New films from Cannes that I’ve yet to see promise to deliver the cinematic highlights of the year, and the Visions section is packed with cinephile essentials. So this is a list of a dozen more films I recommend to any festival-goer interested in movies - and how they relate to the world beyond. Playing favourites amongst so many enlivening New Zealand documentaries is a dangerous game, but Kim Webby’s The Price of Peace explores national identity with rare power and emotional intelligence. The ending of this film feels like a homecoming for the entire nation.
- Darren Bevan
- David Larsen
- Films for Teens
- James Croot
- Meet the Filmmakers: Auckland
- Meet the Filmmakers: Wellington
- Patricia Watson
- Rebecca McMillan
- Staff Picks: Angela Murphy
- Staff Picks: Bill Gosden
- Staff Picks: Cianna Canning
- Staff Picks: Felicity Drace
- Staff Picks: Hayden Ellis
- Staff Picks: Jenna Udy
- Staff Picks: Kailey Carruthers
- Staff Picks: Kate McArthur
- Staff Picks: Lisa Bomash
- Staff Picks: Lynn Smart
- Staff Picks: Megan Duffy
- Staff Picks: Michael McDonnell
- Staff Picks: Olivia Young
- Staff Picks: Poppy Granger
- Staff Picks: Rachael Deller-Pincott
- Staff Picks: Sandra Reid
- Staff Picks: Sibilla Paparatti
- Staff Picks: Tom Ainge-Roy
- The Lumière Reader
- Tim Wong
- Wellington Film Society's Picks of NZIFF 2015
“The quasi-Kafkaesque administration holding Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe’s corrupt dictatorship in place finally gets the first-hand scrutiny it merits in Camilla Nielsson’s riveting documentary.” — Guy Lodge, Variety
An amazing gust of fresh air from the 70s! Starring Kristen Wiig, Alexander Skarsgård and the phenomenal Bel Powley as 15-year-old Minnie, who, brave, funny and ever true to herself, embarks on an affair with an older man.
El abrazo de la serpiente
A lone shaman inducts two European ethnographers into the mysteries of the Amazon in this breathtakingly photographed tale of exploration, vividly reimagined from the indigenous point of view.
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.
Live Cinema with Lawrence Arabia and Carnivorous Plant Society
Coney Island 1928 is brought to teeming life with the World Premiere performance of a new score by Lawrence Arabia and Carnivorous Plant Society.
“Five young sisters in a small coastal Turkish town come of age against a backdrop of sun, secrets, and socially-mandated sexual suppression in [this] heartfelt, beautifully performed debut feature.” — Jessica Kiang, The Playlist
Trois souvenirs de ma jeunesse
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.
Belye nochi pochtalona Alekseya Tryapitsyna
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.
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.
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.
New Zealand-born Margot Nash scrutinises the memories and mementoes of her childhood to understand the unhappiness of her parents, and the corrosive instability of the household from which she fled as a young woman in the early 70s.
Shot on iPhone and looking fantastic, Sean Baker’s R-rated comedy storms the streets, doughnut shops, brothels and clubs of West Hollywood as two transgender BFFs hunt down the ‘bitch’ who did them wrong.