The team behind Letterboxd — the New Zealand-made global social network for film lovers — have compiled the top 25 films screening at NZIFF according to their community of mostly amateur film critics. If you’re attending the Festival, you’re encouraged to start a Letterboxd account and let others know what you think of each film you see. http://letterboxd.com
- Dominic Corry
- Dunedin Film Society: Raphael Richter-Gravier
- Staff Picks: Andrew Harrison
- Staff Picks: Ant Timpson
- Staff Picks: Bill Gosden
- Staff Picks: Caroline Palmer
- Staff Picks: Cianna Canning
- Staff Picks: Collette Wright
- Staff Picks: Felicity Drace
- Staff Picks: Hedda ten Holder
- Staff Picks: Jo Scott
- Staff Picks: Kailey Carruthers
- Staff Picks: Kate McGee
- Staff Picks: Lynn Smart
- Staff Picks: Melanie Rae
- Staff Picks: Michael McDonnell
- Staff Picks: Nic Marshall
- Staff Picks: Nick Paris
- Staff Picks: Rebecca McMillan
- Staff Picks: Rosie Jones
- Staff Picks: Sandra Reid
- Staff Picks: Tim Wong
- Wellington Film Society
Voted in Sight & Sound’s 2012 poll the third greatest film of all time (and topping the list among directors), Ozu Yasujiro’s sublime family drama is as relevant today as it has ever been, in a sparkling new restoration.
A stunning digital restoration of Robert Altman’s classic, lyrical reinvention of the American Western, made in 1971. Warren Beatty stars as a gambler going into business with Cockney madam Julie Christie. Songs by Leonard Cohen.
Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra Live Cinema at NZIFF brings back the most thrill laden classic of silent comedy. Marc Taddei conducts Carl Davis’ original scores for Harold Lloyd’s Safety Last! and his rarely seen short film An Eastern Westerner.
Nicholas Ray’s legendary 1954 Western put Joan Crawford in trousers with seething rival Mercedes McCambridge inciting mob violence. Riper, and more weirdly affecting than ever in this brilliant 4K Trucolor restoration.
Frequently imitated (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and never surpassed, King Hu’s spectacular pre-CGI masterpiece of wuxia cinema has been radiantly restored. “The visual style will set your eyes on fire.” — Time Out
Hailed at Cannes as a brilliantly original comic masterpiece, Austrian writer/director Maren Ade’s epic of parent-child dysfunction centres on a father assailing his uptight corporate daughter with crazy pranks.
Thanks to an astonishingly crisp restoration, Orson Welles’ 1965 Shakespearean masterpiece lives anew. Welles gives a mammoth performance as the Bard’s tragic fool Falstaff, along with John Gielgud as Henry IV and Keith Baxter as Hal.
Punk rockers and skinheads clash in this intense, darkly humorous game of cat-and-mouse, from the director of bracing indie thriller Blue Ruin.
An amazingly up-close and personal view inside the New York mayoral campaign that became a media frenzy when the charismatic candidate with the excruciatingly appropriate name couldn’t keep himself from sexting.
Richard Linklater follows Boyhood by recalling his own first days at college in this hilarious, deeply relaxed comedy about male bonding, set in the bars, discos, parties and frat houses of 1980 Austin.
Successive generations of immigrant Americans mix it up in veteran documentarian Frederick Wiseman’s celebration of a community fighting gentrification in New York’s most ethnically and culturally diverse neighbourhood.
Blending animation with live action, oral history and archival footage, Keith Maitland’s SXSW winner is a suspenseful doco that recreates the terrible day of America’s first mass shooting on a campus.
This politically charged, spine-chilling debut from Iranian Babak Anvari is a tense and atmospheric thriller set in a haunted Tehran apartment during the terrifying final days of the Iran-Iraq War.
This incredibly moving and fascinating doco takes us into the interior life of autistic Owen Suskind, and explores how his love of Disney animated features gave him the tools as a child to communicate with the world.
Cinematographer Kirsten Johnson assembles excerpts and offcuts from her remarkable career (to date) to evoke an assortment of uneasily resolved questions about ethics and compassion in documentary film.
Directed by a longtime friend, this documentary tribute to the life and work of war correspondent James Foley ensures that he will be well remembered for much more than his grisly public death at the hands of ISIS.
In this tense, moving war drama, based on fact, a Danish sergeant takes charge of a group of youthful German POWs put to work defusing explosives on the coast of Denmark in the immediate aftermath of World War II.
Combining superstar bio and social history, this entertaining doco follows drag queen Panti Bliss as she rises from ‘giant cartoon woman’ to fearless activist in the hard-fought campaign for same-sex marriage in Ireland.
Direct from Cannes, Jim Jarmusch’s beautifully calibrated ode to art and ordinariness stars Adam Driver as a New Jersey bus driver who writes poetry in his downtime and Golshifteh Farahani as his cupcake chef wife.
Based on Welsh novelist Sarah Waters’ Fingersmith, this outrageous and lusciously erotic thriller from the director of Oldboy transposes a Victorian tale of sex, duplicity and madness to 1930s Japanese-occupied Korea.
An epic, richly understated contemporary drama of friendship and relationships told through the lives of four Japanese women. Winner of acting and screenwriting awards at the Locarno Film Festival 2015.
A stunning restoration of this classic tale of backstage passions from Weimar-era Berlin is accompanied by a new chamber orchestra score composed by Johannes Contag, commissioned by NZIFF and the Goethe-Institut.
La pazza gioia
“This high-energy romp is a superb showcase for its two lead actresses as they impetuously extend a group outing from the residential clinic into a two-character outlaw adventure.” — Lisa Nesselson, Screendaily
An enchanted cinematic essay by legendary performance artist Laurie Anderson. A self-narrated punk meditation on love and death; exquisitely crafted and effortlessly profound.
Genre subversive Paul Verhoeven, director of Basic Instinct and Black Book, teams up with the great Isabelle Huppert to craft this provocative, blackly comic thriller.