In a former life I’ve covered NZIFF as editor of The Lumière Reader, and as recently as last year, been a guest filmmaker with the documentary Out of the Mist. This year I’ve come full circle as Publications Coordinator, managing the print programme and contributing notes for a number of films – among them Happy Hour, which I consider an early frontrunner for best of the fest. Les Démons, Cameraperson and Under the Sun I also rate highly, as I do the entire Retro strand, gloriously awash with singular big screen Westerns. Beyond those films, plenty else to look forward to at the festival itself, and far too many to list here.
- 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
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.
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.
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.
V luchakh solnca
Shot with the permission and supervision of Pyongyang authorities, Under the Sun turns a North Korean propaganda exercise into a deep-cover documentary about life inside one of the world’s most repressive nations.
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.
Six gentlemen of leisure sail the Aegean in a gleaming yacht and compete to determine which of them is ‘The Best in General’ in this bone-dry take on contemporary manhood, directed by Athina Rachel Tsangari (Attenberg).
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.
Cannes winner Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) directs a tense, involving moral thriller centred on an overbearing father keen to get his daughter out of Romania and into a British university at any price.
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
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.
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.