My list begins with eight I have seen – including one of my all-time favourite movies. The eight films that follow - seven of them from Cannes - are the ones I’m most excited about getting to see at NZIFF. Finally, Lost and Beautiful and All These Sleepless Nights have been among the year’s most particular, strange and unexpected cinematic pleasures. Both blur the lines between fiction and documentary. Both are about memory. I was mesmerised as I watched them and have not been able to shake them since.
- 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
Quand on a 17 ans
An attentive mother (Sandrine Kiberlain) intervenes unwittingly in her son’s passionate feud with another boy in this intimate, engrossing and original coming-of-age drama set in the spectacular Pyrenees.
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.
The fears that trouble a ten-year-old boy in 80s Montreal are evoked with humour, sensitivity and singular power in this amazing autobiographical portrait of childish innocence and vulnerability.
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.
The most erotically charged film of the year offers a wild, sensual look at life behind the scenes on a backcountry Brazilian rodeo circuit where the reality of human desire sidesteps gender stereotypes every time.
NZIFF 2016 opens with the World Premiere screenings of the Kiwi feel-good movie of the year: Tearepa Kahi’s richly researched celebration of Dalvanius Prime and the many rivers that flowed into the making of ‘Poi E’.
Cynthia Nixon, Jennifer Ehle and Keith Carradine star in Terence Davies’ lively, witty and ultimately intensely moving dramatisation of the sheltered life of 19th-century New England poet Emily Dickinson.
In Alison Maclean’s vibrant screen adaptation of Eleanor Catton’s debut novel, a first-year acting student (James Rolleston) channels the real-life experience of his girlfriend’s family into art and sets off a moral minefield.
Umi yori mo mada fukaku
A formerly successful novelist tries to reconnect with his ex-wife and young son in this affectionate, shrewdly observed drama of family life from Japan’s unassuming master, Kore-eda Hirokazu (Our Little Sister).
Brazilian actress Sonia Braga has the role of her life in this engrossing and richly surprising portrait of a fiercely intelligent and independent woman fighting to save the apartment she loves from demolition.
Laura Dern, Michelle Williams and Kristen Stewart are beautifully attuned to Meek’s Cutoff director Kelly Reichardt’s intimately observed, interwoven tales of three independent women in contemporary small town Montana.
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.
Not your conventional biopic, this enthralling dramatic exploration of the legacy of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda conjures up a fiction in which he is pursued into political exile by an incompetent detective played by Gael García Bernal.
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.
This blackly comic drama from the director of The Death of Mr Lazerescu draws us into the complex dynamics of an extended Bucharest family gathered to memorialise their late beloved patriarch.
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.
Party on. Millennial searchers drink, drug, dance and love night after long summer night in this seductive blurring of documentary and fiction shot in the outdoor bars, dance clubs and house parties of Warsaw.
Bella e perduta
“Layering together the past, the present, and the timeless world of nature, Pietro Marcello fuses styles to explore Italy’s bucolic traditions and fragile but enduring cultural legacies.” — Nicolas Rapold, Film Comment