NZIFF Booklet

Films by Must See

Staff Picks: Sibilla Paparatti

A Festival nomad by trade, I started out at NZIFF in 2003 and after a two-year hiatus I’m back for more. Sundance, Berlinale, Venice and the other Festivals I’ve been to have nothing on us. Some of the titles below I have already seen and highly recommend (’71, Best of Enemies, Mommy). Some others I have missed somewhere else and hope to finally watch them here (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, James White, Mia madre, The Tribe). And then there are those new titles I want to see full stop. But the one thing I am REALLY looking forward to is going to The Civic for my very first time and experiencing The Kid with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra… oh boy, I can’t wait!!!!!

The 50 Year Argument

Martin Scorsese, David Tedeschi

Martin Scorsese and David Tedeschi’s doco celebrates 50 years of cultural and political debate in the pages of The New York Review of Books with octogenarian editor Robert Silvers, its tireless champion of intellectual freedom.

’71

Yann Demange

This nerve-racking wartime thriller from director Yann Demange and Black Watch writer Gregory Burke stars Jack O’Connell (Starred Up) as a lost British soldier hunted by both sides amid the mayhem of Belfast, 1971.

Best of Enemies

Robert Gordon, Morgan Neville

Anticipating the punch-counterpunch set-up of today’s TV punditry, but so much more incisive, the 1968 TV debates between liberal Gore Vidal and conservative William F. Buckley Jr resound again in this terrific documentary.

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.

James White

Josh Mond

Christopher Abbott and Cynthia Nixon are indelible as a Manhattan slacker careening out of control and his mother battling cancer in Josh Mond’s intensely immersive first feature.

The Kid

Live Cinema

Charlie Chaplin

The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra plus Charlie Chaplin equals glorious Live Cinema. Marc Taddei conducts Chaplin’s score for The Kid, arranged by Carl Davis, and Timothy Brock’s new score for the wildly funny The Immigrant.

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.

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.

My Golden Days

Trois souvenirs de ma jeunesse

Arnaud Desplechin

An engagingly eccentric and engrossingly literate coming-of-age film from French writer-director Arnaud Desplechin (My Sex Life), featuring Mathieu Amalric and a cast of brilliant young newcomers.

Rams

Hrútar

Grímur Hákonarson

Handsomely shot for the giant screen, this story of feuding brothers in a remote valley in Iceland begins as an oddball comedy about sheep farming and grows into a moving tale about a priceless rural heritage under threat.

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.

The Tribe

Plemya

Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy

This strange and original multi-award winner from Ukraine employs a deaf cast to enact its lacerating vision of teenage prostitution and gang war brutality in a Kiev boarding school.