This category contains 360 posts

Californication: Palo Alto

Based upon the story collection of the same name by James Franco, the directorial début of Gia Coppola is worthwhile for its score by Devonté Hynes (Blood Orange), and for its formal departures from thematically similar yet necessarily influential films. Continue reading

Boyhood, Doubles, & Maps to the Stars: The New Zealand International Film Festivals 2014

This year’s stupendous roster of twenty titles from the world’s most illustrious spectacle of the cinematic arts is the jewel in the crown of a programme bursting with tantalising offerings from home and abroad. Continue reading

Shadow Dancer

The new film from James Marsh, whom most cinemagoers know as a documentary-maker, is a tightly packed and wonderfully shot espionage-thriller set in Belfast and London in the early 1990s. Continue reading

Entre les murs: Monsieur Lazhar

Set in Montréal, this story about children mourning the loss of their teacher has a remarkable tenderness and acuity to it, viewing the travails of her substitute through their eyes—and as a parallel for their own grief. Continue reading

Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel

Diana Vreeland was larger than life. She wouldn’t have approved of this small-time documentary, which shines only in fits and starts, never quite lighting up the screen the way Vreeland apparently lit up every room she entered. Continue reading

How To Meet Girls From A Distance

Dean Hewison and Richard Falkner’s impressively produced and tightly scripted film—the funniest Kiwi movie since Boy—deserves to be seen by as many people as possible. The micro-budget Wellington-set wonder premièred at the NZIFF and is opening small, on just 14 screens around the country. Continue reading

Show Me Shorts 2012

Now in its seventh year, the festival showcases a variety of short films from New Zealand and around the world. It also includes seminars from visiting filmmakers, and a Short Film Lab in partnership with Script-to-Screen. Continue reading

True Hollywood Story: Argo

Ben Affleck’s new film, which dramatises part of the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, aims to be a send-up of Hollywood as well as an action-packed tale of true espionage; unfortunately, it takes liberties with the facts, and is bogged down by a commitment to period style. Continue reading

Beasts, Kingdoms, Holy Motors: The New Zealand International Film Festivals 2012

The 2012 festival lineup is spectacular, with yet another record-breaking number of films direct from Cannes, and the world premières of more than half a dozen locally-made features. Continue reading

The Man Who Fell To Earth: Brian Eno, 1971–1977

Though this seven-year stretch was a fruitful period, too much of this unofficial portrait is spent in redundant, repetitive conversation with collaborators—but even hard-core fans will enjoy its linking of Eno’s avant-garde and (contemporary) classical influences. Continue reading


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