NZIFF Booklet

Films by Must See

David Larsen

A mix of the old and the new, the bound-to-be-good and the no-idea-let's-find-out. Spread your risk, see as much as you can, and make sure you pick at least one film by someone you've never heard of. I'll be blogging my highlights at metromag.co.nz and airing reactions and thoughts more or less coherently on twitter (@leaflemming). If you sit near me and use your phone after the lights go down, I promise I'll be very polite the first time I ask you to turn it off.

Results

Andrew Bujalski

Guy Pearce and Cobie Smulders, personal trainers in an Austin gym, and their new New York schlub client, Kevin Corrigan, embark on colliding paths to self-improvement in Andrew Bujalski’s wry rom com.

The Russian Woodpecker

Chad Gracia

The Sundance Grand Jury prizewinner for World Cinema Documentary is a scarier-than-fiction investigation of the Chernobyl disaster, headed up by an eccentric young artist, and abetted by the fearless filmmakers.

Victoria

Sebastian Schipper

An after-midnight flirtation on the streets of Berlin gets thrillingly side-tracked by another chase entirely. Filmed in a single real-time take, it’s an edit-free pièce de résistance of acting, directing and mobile camerawork.

Embrace of the Serpent

El abrazo de la serpiente

Ciro Guerra

A lone shaman inducts two European ethnographers into the mysteries of the Amazon in this breathtakingly photographed tale of exploration, vividly reimagined from the indigenous point of view.

The Postman’s White Nights

Belye nochi pochtalona Alekseya Tryapitsyna

Andrei Konchalovsky

Russian director Konchalovsky follows a rural postman on rounds that cover tiny lakeside villages in the Arkhangelsk region of northern Russia in this affectionate, unvarnished, ravishingly shot portrait of a vanishing culture.

Mustang

Deniz Gamze Ergüven

“Five young sisters in a small coastal Turkish town come of age against a backdrop of sun, secrets, and socially-mandated sexual suppression in [this] heartfelt, beautifully performed debut feature.” — Jessica Kiang, The Playlist

Tehran Taxi

Jafar Panahi

Pretending to be a taxi driver negotiating the streets of Tehran, Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi makes a fascinating, surprisingly entertaining movie about his own role as a forbidden storyteller and life in Iran today.

Seymour: An Introduction

Ethan Hawke

Ethan Hawke’s music-laden documentary ushers us into the company of octogenarian former concert pianist and tireless teacher Seymour Bernstein, and invites us to share his humour, vitality and penetrating wisdom.

Iraqi Odyssey 3D

Samir

Tracing the emigrations of his family over more than half a century, expatriate Iraqi Samir pays homage to the frustrated democratic dreams of a people successively plagued by dictatorship, war and foreign occupation.

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

Ana Lily Amirpour

Our chador-wearing heroine walks the night-time streets of Bad City sinking her teeth into those who deserve to die. Outrageously languid, this new-school vampire movie is a triumphant first feature for Ana Lily Amirpour.

Ixcanul Volcano

Jayro Bustamante

Guatemala’s active Pacaya volcano is a symbol of both ancient traditions and modern threats in this absorbing, beautifully shot film about the consequences of a peasant girl’s strategy to avoid an arranged marriage.

Under Electric Clouds

Pod elektricheskimi oblakami

Alexey German Jr

In the near future a cast of unrelated characters come together in the ghostly shadow of an unfinished skyscraper on a desolate Russian plain. “A ravishingly shot, thought-provoking triumph.” —Screendaily