NZIFF Booklet

Films by Must See

Staff Picks: Rachael Deller-Pincott

I love winter festivals, especially when it involves dark rooms and movies. What I’m not so good at is narrowing a list that has already been narrowed, and then narrowed again. Given my predicament I created a special mention for those that didn’t make it to the top 12, I feel quite unsettled leaving them out, here goes; Amy, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Western, Landfill Harmonic, Experimenter, The Wolfpack, all the NZ feature films, Sherpa and Abandoned Goods. But really if you don’t have to go to work for 2 weeks and see more then you definitely should.

New Zealand’s Best 2015

Help give the year’s best New Zealand short films the homegrown recognition they deserve by voting for your favourite at this screening.

Mavis!

Jessica Edwards

The life, music and passionate commitment of the irresistible Mavis Staples are lovingly chronicled in this spirited doco – with help from fans Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, Chuck D, Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy and Prince.

The Lobster

Yorgos Lanthimos

Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth) casts Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, John C. Reilly and Léa Seydoux in a surreal English-language fable set in a world where singles are forced to couple up or be turned into animals.

The Price of Peace

Kim Webby

Kim Webby’s background in investigative journalism is put to riveting use in this documentary about Tame Iti and the Urewera Four, taking a criminal case of national interest to explore a greater social issue.

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

En duva satt på en gren och funderade på tillvaron

Roy Andersson

The deeply eccentric Roy Andersson’s meticulously mounted comic sketches move from historic fantasy to hilariously deadpan humour as he muses on humanity’s inescapable absurdity. Golden Lion, Best Film, Venice Film Festival 2014.

Spring

Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead

“The suspense and pleasure of Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead’s talking-and-tentacles horror romance Spring lies in discovering what shape the film is going to take.” — Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice

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.

The Assassin

Nie Yinniang

Hou Hsiao-hsien

Shu Qi plays the eponymous killer in this ravishingly beautiful foray into historical martial arts territory from Taiwanese master Hou Hsiao-hsien. Winner of the Best Director Award at Cannes.

Mia madre

Nanni Moretti

In Nanni Moretti’s mix of wry comedy and sombre family drama, a woman strives to balance life and art as her mother’s health fails – and the actor in the film she’s directing (John Turturro) proves to be a handful.

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.

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.

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.