NZIFF Booklet

Films by Must See

Flicks.co.nz

Somehow, I’ve managed to rank a dozen films out of the many I’m looking forward to seeing at this year’s NZIFF. In all honesty, there could be twice as many films on this list, and the order would likely change were I to take another stab at in five minutes’ time. That’s not true of the top five picks, though. Ecstatic about the late inclusion of Midsommar, it rockets to top spot – I do love a cult pic. Ari Aster’s follow-up to Hereditary pips another eagerly awaited second feature, The Day Shall Come, directed by my all-time bleak, challenging and prescient comedy fave, Chris Morris (Four Lions). Elsewhere on this list there’s plenty to challenge, entertain, inform, and dare I say, educate. I also note quite a bit of toxic masculinity under the spotlight among these films, which I will take over another film festival staple, onscreen dog deaths, any day. — Steve Newall

Midsommar

Ari Aster

Ari Aster’s buzzworthy follow-up to the terrifying Hereditary centres on an American couple whose festive encounter with Swedish pagan cultists slowly but surely descends into madness. Late confirmation.

The Day Shall Come

Chris Morris

Anna Kendrick plays a dysfunctional FBI agent tricking an idealistic preacher into plotting terror in The Day Shall Come, Chris Morris’ ballsy, very funny follow-up to festival hit Four Lions.

High Life

Claire Denis

A forbidding spaceship carrying death row inmates hurtles towards oblivion in Claire Denis’s long-awaited, intensely hypnotic sci-fi opus.

Deerskin

Le daim

Quentin Dupieux

Georges, 44 years old, and his jacket, 100% deerskin, have grand plans in director Quentin Dupieux’s latest cinematic oddity, destined for cult status.

In Fabric

Peter Strickland

A cross between Suspiria and an old Farmers catalogue, the latest from retro genre stylist Peter Strickland, centring on a demonic dress at a posh department store, gleefully satirises fashion and consumerism.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Portrait de la jeune fille en feu

Céline Sciamma

Winner of Best Screenplay and the Queer Palm at Cannes, Céline Sciamma’s striking 18th-century tale of romantic obsession burns bright with female desire and the craft of a masterful filmmaker.

Capital in the 21st Century

Justin Pemberton

A sweeping – and sobering – account of the way that concentrated wealth has both shaped our past and is creating a deeply unequal future. Based on economist Thomas Piketty’s bestselling book.

Loro

Paolo Sorrentino

Toni Servillo as Silvio Berlusconi plays the role of his life in Paolo Sorrentino’s satirical account of the former prime minister of Italy, famous for his fortunes and scandals as well as his ad personam policies.

Long Day’s Journey into Night

Di qiu zui hou de ye wan

Bi Gan

Part film noir, part dreamscape, this oneiric love mystery – acclaimed for its hour-long 3D sequence shot in a mesmerising unbroken take – intoxicatingly captures romantic obsession in southern China.

The Art of Self-Defense

Riley Stearns

One of the most buzzed titles from this year’s SXSW fest, this jet-black deadpan comedy deploys a killer ensemble of Jesse Eisenberg, Alessandro Nivola and Imogen Poots to deadly effect.

Apollo 11

Todd Douglas Miller

An essential big screen experience, this spectacular documentary utilises a treasure trove of painstakingly restored footage to show us the Apollo 11 moon landing as it has never been seen before.

Mystify: Michael Hutchence

Richard Lowenstein

Richard Lowenstein, who directed Michael Hutchence in Dogs in Space, combines rare archive footage and intimate insights from the people who were close to the INXS rock icon, in this major documentary.