Screened as part of NZIFF 2023

King Loser 2023

Directed by Cushla Dillon, Andrew Moore Aotearoa

King Loser’s fractious farewell tour sets the stage for not just the career-spanning documentary the legendary 90s band deserve, but also a poignant and powerful meditation on the toll the rock and roll dream takes.

Jul 28

Hollywood Avondale

Jul 30

Academy Cinemas

Jul 31

Academy Cinemas

90 minutes Colour / DCP


Derek Gehring


Andrew Moore
Amber de Boer
Stuart Page
Sarah Palmer


Cushla Dillon


King Loser


Chris Heazlewood
Celia Mancini
Lance Strickland
Sean O’Reilly
Duane Zarakov

“We had a bit of an us against the world vibe… but also us against us, too.” King Loser’s first of fifteen drummers summarizes their stunningly explosive (and implosive) qualities midway through this unflinching yet affectionate portrait of the legendary 90s band. Driven by the “C&C Music Factory”— Chris Heazlewood and Celia Mancini—King Loser blended surf, lounge, psych and noise into a singular, swampy sound. A cyclone of chutzpah, cigarettes and impeccable fashion sense, the larger-than-life Mancini epitomised a notorious band that collapsed too soon but left a mark on all who encountered them—either at their transcendent best or catastrophic worst.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of King Loser is its universality. Rich archive poignantly contrasts the youthful rock and roll dream with the middle-age reality of the struggling musician, while present-day interviews acknowledge the cumulative challenges of addiction, physical and mental health issues, poverty and homelessness.

There may be plenty of details to satisfy scenesters (Triangle TV! Snapper!), but newcomers won’t need to know a note for King Loser—and King Loser—to leave its mark. — Doug Dillaman

SPECIAL EVENT: Gig with Cash Guitar featuring Chris Heazlewood and special guests will follow the screening on Friday 28 July at Hollywood Avondale. Limited film + gig tickets available.