Films by Title

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13 Assassins

Jusannin no shikaku

Miike Takashi

This new Japanese sword-fighting classic by Miike Takashi is possibly the greatest men-on-a-mission movie since the original Seven Samurai. “Thrilling and funny, visually exquisite and emotionally charged.” — Philadelphia Inquirer

A

Ain't in It for My Health: A Film about Levon Helm

Jacob Hatley

Up close and personal with The Band’s legendary, plain-speaking drummer and singer. “A captivating look at a musician hanging onto his art for dear life… The performances included are wonderful.” — Hollywood Reporter

Aita

José María de Orbe

Light and shadows in a crumbling mansion in the Basque countryside are the central players in this exquisite, painterly study of the passage of time. “An exquisitely high-art variation on the haunted-house movie.” — Hollywood Reporter

Animation for Kids 2011

A lively international showcase of new animated shorts including the wonderful Gruffalo. The films on this year’s programme, tested by a demanding young jury, have been deemed highly suitable for audiences aged four to eight.

Animation Now 2011

Glorious highly imaginative animated images in myriad formats, selected with an eye to the giant screen, from the world’s best by NZIFF veteran/Melbourne International Animation Festival supremo Malcolm Turner.

Another Earth

Mike Cahill

A second, parallel Earth appears in the sky – where there may be alternate selves for each one of us. “A gripping, intimate story to which science fiction adds a provocative, philosophical context.” — Hollywood Reporter

Anton Chekhov’s The Duel

Dover Kosashvili

Superbly acted English-language adaptation of an 1891 Chekhov novella brings shrewd understanding to its ageless tale of indiscretions, infidelity, rivalry and blackmail at a summer holiday resort. “Very satisfying.” — NY Times

Arrietty

Karigurashi no Arrietty

Yonebayashi Hiromasa

An enchanting adaptation of Brits children’s classic The Borrowers from the animators of Ponyo. “Simply told, beautifully animated… speaks straight to the heart and imagination of the child in all of us.” — Japan Times

The Artists Cinema

Ten short films commissioned to bring visual artists’ work into cinemas in subversive and playful ways. International work from LUX; plus four NZ works curated by Mark Williams with support from Creative New Zealand.

At Ellen’s Age

Im Alter vom Ellen

Pia Marais

This absorbingly surreal tale of a mysteriously dislocated flight attendant who goes AWOL and joins a militant band of young animal rights activists is secured by a captivating performance by the ethereal Jeanne Balibar.

Attenberg

Athina Rachel Tsangari

A wonderfully original coming-of-age film from Greece as a late-blooming 20-something embarks on her first sexual relationship. “An imaginative curio… whose emotional power creeps up on you.” — Sight & Sound

The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu

Autobiografia lui Nicolae Ceauşescu

Andrei Ujika

An ingenious found-footage film which audaciously documents the Romanian dictatorship of Nicolae Ceauşescu solely by repurposing his own official propaganda films. “Transfixing, illuminating and haunting.” — Time Out

Autumn Gold

Herbstgold

Jan Tenhaven

Five indomitable athletes aged 82 to 100 defy boundaries on the track and in life, overcoming obstacles with passion, determination and youthful vigour. This delightful film won Amsterdam Doc Festival’s youth jury award.

B

Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest

Michael Rapaport

“Poignant and powerful, complex and melancholy… Michael Rapaport’s riveting hip-hop documentary gets uncomfortably close to A Tribe Called Quest, one of the most important and influential groups of the past 25 years.” — AV Club

Beauty

Skoonheid

Oliver Hermanus

This ferocious, compact drama of repression by a young South African director electrified and divided audiences at Cannes. A tough, buttoned-down married Afrikaner develops a disturbed obsession with his friends’ handsome son.

Beginners

Mike Mills

Ewan McGregor, Mélanie Laurent and Christopher Plummer in a rich, romantic comedy of second chances. “A sad, sweet, funny and ultimately unforgettable love story about a man and a woman and a father and son.” — Salon.com

Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey

Constance Marks

Inspiring story of how shy boy Kevin Clash pursued his dream to become a puppeteer on Sesame Street. “A rare documentary that will connect across generations and cultures to delight viewers worldwide.” — Hollywood Reporter

Better This World

Katie Galloway, Kelly Duane de la Vega

This provocative documentary investigates the charges against two young activists arrested while protesting the 2008 GOP Convention. “Both a compelling news documentary and a stunning character study.” — Austin Chronicle

The Black Power Mixtape 1967–1975

Göran Hugo Olsson

An amazing treasure trove of previously unseen footage (shot for Swedish TV) provides startling new insights into the American civil rights movement and the ascendancy of Black Power.

A Boatload of Wild Irishmen

Mac Dara Ó Curraidhín

The legacy of Robert Flaherty (Nanook of the North, Moana) is examined through the eyes of the people whose parents and grandparents he put on the cinema screens of the world. A fascinating film about documentary ethics.

Bobby Fischer Against the World

Liz Garbus

The fascinating and turbulent life of chess master – and unlikely Cold War hero – Bobby Fischer. “It is a strange and complex story of a brilliant but deeply troubled man, full of bizarre twists and turns.” — Screendaily

Boxing Gym

Frederick Wiseman

Frederick Wiseman’s doco admires values and skills instilled in a neighbourhood gym. “Rather than a fixation on the violence of the sport, there’s a serene appreciation of muscle, sinew, and movement.” — Slant Magazine

Breathing

Atmen

Karl Markovics

Direct from Cannes, this potent, superbly acted drama traces a young man’s dawning apprehension of life beyond the state institutions and prisons that have shaped him. “A sober, compelling drama.” — Hollywood Reporter

Brother Number One

Annie Goldson

Olympian and transatlantic rowing champion Rob Hamill travels with filmmaker Annie Goldson (Punitive Damage) to Cambodia seeking justice for his eldest brother Kerry, who was murdered by the Khmer Rouge regime in 1978.

Buck

Cindy Meehl

This inspiring encounter with the legendary horse whisperer takes us on the road as he runs clinics and ‘starts’ rogue colts. “There are no problem horses, just horses with people problems.” — Buck Brannaman

C

A Cat in Paris

Une vie de chat

Alain Gagnol, Jean-Loup Felicioli

By day Dino the cat lives with his young owner Zoé. By night he accompanies a daring burglar. A droll, action-packed animated adventure for kids of nine or so and up – with a cool hand-drawn style and a retro jazz soundtrack.

Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog gains exclusive access to film inside the Chauvet caves of southern France, capturing the miraculously preserved, oldest known pictorial creations of humankind, maybe 32,000 years old.

Circo

Aaron Schock

Filmmaker Aaron Schock hits the road with Gran Circo México, a family of contortionists, stunt riders, clowns and animal trainers who have been travelling the back roads of Mexico for generations. Music by Calexico.

Circumstance

Sharayet

Maryam Keshavarz

“The world of sex, drugs, and underground nightclubs in Iran provides the backdrop for Maryam Keshavarz’s lusty, dreamy take on the passionate teenagers behind the hijabs.” — San Francisco Bay Guardian

Cold Fish

Tsumetai nettaigyo

Sono Sion

A milquetoast fish store owner gets drawn into the orbit of a serial killer and his equally nutty wife. A funny, perverted and shocking film by Sono Sion, the cult master of extreme madness.

Cría cuervos

Carlos Saura

Celebrating 40 years of the Film Festival: Ana Torrent, surely one of the great child actors, and Geraldine Chaplin in Carlos Saura’s haunting 1976 classic. “A gripping, profoundly mysterious movie.” — The Guardian

D

The Day He Arrives

Book chon bang hyang

Hong Sang-soo

Korean Hong Sang-soo’s latest satire of artists (and drinkers) is a characteristically sly farce of feckless men and hopeful women with a touch of Groundhog Day. “A crisp little gem.” — Screendaily

Daytime Tiger

Costa Botes

Costa Botes’ portrait of New Zealand writer Michael Morrissey is indeed a tiger-ride – an up-close encounter with an extremely intelligent man in the grip of bipolar disorder.

Drive

Nicolas Winding Refn

Hollywood reclaims the Embassy screen in style with our Closing Night screening of the film that took the Best Director’s laurels at Cannes this year.

E

Eight Ladies / Tales from the Daly

Lunchtime special: eight ladies teach you how to catch and cook an echidna. Two lively recent short docos from the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association, an invaluable vital force in contemporary First Nations culture.

Elena

Andrey Zvyagintsev

A riveting family drama and a chilling portrait of social relations in capitalist Russia, this new film from the director of The Return won a Special Jury Award at Cannes. “Tense, edge-of-the-seat stuff.” — The Guardian

Elite Squad: The Enemy Within

Tropa de elite 2: O inimigo agora é outro

José Padilha

The all-time biggest hit at the Brazilian box office, José Padilha’s blazing thriller is even more riveting than the original, and more incisive in exposing the twisted alliances of power, police and crime at work in Rio.

F

Fire in Babylon

Stevan Riley

This doco about the West Indies’ late 70s ascension from happy-go-lucky ‘calypso cricketers’ to world beaters is such riotous fun you won’t need to know your googlies from your bouncers to get a big kick out of it.

The First Grader

Justin Chadwick

The right to education is rousingly dramatised in the true story of an 84-year-old Mau Mau veteran’s bid for literacy. “An unknown story seems certain to stir the hearts of audiences worldwide.” — Hollywood Reporter

Footnote

Hearat shulayim

Joseph Cedar

A deadpan Israeli comedy about duelling father-son professors, Footnote was an unexpected hit at Cannes and a deserving winner of the Best Screenplay award. “An enjoyable, and quite literal, textbook thriller.” — indieWIRE

The Forgiveness of Blood

Joshua Marston

You thought your parents were unreasonable? An Albanian teenager is trapped at home in an ancient blood feud. “Riveting… a richly textured portrait of a society in 2011 still bound by a centuries-old code of law.” — Screendaily

The Future

Miranda July

In this delicately cracked comedy from Miranda July (Me and You and Everyone We Know) a 30-something LA couple give up their jobs for a last taste of freedom – before adopting a cat. “Surreal, precious, devastating and brilliant.” — The Playlist

G

Gantz

Sato Shinsuke

Part one of the extraordinary blockbuster live-action adaptation of the cult manga and anime series Gantz.

Gantz: Perfect Answer

Sato Shinsuke

The heart-stopping conclusion to the Gantz saga ups the ante in true sequel fashion, featuring spectacular battles with the deadliest aliens yet and twists that will keep even hardcore Gantz fans guessing.

The Giants

Les géants

Bouli Lanners

This funny, perceptive tale of teenaged city boys let loose in the countryside imbues Stand by Me with sardonic social realism and shades of the Brothers Grimm. “Unselfconscious, endearing and completely believable.” — Screendaily

Gone with the Weird

Simon Ogston

Simon Ogston’s documentary is an affectionate tribute to both an unknown band worthy of rediscovery and to Christchurch's fertile punk underground that spawned them.

Goodbye

Bé omid é didar

Mohammad Rasoulof

A pregnant Tehran lawyer seeks a clandestine exit visa for herself in this suspenseful, chilling depiction of fundamentalist repression directed by Iranian political prisoner Mohammad Rasoulof (White Meadows).

The Great Bear

Den kæmpestore bjørn

Esben Toft Jacobsen

Little Sophie has been kidnapped by a giant bear – and he’s much better company than her cranky older brother. This charming Nordic expedition into the deep dark woods should entertain anyone old enough to read the subtitles.

The Guard

John Michael McDonagh

The Guard is a fish-out-of-water story, an upside-down Irish Western, a crime drama, a diabolically self-aware comedy and a marvelously acted character study.” — Hitfix.com

Guilty Pleasures

Julie Moggan

A fond, good-humoured doco about Mills & Boon romance novels and how they bear on the love lives of a handful of writers and readers. “A movie about fantasy: creating it, living in it, and learning its limitations.” — SlantMagazine.com

Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench

Damien Chazelle

The on, off, and possibly on-again affair of a young African American jazz trumpeter and a Euro-American waitress and aspiring performer, shapes this lovely, loose pastiche of Hollywood musical, French New Wav and urban vérité.

H

Happy, Happy

Sykt lykkelig

Anne Sewitsky

City couple meets country couple in this shrewd and frank Scandinavian sex comedy. Grand Jury Prize, Sundance 2011.

Heartbeats

Les amours imaginaires

Xavier Dolan

French Canadian prodigy Xavier Dolan (I Killed My Mother) took Cannes by storm a second time last year (aged 21) with this sharp, ebulliently stylish tale of two best friends competing for the attention of the same boy.

The Holy Roller

Patrick Gillies

Shot on location inChristchurchin early 2009 with a cast of some of the city’s best known faces, Patrick Gilles’ comic urban fairytale is based on Australian co-scripter/lead actor Angus Benfield’s own experiences as a pastor.

Homegrown: Drama

From the haunting brutality of war and domestic violence to the depths of romantic and familial relationships, a smorgasbord of works from Aotearoa’s finest up-and-coming filmmakers selected and presented by MIC Toi Rerehiko.

Homegrown: Flights of Fancy

Selecting from a wealth of submissions, MIC Toi Rerehiko presents an eclectic programme of digital shorts by New Zealanders, defying genre, experimenting with technique and storytelling, while evoking otherworldly experiences.

Homegrown: Works on Film

MIC Toi Rerehiko presents New Zealand’s finest new short films, all selected for key international festivals including Sundance, Berlin, Cannes, Tribeca, Melbourne, SXSW and the Puchon International Fantastic Film.

Hot Coffee

Susan Saladoff

Everyone has heard about the little old lady in Albuquerque who spilled hot coffee in her lap, sued McDonald’s for millions, and won. This cogent doco about the decline of civil justice in America has worldwide resonance.

How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr Foster?

Carlos Carcas, Norberto López Amado

Admiring, hugely enjoyable, superbly shot doco displays the work and traces the global success of Britain’s most successful and influential architect. “A visually striking tribute to an intrepid social utopian.” — Empire

How to Die in Oregon

Peter D. Richardson

This Sundance-winning doco showing Oregon’s Death with Dignity legislation in action is a trenchant, impressively honest work of advocacy. “A hard but incredibly moving, even transformative watch.” — Boston Globe

I

If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front

Marshall Curry

Superb investigative doco about the perils of activism examines the case of the ‘eco-terrorist’ Earth Liberation Front, who torched timber industry property in the US Northwest. “An intriguing and important film.” — Filmmaker

Illustrious Energy

Leon Narbey

A beautiful new restoration of Leon Narbey’s dramatic tribute to the Chinese immigrants who came to Central Otago for gold in the 19th century. “Magical, dream-like… holds you there, mesmerised.” — NZ Listener

Incendies

Denis Villeneuve

Searching for the brother they never knew they had, a brother and sister unravel the mystery of their Middle Eastern mother’s war-torn past. “A spectacular experience… a Greek tragedy delivered to modern times.” — Film Threat

The Innkeepers

Ti West

From the creator of the stunning The House of the Devil comes a devilishly spooky show set in the last days of a run-down inn that many believe to be one of New England’s most haunted hotels.

I Saw the Devil

Akmareul boatda

Kim Jee-woon

Directed by Korean genre-star Kim Jee-woon (The Quiet Family and The Good, The Bad, The Weird), the film follows a government agent as he goes off the rails when his fiancée is brutally murdered.

J

Jig

Sue Bourne

This Spellbound-style doco takes us into the world of competitive Irish dancing as we meet some dazzling (and charming) dancers, boys and girls from all over the world preparing for the 2010 World Championships in Glasgow.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

David Gelb

Portrait of legendary Tokyo sushi chef, 85-year-old Jiro Ono. “Torture to watch – if you are on an empty stomach… a paean to perfectionism and crafty bit of food porn.” — Hollywood Reporter

Joseph Brodsky: In the Prison of Latitudes

Jan Andrews

This new film about Nobel Prize-winning poet and essayist Joseph Brodsky blends interviews, cityscapes and audio of Brodsky reciting his own work to create a poetic homage to one of the 20th century’s great literary talents.

K

Khodorkovsky

Cyril Tuschi

Eye-opening doco about the Russian oil oligarch, widely seen as a challenge to Putin and now in a Siberian prison. “Thoroughly researched and highly entertaining… a pungent portrait of contemporary Russia.” — Variety

The Kid with a Bike

Le Gamin au vélo

Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne

In this gripping Cannes Grand Prix winner from Belgium’s Dardenne brothers, a wild 11-year-old boy rebounds between the judicious care of a kind, single woman (Cécile de France) and the blandishments of a streetwise older boy.

Kill List

Ben Wheatley

Get Carter meets The Wicker Man. “A brilliantly constructed horror-drama that is put together in such a way that its grim twists surprise and engage.” — Screendaily

Knuckle

Ian Palmer

Jaw-dropping (and -smashing) doco. “A brilliantly brutal and intriguingly insightful look into the bare-knuckle fights staged between a series of Irish Traveller families as they prolong a long-running feud.” — Screendaily

L

La dolce vita

Federico Fellini

Fellini fans, rejoice. The maestro’s 1960 exposé of Roman society high and low, La dolce vita returns in a stunning new restoration. “Once you’ve caught a glimpse of it, it’s where you want to live.” — NY Times

Las Acacias

Pablo Giorgelli

This delicate Argentinean road movie depicting the touching encounter between a long-distance truck driver and the woman and child he takes as passengers won the Caméra d’Or for Best First Film at Cannes this year.

The Last Circus

Balada triste de trompeta

Álex de la Iglesia

A circus, two clowns, one ballerina, a blood-and-bullets-riddled love triangle, and lots of dark humour. The Tarantino-headed jury gave The Last Circus Best Screenplay and Best Director awards, Venice Film Festival 2010.

Le Havre

Aki Kaurismäki

This tender French comedy by Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki was a huge hit at Cannes and winner of the Critics Prize. “Wonderful, big-hearted comedy… What a treat this film is.” — The Guardian

Le quattro volte

Michelangelo Frammartino

A rugged valley in Italy’s mountainous region of Calabria is the setting for this wonderful film, a spellbinding take on a way of life as old as the elements. "Fresh and ravishingly poetic." LA Times

Let the Bullets Fly

Rang zidan fei

Jiang Wen

Chow Yun Fat, Ge You and Jiang Wen star in this spectacular, brutally comic blockbuster Chinese Western. “China’s biggest domestic box-office hit to date is a freewheeling romp full of sex, violence, and humor.” — Newsweek

Love Like Poison

Un poison violent

Katell Quillévéré

A teenage girl learns some lessons about sex, death and the love of Jesus in this award-winning French drama. "An auspicious debut... beautiful and unsettling" — Sight and Sound

Love Story

Florian Habicht

Florian Habicht (Kaikohe Demolition) returns from New York with a one-of-a-kind Love Story embracing doco, fiction, summer, sex, romance, New York and a host of camera-ready New Yorkers in one gregarious, greedy, joyous hug.

M

Magic Trip: Ken Kesey’s Search for a Kool Place

Alex Gibney, Alison Ellwood

Colour footage shot by Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters on their legendary 1964 bus trip across America is seen for the first time, collated by Oscar-winning documentarian Alex Gibney. Turn on, tune in, drop out!

Mana Waka

Merata Mita

In tribute to the late Merata Mita, the New Zealand Film Archive presents a rare screening of her breathtaking documentary, fashioned from archival footage, detailing the construction of waka for the 1940 Waitangi centennial.

The Man from Nowhere

Ajeossi

Lee Jeong-beom

This flawless action film features career-making performances by heartthrob Won Bin (Brotherhood, Mother) and Kim Sae-ron as the child he’s trying to protect. Its action sequences will leave you gasping.

Martha Marcy May Marlene

Sean Durkin

A fragile young woman seeks refuge from a cult with her estranged sister in this Sundance winner. “Elizabeth Olsen steps onto the radar as a seriously accomplished actor in this mesmerizing drama.” — Hollywood Reporter

A Matter of Taste: Serving Up Paul Liebrandt

Sally Rowe

Ten years in the rollercoaster career of Paul Liebrandt, a brilliant young English chef in New York, documented by expat Kiwi Sally Rowe. “Liebrandt makes a charismatic focus… a gastronomic thriller.” — Wall St Journal

Medianeras

Gustavo Taretto

A fresh, funny take on love in the city: a romcom in which the lovers have yet to meet. “Immensely likable… the Buenos Aires-set love story is unique to the Argentine capital, yet universal in theme.” — Variety

Meek's Cutoff

Kelly Reichardt

Based on fact, Kelly Reichardt’s beautiful, eerily poetic alt-Western follows three families heading west in 1845. With Michelle Williams, Bruce Greenwood, Will Patton.

Melancholia

Lars von Trier

Danish iconoclast Lars von Trier stages a disastrous society wedding in the face of interplanetary collision. “A magnificent apocalyptic fable… gorgeous, profoundly emotional and often very funny.” — Salon.com. Best Actress (Kirsten Dunst), Cannes Film Festival 2011.

Merle Haggard: Learning to Live with Myself

Gandulf Hennig

Forthright portrait of the country star who penned the ageless anti-hippie anthem ‘Okie from Muskogee’. With Keith Richards, Dave Alvin, John Carter Cash, Robert Duvall, John Fogerty, George Jones and Merle's wives, past and present.

Metropolis

Fritz Lang

The latest, and surely the most complete, resurrection we’ll ever see of Fritz Lang’s colossal futuristic thriller. “For those familiar with the film it will be a confirmation, for newcomers a revelation.” — The Observer

Michael

Markus Schleinzer

A superbly acted, creepily believable account of the subterfuges by which an apparently unremarkable middle-aged man keeps a kidnapped young boy locked in his house. “A triumph of uneasy cinema… a keen observational thriller.” — indieWIRE

Michael Smither: Into Perspective

Tony Hiles

Painter and composer Michael Smither is a lucid and engaging commentator on his own work and life in the third of a series of short documentaries about him by filmmaker Tony Hiles.

The Mill & the Cross

Lech Majewski

Bruegel’s immense frieze of rustic life, The Way to Calvary, lives and breathes in this visually ravishing recreation. “An extraordinary imaginative leap… a unique, immersive museum-meets-cinema experience.” — Variety

Miss Representation

Jennifer Siebel Newsom

Wanting a better world for her baby daughter, filmmaker Jennifer Siebel Newsom embarks on an unashamedly personal journey to figure out why women are so under-represented in the media and what can be done to change this.

Moving

Park Kiyong

Korean filmmaker Park Kiyong interviews a Christchurch Korean couple about their decade-long struggle to establish a successful CBD restaurant business – and the impact of the February 22 earthquake.

My Joy

Schastye moye

Sergei Loznitsa

Documentarian Sergei Loznitsa makes an audacious and impressive feature debut with this labyrinthine journey deep into the literal and metaphorical back roads of Russia. “Arresting and powerful.” — London Film Festival

My Reincarnation

Jennifer Fox

This epic doco, spanning 20 years and 17 countries, studies the relationship between Tibetan Buddhist master Chögyal Namkhai Norbu and his Italian-born son, Yeshi, who resists following his father’s footsteps.

Mysteries of Lisbon

Mistérios de Lisboa

Raúl Ruiz

A sumptuous immersion in the labyrinthine romantic intrigues and perfidies of 19th-century Portuguese nobility, priests and pirates. “Terrific costumed epic... Storytelling of breathtaking scale and grandeur.” — Empire

N

Nainsukh

Amit Dutta

This exquisite film contemplates the life and work of 18th-century Indian painter Nainsukh through recreations of his extraordinary, naturalistic miniatures, portraying the beauty of the landscape and the extravagance of court life.

Netherwood

Cristobal Araus Lobos

Set in a fictional backwater and filmed in the beautiful limestone hills of Waipara, north of Christchurch, Netherwood stirs a hefty dose of hardboiled Southern Man stoicism into a modern day Western thriller.

Norwegian Wood

Noruwei no mori

Tran Anh Hung

Exquisite adaptation of Murakami Haruki’s best-selling novel of tortured first loves from the director of The Scent of Green Papaya. “A wonderful, passionate, well-nigh unforgettable adaptation of a great novel.” — Salon.com

Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horrors

Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens

F.W. Murnau

The Festival’s long-standing, popular and much-cherished collaboration with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra ventures into the twilight zone for a rare Live Cinema screening of F.W. Murnau’s aptly titled Symphony of Horrors.

Nothing to Declare

Rien à déclarer

Dany Boon

Danny Boon follows up his phenomenally popular Welcome to the Sticks with another hit comedy about parochial prejudice: when the EU dissolves the borders it can’t dissolve the rivalry between French and Belgian customs officers.

O

Oki’s Movie

Okhuiui yeonghwa

Hong Sang-soo

Festival favourite Hong Sang-soo returns with a playful, supremely droll, multi-part comedy that finds the self-reflexive auteur in inspired form.

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

Bir zamanlar Anadolu’da

Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Four-time Cannes laureate Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Uzak) took this year’s Grand Prix for this beautiful, deliberative criminal investigation/road movie. “A mature, philosophically resonant work from Turkey's leading director.” — The Globe and Mail

Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow

Sophie Fiennes

Sophie Fiennes’ documentary immerses us in the monumental wasteland being created by German painter and sculptor Anselm Kiefer – and shows us the artist at work. “Ravishingly hypnotic.” — Sight & Sound

P

Page One: Inside the New York Times

Andrew Rossi

The world’s most famous newspaper tangles with WikiLeaks and grapples with the digital revolution in this fascinating all-access doco. “Slick, fun, and surprisingly sexy.” — Vanity Fair

Passione

John Turturro

Actor/director John Turturro takes us on a dramatic musical tour of Naples. “It took an Italian-American to capture with such force the soul and, above all, the suffering and joy of Neapolitan music.” — Il Messaggero

Pina

Wim Wenders

Wim Wenders’ tribute to the late choreographer-dancer Pina Bausch stages some of her best-known pieces in thrilling 3D. “The camerawork is as sublime as the performances… It’s a beautiful and moving film.” — Time Out

Pink Saris

Kim Longinotto

Kim Longinotto follows fiery activist Sampat Pal Devi as she crusades against child marriages, dowry deaths and the abuse of women in northern India. “A multilayered, psychologically complex portrait of both a woman and a moment.” — Variety

Planet Kirsan

Planeta Kirsan

Magdalena Pieta

In the tiny ex-Soviet state of Kalmykia, President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has decreed chess to be the root of all things and has made it a compulsory subject in schools. A surreally disturbing picture of tin-pot authority in action.

Play

Ruben Östlund

This tense, provocative and surprisingly funny drama draws us into the ‘little brother’ scam by which a young black Swedish street gang successfully hustled other kids in plain sight, without physical violence.

Point Blank

À bout portant

Fred Cavayé

This tense, exhilarating chase thriller takes you on a breakneck rush through the streets and subways of Paris. “One hell of an adrenalin rush… it’s something any fan of the genre needs to see.” — Twitch

POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

Morgan Spurlock

Docu-prankster Morgan (Super Size Me) Spurlock plunges into the billion-dollar business of product placement in Hollywood by branding himself and making a film financed entirely from product placement.

Position among the Stars

Stand van de sterren

Leonard Retel Helmrich

This marvellously cinematic doco observes the inter-generational struggles of one Indonesian family. Best Doc, Sundance 2010. “Crucial viewing, this masterpiece is nothing short of breathtaking.” — Hot Docs

Project Nim

James Marsh

Can a non-human learn to speak? In 1973 Nim, a baby chimp, was deposited into a Manhattan family home in order to find this out. In this intriguing doc from the maker of Man on Wire the important people in Nim’s life tell his story.

R

Romantics Anonymous

Les émotifs anonymes

Jean-Pierre Améris

Chocolate brings a pair of clinically shy people together in this delicious French romantic comedy starring Benoît Poelvoorde (Coco avant Chanel). “Packed with bittersweet humour and genuine charm.” — Screendaily

The Round Up

La rafle

Rose Bosch

Moving, meticulously researched, controversial concentration camp drama. “Hailed as an important step in France’s acknowledgment of its complicity in the crimes of the Occupation.” — The Guardian

Rumble & Bang

Jeff Smith, Simon Ogston

Archive-laden tribute to Chants R&B, a short-lived garage rock combo that thrived in 60s Christchurch.

S

The Salt of Life

Gianni e le donne

Gianni Di Gregorio

A charming second film from Mid-August Lunch writer/director/star Gianni Di Gregorio and nonagenarian co-star Valeria De Franciscis Bendoni. “Funny, poignant, life-enhancing, and much cheaper than a return ticket to Italy.” — Screendaily

The Screen Illusion

L’Illusion comique

Mathieu Amalric

French 17th-century theatre is inventively spirited into the cinematic present in this delightful, thoroughly contemporary adaptation by Mathieu Amalric starring a great Comédie Française cast and set in the luxurious Hôtel de Louvre.

Senna

Asif Kapadia

You don’t have to be a petrolhead to ‘get’ the legend of Formula One racer Ayrton Senna. Ask any Brazilian – or check out the most enthralling big-screen sports documentary since When We Were Kings.

A Separation

Jodaeiye Nader az Simin

Asghar Farhadi

A secular middle-class family is accused of a crime by an impoverished religious one in this gripping thriller that also provides an exceptionally revealing picture of life in Iran. “Alarming and compelling.” — The Observer

She Monkeys

Apflickorna

Lisa Aschan

Teenage girls immersed in the world of competitive equestrian vaulting are drawn to each other as friends and rivals in this sexually charged drama of adolescent power play. Best Film Award, Tribeca Film Festival 2011.

Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure

Matthew Bate

This is the hilarious and true story of Raymond and Peter, the world’s oddest couple and how their surreal arguments, taped by the students next door, became a worldwide viral phenomenon in the era of the audio cassette.

Silent Souls

Ovsyanki

Aleksei Fedorchenko

Two men set out to conduct the funeral rites of a woman they both loved in this mysterious, folkloric Russian film. “It’s the combination of melancholy, humour and surrealism that makes the film so winning.” — Sight & Sound

Sing Your Song

Susanne Rostock

With intimacy, style and classic performance clips, Susanne Rostock’s documentary surveys the inspiring life of singer, actor and activist Harry Belafonte. “Personal, candid, historic, and impassioned.” — Reverse Shot

Sleeping Beauty

Julia Leigh

This icily erotic modern fairytale by Australian novelist Julia Leigh was a controversial contender at Cannes. “A brave and beautiful calling card for both filmmaker and star.” — Empire

Sleeping Sickness

Schlafkrankheit

Ulrich Köhler

Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness is a springboard for this remarkable drama which sees Africa through the eyes of a white expat doctor addicted to the place, and a black French doctor newly arrived to the continent. Best Director, Berlin Film Festival.

Snowtown

Justin Kurzel

“Buyer beware: Snowtown is no ordinary ‘serial killer’ movie. There is no charismatic Hannibal Lector… Director Justin Kurzel has brilliantly recreated scenes from Australia’s most notorious killing/torture spree.” — Screendaily

The Solitude of Prime Numbers

La solitudine dei numeri primi

Saverio Costanzo

A best-selling Italian novel about two bright, fiercely lonely misfits caught in a strange, life-long pas de deux is now a strange, fiercely unconventional love story – and a dazzling work of pure cinema. Starring Alba Rohrwacher (I Am Love).

Something Ventured

Dan Geller, Dayna Goldfine

Venture capitalists who enabled maverick entrepreneurs to start and grow such companies as Intel, Apple, Genentech and Atari speak frankly about risk, loss and gain in this surprisingly entertaining doco.

Sons of Perdition

Jennilyn Merten, Tyler Measom

Documentary portrait of young men struggling in the real world after fleeing or being evicted from Warren Jeffs’ Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints sect. “A moving, thrilling yarn of heartland life and masculinity.” — Salon.com

Space Battleship Yamato

Supesu Batorushippu Yamato

Yamazaki Takashi

Kimura Takuya stars in a gleaming ¥2 billion live-action/CGI spectacular, the culmination of an internationally influential franchise that’s been generating television and animated movies in Japan since 1974.

Stori Tumbuna: Ancestors’ Tales

Paul Wolffram

Research and traditional lore are neatly interlaced in this film by ethnomusicologist Paul Wolffram, who spent two years recording the culture of the Lak people in the remote southern region of New Ireland, New Guinea.

Strawberries with the Führer

Amy O’Connor

In Amy O’Connor’s lively doco German New Zealander Helga Tiscenko talks about meeting Hitler and the privileges and subsequent travails of growing up the daughter of a loving father who was also a Nazi General.

Submarine

Richard Ayoade

Duffle-coated teenager Oliver copes with being an unappreciated genius in 80s Swansea and pursues the pyromaniac girl of his dreams in this Brit hit directed by IT Crowd comedian Richard Ayoade. “Simply a joy.” — Empire

Supinfocom

Supinfocom is one of the finest animation schools in the world, with two campuses in France and one in India. The latest graduate films are so stunning that we have devoted an entire programme to the best of them.

T

Tabloid

Errol Morris

In his lightest, funniest doco in years Errol Morris (Fast, Cheap and Out of Control) reactivates the UK tabloid fever generated in the 70s by a former Miss Wyoming accused of kidnapping and raping her Mormon missionary ex-boyfriend.

Take Shelter

Jeff Nichols

Contemporary anxieties about the end of days are brilliantly channelled into Jeff Nichols’ acclaimed psychological thriller. A riveting Michael Shannon plays a small-town working guy driven by visions of apocalypse.

Taxi Driver

Martin Scorsese

Scorsese and De Niro’s great seething vision of 70s New York mesmerises anew in a blazing 35th anniversary restoration. “Taxi Driver still stuns… See it again. And try to have a nice day.” — Village Voice

The Temptation of Rossano Fan

Richard Riddiford

Richard Riddiford's documentary takes us deep into the ambitions and disappointments of painter, erstwhile architect, reluctant market gardener and voluble non-conformist Rossano Fan.

Terri

Azazel Jacobs

Injecting concern with laughter, this high school comedy stars John C. Reilly as a vice-principal who identifies with the biggest losers on campus. “Smart, gentle and instinctively wise.” — Roger Ebert

Tiny Furniture

Lena Dunham

Actor/writer/director Lena Dunham made indie headlines with this autobiographical comedy. “The honest story of a young woman’s vulnerable desires and a bemused satire of real-life Gossip Girlhood.” — Entertainment Weekly

Tomboy

Céline Sciamma

This bold, luminous drama of childhood and gender identity centres on ten-year-old Laure, happily passing for a boy when her family move to a new neighbourhood. Superbly acted by a largely child cast.

The Tree of Life

Terrence Malick

Brad Pitt stars in Terrence Malick’s audacious, visionary The Tree of Life, Palme d’Or at Cannes. “No one with a genuine interest in the potential of film would think of missing it.” — Rolling Stone

The Trip

Michael Winterbottom

Comedians Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan take a road tour of northern English restaurants. "Hilarious and touching... like a funnier, flakier, madcap British version of My Dinner With Andre." — Entertainment Weekly

Troll Hunter

Trolljegeren

André Øvredal

Intrepid student journalists score scoop: mythological marauding giants in deepest Norway. “Very entertaining… a semi-goofy wilderness of dark comedy, populated by rock-eating, fart-blowing trolls.” — San Francisco Bay Guardian

The Turin Horse

A torinói ló

Béla Tarr

Béla Tarr's final masterwork. “The Turin Horse is an absolute vision, masterly and enveloping in a way that less personal, more conventional movies are not. The film doesn't seduce; it commands.” — NPR

Tyrannosaur

Paddy Considine

Drawing riveting performances from Peter Mullan and Olivia Colman, actor Paddy Considine makes a directorial debut that will reward any viewer willing to share his unblinking gaze into the hearts of two violently damaged protagonists.

U

A Useful Life

La vida útil

Federico Veiroj

What do you do when redundancy strikes and everything you know about life you learned from programming a Cinematheque? A love of movies connects to the world outside the cinema in this charmingly droll comedy.

V

View from Olympus

Geoffrey Cawthorn

This extended version of Geoffrey Cawthorn's Artsville doco provides a much fuller picture of internationally celebrated Wellington composer John Psathas in conversation and at work at home here and in his native Greece.

Viva Riva!

Djo Tunda Wa Munga

This slick, atmospheric thriller is packed with kinetic enery. "The first major motion picture to come out of Congo in decades happens to be one of the best neonoirs from anywhere in recent memory." — Time Out New York

W

Weekend

Andrew Haigh

A brief encounter proves mutually disarming for two young men in a salty, insightful love story buoyed by sex, drugs and testing differences of opinion. “A deftly-played and beautifully-paced little romance.” — The Guardian

Wild River

Elia Kazan

Glorious new restoration of a neglected 1960 masterpiece by Elia Kazan (On the Waterfront) with legendary performances from Jo Van Fleet and Lee Remick and Hollywood icon Montgomery Clift.

Windfall

Laura Israel

The arguments for and against wind turbine power rage through a small rural community in this illuminating saga. “An absorbing, sobering documentary about the lures and perils of green technology.” — The Washington Post

Winter Vacation

Han jia

Li Hongqi

In this acclaimed absurdist comedy, bored teenagers and disillusioned adults rage at each other and the emptiness of life in frost-bitten northern China. Winner of the Golden Leopard for Best Film at the Locarno Film Festival.

The Woman

Lucky McKee

Notorious and nasty Sundance feral-woman-chained-in-the-cellar shocker. “A girl-power allegory, a cheeky genre-twister, and exploitation cinema par excellence.” — L Magazine

The Women on the 6th Floor

Les Femmes du 6e étage

Philippe Le Guay

In this breezy comedy an uptight middle-class couple (Fabrice Luchini and Sandrine Kiberlain) are snapped out of their tired routines by their Spanish maid and a houseful of her female relations.

Y

The Yellow Sea

Hwanghae

Na Hong-jin

A would-be assassin becomes a desperate man on the run in this latest from Korean genre ace Na Hong-jin (The Chaser). “One of the smartest and most inventive action films this year.” — The Playlist