NZIFF Booklet

Films by Section

World

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.

99 Homes

Ramin Bahrani

Andrew Garfield makes a deal with the devil in Ramin Bahrani’s searing moral thriller – a bitter examination of One Percent corruption, personified by Michael Shannon’s duplicitous real estate shark. Co-stars Laura Dern.

Animation Now 2015

This year’s big-screen celebration of the latest and best animated shorts is a dazzler, including Don Hertzfeldt’s World of Tomorrow, winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Short Film at Sundance.

Black Souls

Anime nere

Francesco Munzi

Three brothers with markedly different approaches to their family’s drug-trade dynasty are drawn back to their Calabrian origins in this darkly elegant gangster drama. “Souls is set to be this year’s mafia pic.” — Variety

The Brand New Testament

Le Tout nouveau testament

Jaco van Dormael

There’s the Old Testament, the New Testament and now this surreal and funny Brand New one in which God’s ten-year-old daughter leaves home on a mission to liberate humanity from the bored old man’s destructive whims.

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.

Clouds of Sils Maria

Olivier Assayas

Actresses Juliet Binoche, Kristen Stewart and Chloë Grace Moretz bring ample personal history to this engrossing drama of theatre-world affinities and rivalries from the director of Summer Hours and Irma Vep.

The Club

El club

Pablo Larraín

A group of exiled priests find their clandestine existence rudely interrupted in this stunning and dark allegory of the abuses of the Catholic Church from Chilean writer-director Pablo Larraín.

Court

Chaitanya Tamhane

This provocative legal drama from Mumbai puts a singer on trial for inciting suicide. “A startlingly clear-eyed and multifaceted vision of a society that remains damagingly mired in outmoded traditions.” — Slant

The Duke of Burgundy

Peter Strickland

Sidse Babett Knudsen from Borgen and Chiara D’Anna star as lovers locked in a game of mistress and servant in this consummately coutured, surreal fantasy inspired by European soft-core of the 70s.

Experimenter

Michael Almereyda

Led by an arresting, coolly clinical performance from Peter Sarsgaard, this potent examination of one of the most controversial figures in social psychology is as indelibly stylised as it is intellectually stimulating.

Far from Men

Loin des hommes

David Oelhoffen

This gripping existential Western – North African style – sees Viggo Mortensen and Reda Kateb play two men battling to survive in 50s Algeria. Based on a story by Albert Camus and scored by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.

The Fool

Durak

Yury Bykov

Writer-director-editor-composer Yury Bykov’s electrically paced, flawlessly performed suspense drama is both a brutal metaphor for the corruption of post-Soviet Russia and a furiously entertaining thriller.

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.

Grandma

Paul Weitz

Lily Tomlin is perfectly cast as a sharp-tongued, taboo-breaking granny who comes out fighting for her pregnant teenage granddaughter in this constantly surprising comedy-drama from About a Boy director Paul Weitz.

Holding the Man

Neil Armfield

The memoir of a gay love affair that began at school when the author fell for the captain of the football team and ended in tragedy 15 years later is already a classic of Australian literature, and now an inspiring, heartbreaking film.

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

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.

Kiss Me Kate 3D

George Sidney

Cole Porter’s irreverent take on The Taming of the Shrew is one of the most pleasurable (and fabulously danced) MGM musicals of the 50s – and the only one produced in 3D. With Ann Miller, Howard Keel and Bob Fosse.

Latin Lover

Cristina Comencini

The five daughters of a womanising Italian movie star gather to officially commemorate his greatness – and privately sift through the family trash – in this fizzy ensemble comedy, which wittily references Italy’s movie past.

The Measure of a Man

La Loi du marché

Stéphane Brizé

In a compelling performance that won him the Best Actor Award at Cannes, Vincent Lindon plays a laid-off factory worker battling to fend for his family and retain compassion and integrity at the bottom of the heap.

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.

The Misfits

John Huston

In her final completed film, playing a dramatic role created by her husband Arthur Miller, Marilyn Monroe is touching, and radiant as ever, as a showgirl whose intensely sympathetic nature upends the lives of three cowboy drifters.

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.

Our Little Sister

Umimachi Diary

Kore-eda Hirokazu

Three sisters in their 20s get to know their teenage half-sister in this charming family drama, beautifully accentuated with flavours and sensations of its unmistakably Japanese setting. From the director of I Wish.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Saint Laurent

Bertrand Bonello

The latest French biopic of the iconic fashion designer is a heady experience, stunningly realised without official YSL approval, and concentrating on the decade that culminated with a triumphant collection in 1976.

The Second Mother

Que horas ela volta?

Anna Muylaert

Brazilian actresses Regina Casé and Camila Márdila shared a Special Jury Prize at Sundance for their performances as a good-hearted housemaid at odds with her progressive teenage daughter in this keenly observed family drama.

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.

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.

Umrika

Prashant Nair

Suraj Sharma, the star of Life of Pi, makes a moving Indian indie debut in this bittersweet 80s-set drama about a young man from a mountain village who sets off to find the older brother who’s filled his head with dreams of America.

While We’re Young

Noah Baumbach

Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts are a middle-aged couple seduced by the attention of super-hip young Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried in this pointed and funny New York comedy about acting your age.