What's hot at NZ Film Festival?
Every year, around this time, movie-lovers find themselves slightly overwhelmed by some serious decisions needing to be made.
The New Zealand International Film Festival is only a few sleeps away from Thursday's opening night and, like years before, the programme is jam-packed with some of the best new, and not so new, movies around.
This year's line-up in particular has been heavily influenced by the Cannes Film Festival, with big winner Amour among the movies on offer this year. Other Cannes award winners on Auckland's screens include The Angels' Share (Jury Prize), The Hunt (Best Actor), Our Children (Best Actress), In The Fog (Critic's Prize) and Reality (Grand Prix).
Of course, there are some other gems to be found within the programme's pages:
From Up On Poppy Hill
All that really needs to be said about this one is that it's the latest offering from the superb Studio Ghibli. Telling the story of schoolgirl Umi and her dashing friend Shun, this is not just a film for children.
Saturday July 21 - 4:00pm at Bridgeway Cinema
Sunday July 29 - 1:00pm at The Civic
Tuesday July 31 - 10:15am at The Civic
Best spy movie
From a director who usually sticks to documentaries (Man on Wire, Project Nim), this nerve-wracking spy-tale carries on the revival of the British thriller. Clive Owen stars in this battle between the IRA and British intelligence.
Monday July 30 - 4:00pm at Event Cinemas Queen Street
Friday August 03 - 2:00pm at SkyCity Theatre
Saturday August 04 - 8:45pm at SkyCity Theatre
Three words: Matthew McConaughey, murderer. Playing against type, McConaughey stars as a Texan cop who sidelines as a killer-for-hire. Termed a "trailer-trash melodrama", Killer Joe is all about a bad plan going terribly wrong.
Friday July 20 - 4:30pm at SkyCity Theatre
Saturday July 28 - 9:00pm at SkyCity Theatre
Wednesday August 01 - 4:00pm at SkyCity Theatre
Best big winner
Like many of the films at this year's festival, Amour appeared at Cannes. Unlike the others though, this French offering won the Best Film award for 2012. This is love, death and how they impact on each other in a way never seen before.
Saturday July 28 - 6:45pm at The Civic Theatre
Monday July 30 - 6:00pm at The Bridgeway Cinemas
Wednesday August 01 - 11:15am at The Civic Theatre
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
It seems the cinematic world has been overrun with Marilyn movies recently, but this is the lady herself in all her coquettish charm. Restored to its full glory, this 1953 classic features some of Monroe's most iconic moments, including the seductive, and very true, Diamond's Are a Girl's Best Friend.
Tuesday July 24 - 12:00pm at The Civic Theatre
Tuesday July 24 - 6:30pm at The Civic Theatre
Wes Anderson films always have a lot of famous faces in them; that's just how he rolls. But Moonrise Kingdom is jam packed, even by his standards. We've got Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Edward Norton, Harvey Keitel, Bruce Willis, Jason Schwartzman and Tilda Swinton, all playing along with Anderson's stylised look at first love and the boy scouts.
Friday July 20 - 7:00pm at The Civic Theatre
Wednesday July 25 - 4:30pm at The Civic Theatre
It might be a silent film, but Alfred Hitchcock's Blackmail will have an added layer of sound this film fest thanks to the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. The film itself has been completely restored and the Civic's audience will be amongst the first in the world to see it in all its spectacle.
Sunday August 05 - 6:15pm at The Civic Theatre
West Of Memphis
If there has been one film with all the talk behind it this year, then it has to be West of Memphis. Produced by Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, the documentary looks at the (possibly incorrect) 1994 conviction of three Arkansas teenagers for the murder of three eight-year-old boys. One of the film's subjects will also attend the Auckland screening.
Thursday August 02 - 6:30pm at the Civic Theatre
Shut Up And Play The Hits
This is a historic film for music lovers. A sneaky combo of documentary and concert, this is all about the very last LCD Soundsystem show held at Madison Square Garden. Watch as 18,000 fans celebrate, and mourn, one of the most energetic and fun bands of recent times.
Saturday July 28 - 9:30pm at The Civic Theatre
Tuesday July 31 - 4:30pm at The Civic Theatre
On The Road
Jack Kerouac's book is the stuff of legends. This film should (almost) do it justice. Overlook the fact Twilights' Kirsten Stewart is starring, and instead focus on the brilliant Sam Riley (Control) and Garret Hedlund (Tron: Legacy) as they bring the ultimate road trip movie to life.
Thursday July 26 - 9:00pm at The Civic Theatre
Monday July 30 - 3:15pm at The Civic Theatre
Wednesday August 01 - 6:00pm at The Bridgeway Cinemas
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