NZIFF Booklet

Films by Language

French

Beirut

Brad Anderson

A taut, twisty hostage thriller with shades of Le Carré, Beirut brings Jon Hamm and his brand of suave, world-weary charisma to war-torn Lebanon. Co-starring Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl).

Climax

Gaspar Noé

Direct from Cannes, the latest sensation from French cinema’s premier provocateur Gaspar Noé (Enter the Void) is his best yet, an exhilarating 1990s techno dance musical that spins out into collective freak-out.

Cold War

Zimna wojna

Paweł Pawlikowski

Winner of the Cannes Best Director award, Paweł Pawlikowski (Ida) has crafted a brilliant, kaleidoscopic vision of 1950s Europe, bursting with music, dance and the turbulent love of two musicians caught between East and West.

Cold Water

L’eau froide

Olivier Assayas

This early triumph from French director Olivier Assayas (Clouds of Sils Maria, Personal Shopper) centres on two doomed teenage lovers swept away by the nervous musical energy of 1970s countercultural Paris.

Custody

Jusqu’à la garde

Xavier Legrand

“Deftly pivoting from tense realism to outright horror, Xavier Legrand’s broken-family chamber drama deservedly won the first-time feature director the Venice Film Festival’s Best Director award.” — Sight & Sound

Girl

Lukas Dhont

Belgian filmmaker Lukas Dhont won the award for best first feature at Cannes with this empathetic, emotionally rich portrait of a 15-year-old trans girl who aspires to become a ballerina.

The Image Book

Le livre d’image

Jean-Luc Godard

The latest essay film from Jean-Luc Godard, still going strong, is a dense yet intellectually dexterous vision board on cinema, image-making and the state of the world.

In the Realm of Perfection

L’Empire de la perfection

Julien Faraut

The archival footage in this strange and striking doco-biopic documenting tennis hothead John McEnroe’s record-breaking 1984 season has lost none of its power to rattle and rouse.

Island of the Hungry Ghosts

Gabrielle Brady

Christmas Island’s notorious immigration detention centre is the focal point of this impressionistic documentary, beautifully and innovatively framed around the island’s workers, wildlife and dark past.

Le Grand Bal

Laetitia Carton

Filmmaker Laetitia Carton draws us into the beating heart of the traditional dance festival that attracts dancers and musicians from across Europe every summer to Gennetines in central France.

Let the Corpses Tan

Laissez bronzer les cadavres

Hélène Cattet, Bruno Forzani

“Stylish swagger goes full-tilt boogie in Let the Corpses Tan, the latest delirious exercise in lovingly retro pastiche from (NZIFF guests) Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani.” — Neil Young, Hollywood Reporter

Milla

Valérie Massadian

This beautifully observed account of love, loss and renewal eschews drama to contemplate the everyday world of a young woman on the economic fringes, and tenderly extols her stoic capacity for love and happiness.

Orlando

Sally Potter

Tilda Swinton strides through four centuries of history, switching genders as she goes, in Sally Potter’s gorgeous, playful subversion of British Heritage cinema. With Billy Zane, and Quentin Crisp as Elizabeth I.

Shut Up and Play the Piano

Philipp Jedicke

Rapper, piano virtuoso, performance artist, gifted collaborator or evil, smirking genius, Jason Beck aka Chilly Gonzales crowd-surfs the academy and puts on a hell of a show in the year’s wildest, funniest music doco.

Speak Up

A voix haute

Stéphane de Freitas

The struggle and power in finding one’s own voice is celebrated in this inspirational doco as a diverse group of French students undergo intensive training for a prestigious public speaking competition.

The Swimming Pool

La piscine

Jacques Deray

Divine decadence in the south of France, this silkily sexy psychological thriller stars Romy Schneider, Alain Delon and Jane Birkin, France’s hottest young stars of the 1960s, and shimmers with cool jazz and mid-summer menace.

Transit

Christian Petzold

A melancholy thriller of love and limbo, the latest film from director Christian Petzold (Barbara, Phoenix) expertly blends historical fact with contemporary milieux in its tale of a German Jew who flees to Marseille.

Wings of Desire

Der Himmel über Berlin

Wim Wenders

Two angels watch over a divided Berlin in Wim Wenders’ visually astonishing city symphony from 1987 – restored 30 years later, under his direction, to look and sound better than ever in this glorious 4K presentation.

The World Is Yours

Le monde est à toi

Romain Gavras

Isabelle Adjani is the safe-cracking matriarch and Karim Leklou is her son who longs for a Mr Freeze franchise and a quiet life in this Cannes hit, a rollercoaster crime caper from writer-director Romain Gavras.

Yellow is Forbidden

Pietra Brettkelly

Kiwi director Pietra Brettkelly takes us into the opulent world of show-stopping Chinese designer Guo Pei as she prepares to make her Paris debut and seeks admission into the exclusive club of haute couture.