NZIFF Booklet

Films by Must See

Staff Picks: Angela Murphy

I cannot believe the film festival are paying me to do this job. I’m in heaven.

She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry

Mary Dore

All the anger, joy and turmoil of the 60s–70s feminist explosion comes alive in a vivid documentary, blending the recollections of key US campaigners with archival action likely to astound anyone who wasn’t there.

Dreamcatcher

Kim Longinotto

Filmmaker Kim Longinotto accompanies the irrepressible ex-hooker Brenda Myers-Powell as she storms the streets, prisons and high schools of Chicago to inspire young women caught in the cycle of abuse with the story of her escape.

Mommy

Xavier Dolan

The emotional roller-coaster of a single mother’s relationship with her ADHD teenage son is rendered with intense sympathy and dramatic flair by 25-year-old director Xavier Dolan. Winner of the Cannes Jury Prize in 2014.

A Most Violent Year

J.C. Chandor

In J.C. Chandor’s intense, 80s-set thriller an ambitious wheeler-dealer on New York’s contested waterfront (Oscar Isaac) tries to detoxify his business, but his Mob daughter wife (Jessica Chastain) has other ideas.

Belief: The Possession of Janet Moses

David Stubbs

This impressive doco disperses the fog of shame and sensationalism to shed light on the tragedy that made international headlines in 2007 when a young Wainuiomata woman died during a mākutu lifting.

Ex Machina

Alex Garland

This intellectually teasing, near-future drama stars Domhnall Gleeson, with Oscar Isaac as a reclusive AI genius and an eerily bewitching Alicia Vikander as the android Ava, programmed to test the boundaries of creation.

I Am Thor

Ryan Wise

Jon Mikl Thor was a bodybuilding, steel-bending, brick-smashing metal star in the 70s and 80s whose band never quite made it big. Years later, in this funny and endearing doco, he attempts a comeback that nearly kills him.

Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict

Lisa Immordino Vreeland

Present-day art world stars pay tribute in a lavishly illustrated profile of the arts patron extraordinaire who transformed a modest fortune and adventurous taste into one of the premier collections of 20th-century art.

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.

Listen to Me Marlon

Stevan Riley

With never-before-seen photos, audio and film footage, British documentarian Stevan Riley delivers an enthrallingly intimate look at the brilliant, troubled and always charismatic Marlon Brando.

Tale of Tales

Il racconto dei racconti

Matteo Garrone

Drawing on the rich and lurid vein of Neapolitan fairy tales, Matteo Garrone’s lavish, eye-popping fantasy thrusts a stellar international cast into its wildly baroque world of kings, queens, hags and monsters.

54: The Director’s Cut

Mark Christopher

Decades after it was deemed too deviant to release, 54: The Director’s Cut delivers the full decadent glory of legendary Manhattan disco Studio 54 as its makers intended. With Ryan Phillippe, Salma Hayek and Mike Myers.