NZIFF Booklet

Films by Must See

The Lumière Reader

Our writers have been covering the NZIFF for nearly ten years now, and our body of film criticism wouldn’t be nearly as interesting without it. While there’s always something for everyone at the festival, we return each year determined to be challenged by our viewing choices, to reconnect with old iconoclasts, and to discover ambitious new auteurs. The following picks – some of which we’ve already seen, others we’re simply excited about – anticipate, above all, the out of the ordinary.—Brannavan Gnanalingam www.lumiere.net.nz

Arabian Nights – Volume 1: The Restless One

As mil e uma noites – Volume 1, o inquieto

Miguel Gomes

In three parts, with multiple stories, Portuguese director Miguel Gomes’ epic Arabian Nights was easily the most original, ambitious – and most critically acclaimed – film at Cannes this year.

Arabian Nights – Volume 2: The Desolate One

As mil e uma noites – Volume 2, o desolado

Miguel Gomes

In three parts, with multiple stories, Portuguese director Miguel Gomes’ epic Arabian Nights was easily the most original, ambitious – and most critically acclaimed – film at Cannes this year.

Arabian Nights – Volume 3: The Enchanted One

As mil e uma noites – Volume 3, o encantado

Miguel Gomes

In three parts, with multiple stories, Portuguese director Miguel Gomes’ epic Arabian Nights was easily the most original, ambitious – and most critically acclaimed – film at Cannes this year.

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.

Balikbayan #1 Memories of Overdevelopment Redux III

Kidlat Tahimik

An exuberant return for veteran Filipino filmmaker Kidlat Tahimik, this mock historical epic-cum-freeform documentary tells the story of Enrique of Malacca, who was arguably the first person to circumnavigate the earth.

Cemetery of Splendour

Rak ti Khon Kaen

Apichatpong Weerasethakul

A hospital full of sleeping soldiers is haunted by matters both historical and intensely personal in the latest gentle and entrancingly beautiful cinematic enigma from the Thai Palme d’Or winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul.

The Forbidden Room

Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson

A demented mash up of lurid, long-lost movies that never existed, this new work from Canadian genius Guy Maddin plunges a starry art house cast into phantasmagorical scenarios of melodramatic weirdness.

Inherent Vice

Paul Thomas Anderson

“Paul Thomas Anderson has taken Thomas Pynchon’s novel about the death of the hippie counterculture and turned it, reasonably faithfully, into a surreally funny, anxious and beautiful film noir.” — The Telegraph

Jauja

Lisandro Alonso

Viggo Mortensen is a Danish engineer who adopts military garb to search for his fugitive daughter in in the wilderness of 19th-century Patagonia. Lisandro Alonso’s surreal drama is as enigmatic as it is compelling.

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.

Out of the Mist: An Alternate History of New Zealand Cinema

Tim Wong

Tim Wong’s elegantly assembled and illustrated film essay contemplates the prevailing image of our national cinema while privileging some of the images and image-makers displaced by the popular view of filmmaking in New Zealand.

Phoenix

Christian Petzold

The director and riveting star of Barbara reunite for another moving film noir-inflected tale of love and profound suspicion, this time set amidst the reconstruction of Berlin in the immediate aftermath of WWII.