war between a sinister hacker and a young math whiz, aided by his eccentric adopted family. “Makes the usual SF/fantasy anime look childish and dull.” — Japan Times
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
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
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.
A deadpan black comedy memoir of growing up Palestinian in Israel. “Suleiman is turning the political into something extremely hysterical.” — Time Out NY
Morrer como um homem
This strikingly strange tale of a Lisbon drag queen’s late gender-identity crisis mixes realism, melodrama and delicate fantasy. “Pure enchantment… This is a beguiling, original and unclassifiable film.” — Sight & Sound
Panique au village
Based on a cult Belgian TV series that centres around three plastic toys named Cowboy, Indian and Horse, this anarchic, crudely animated stop-motion flight of surreal lunacy is the nuttiest film in our programme.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Deux de la Vague
François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard’s love for cinema brought them together; politics and aesthetics drove them apart. This expertly documented and riveting exploration of the New Wave is unmissable for anyone fascinated by film art.
Musicians Warren Maxwell, Maaka McGregor and Himiona Grace perform a new soundtrack bringing humour and fresh perspective to this ‘Māori folk drama’ made in New Zealand by Hollywood’s Universal Studios in 1928.
This sensuous, sun-drenched fable tells of a macho small-town fisherman dividing his attention between his adoring wife and the handsome, bohemian outsider who becomes his lover. Audience Award Sundance 2010.
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.
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
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
Isabelle Huppert is mesmerising as a French coffee plantation owner refusing to budge from a West Africa riven with civil war in Claire Denis’ immersive new drama. “Gripped me from start to finish.” — Sight & Sound
Los viajes del viento
The wild splendours of the Colombian landscape form a spectacular backdrop for the odyssey of a tough old accordion player and a young wannabe musician. “Deeply affecting and boldly unsentimental.” — Macleans
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
Die Frau mit den 5 Elefanten
Eighty-five-year-old Svetlana Geier is perhaps the greatest translator of Russian literature into German. This erudite, very moving documentary about her passion for literature gracefully unfolds to encompass a great sweep of history.
Zanan bedoone mardan
In images of arresting purity and composure, expatriate Iranian photographer and video artist Shirin Neshat elaborates a haunting sense of women’s lives and options in Iran in 1953. Best Director, Venice Film Festival.
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.