NZIFF Booklet

Films by Must See

Staff Picks: Tim Wong

A dozen screenings I’ll be making a beeline for at this year’s NZIFF, among many others. For films I’ve already seen and endorse, check out those I’ve written about for this year’s programme. Also highly recommended: Genesis (for the full experience, seek out Philippe Lesage’s NZIFF16 gem Les Démons first), anything by Agnès Varda, and everything in the retro section. — Tim Wong, Publications Manager

Bacurau

Kleber Mendonça Filho, Juliano Dornelles

Fierce politics and top-notch furious filmmaking collide to potent effect in this Cannes-lauded portrait of a near-future fight for survival in the remote reaches of northern Brazil.

Beanpole

Dylda

Kantemir Balagov

Talented Russian filmmaker Kantemir Balagov won Best Director at Cannes (Un Certain Regard) for this hugely impressive account of post-war Leningrad, and the friendship of two women at its devastated centre.

Fire Will Come

O que arde

Oliver Laxe

Oliver Laxe’s slow-burn Cannes gem combines arresting landscapes with the smouldering inner life of a reticent ex-con whose return to his mother’s home in the Galician countryside sparks tension.

Hale County This Morning, This Evening

RaMell Ross

This artful and poetic study of ordinary black lives from acclaimed photographer-turned-filmmaker RaMell Ross competed for Best Documentary Feature at this year’s Academy Awards.

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.

The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão

A vida invisível de Eurídice Gusmão

Karim Aïnouz

A saga of sisterhood for the ages, Madame Sata director Karim Aïnouz’s sensual ‘tropical melodrama’ won top prize at this year’s Cannes Un Certain Regard section.

Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound

Midge Costin

An ear-opening and revelatory history lesson on the unsung power of sound in cinema, Making Waves interposes fascinating interviews with dissected scenes to educate and exhilarate even the seasoned cinephile.

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.

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.

The Whistlers

La Gomera

Corneliu Porumboiu

Breathing new life into the Romanian New Wave, Corneliu Porumboiu crafts a rollicking genre movie set in sun-soaked Spain, where the best laid plans of a bent cop hinge on learning a secret local whistling dialect.

The Wild Goose Lake

Nan fang che zhan de ju hui

Diao Yinan

Gangland subterfuge tumbles into a dazzling nocturnal manhunt in Chinese director Diao Yinan’s film noir par excellence – a modern genre classic in the making.

Varda by Agnès

Agnès Varda

The late, great French filmmaking icon’s swansong is a magical self-reflection on art, movies, invention and Varda’s own lust for life inside and outside of the cinematic frame.