Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival: 12 must-see movies

New Zealand’s annual World Film Festival is back.

While current Covid restrictions mean Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival has lost its biggest audience, Auckland and Hamilton could still succumb, it is still set to take place in 11 cities across the country over the next five weeks.

The reduced capacities and the resulting lower income potential mean that it is even more important for Kiwi moviegoers to get along and support what is one of the strongest programs of recent years. As usual, it offers something for everyone, from devastating dramas to original comedies and documentaries on a wide range of subjects.

Things to watch had the opportunity to see a number of titles and put together this list of a dozen widely released screenings that we think are worth checking out.

Mass, Titanium, and Shiva Baby are among the fantasy films that were widely screened at this year's New Zealand International Film Festival.

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Mass, Titanium, and Shiva Baby are among the fantasy films that were widely screened at this year’s New Zealand International Film Festival.

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Vicky Kreips and Tim Roth team up for Bergman Island.

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Vicky Kreips and Tim Roth team up for Bergman Island.

Bergman Island

Those who enjoyed the modernization of HBO Scenes from a wedding Definitely should take a look at Mia Hansen-Love’s drama about a director couple making a pilgrimage to Ingmar Bergman’s house on the Baltic island in search of inspiration.

Tim Roth and Vicky Krieps’ relationship comes under increasing pressure, as their time in Faro both highlights their differences and provides them with opportunities for separate adventures. Will also appeal to those who have appreciated the work of Richard Linklater Before trilogy.

Laura de Seidi Haarla embarks on a sometimes nightmarish train journey of self-discovery in compartment 6.

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Laura de Seidi Haarla embarks on a sometimes nightmarish train journey of self-discovery in compartment 6.

Compartment n ° 6

Another Linklater inspired tale, but with a very different tone. A hit at Cannes this year, this Finnish and Russian tale, based on a 2011 novel by Rosa Liksom, follows Finnish archeology student Laura (Seidi Haarla) on a train trip from Moscow to Murmansk.

Seeking solitude, she finds herself increasingly uncomfortable with the confrontational behavior of her mysterious cabin mate Ljoha (Yuriy Borisov). What follows is a tense and fascinating journey that offers plenty of narrative twists.

Shane MacGowan talks about his life and career in Crock of Gold.

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Shane MacGowan talks about his life and career in Crock of Gold.

Crock of Gold: a few tricks with Shane MacGowan

If you’ve never paired the former Pogues frontman with anything but New York fairy tale and his distinctive teeth, then you’ve only scratched the surface of the rather incredible life of your sixties.

Director Julien Temple, whose previous topics included The Sex Pistols, Glastonbury, and Joe Strummer from The Clash, mostly allows MacGowan to recount his adventures in his own words, giving him a vivid life through pub conversations with his friends and his family and an eclectic array of thematically appropriate animation styles.

Leah Purcell is the Drover's wife.

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Leah Purcell is the Drover’s wife.

Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson

Police rescue and Wentworth Star Leah Purcell wrote, directed and starred in this new take on Henry Lawson’s 1892 short story. She plays a heavily pregnant mother of four who finds herself in a predicament when an escaped convict (RFDS‘Rob Collins) arrives at his property as her husband is away to move their cattle.

Following in the footsteps of The Nightingale and Sweet country, this makes great use of the Australian countryside as a backdrop for some searing tension.

Flee has previously won the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary on World Cinema.

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Flee has previously won the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary on World Cinema.

To flee

Like the 2008 Golden Globe Waltz with Bachir, Jonas Poher Rasmussen here uses animation to bring a poignant story to life. In this case, it’s the story of Amin and his family who tried to flee Afghanistan for a new life.

It’s a story full of twists and turns, dangerous situations and potentially devastating setbacks, as well as the formidable use of two Scandinavian mega-hits: A-ha’s Take on me and Roxette stroll.

Maren Eggert is joined by robotic Dan Stevens for I'm Your Man.

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Maren Eggert is joined by robotic Dan Stevens for I’m Your Man.

I am your man

Germany’s entry into next year’s Oscars, Marina Schrader’s sci-fi romantic comedy features two terrific performances.

There are Downton abbey Dan Stevens delivering near flawless German and Maren Eggert fully deserving his Silver Bear (from this year’s Berlin Film Festival) for his role as a scientist road-testing a new range of humanoid cyborgs. Keep an eye on that of Toni Erdmann Sandra Huller in a key role.

Mark Duplass and Natalie Morales meet cute via Zoom in Language Lessons.

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Mark Duplass and Natalie Morales meet cute via Zoom in Language Lessons.

Language course

The best example of pandemic era filmmaking I’ve seen so far. Natalie Morales directs, co-writes, and stars in this charming story about the Zoom-ed relationship between her Costa Rica-based Spanish teacher and Oakland resident student Mark Duplass.

By learning as much about each other as he learns conversational Spanish, the result is a kind of platonic Before sunrise for the 2020s.

In Mass, Jason Isaacs and Martha Plimpton play a couple forced to face a difficult truth.

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In Mass, Jason Isaacs and Martha Plimpton play a couple forced to face a difficult truth.

Mass

The movie that stood out to me the most at this year’s Sundance Film Festival in January. After some light and intelligent misdirection, this four-handed game settles into a gripping drama in one place, as two groups of parents attempt to resolve – and possibly even absolve – the hurt that has separated them. .

Ann Dowd (who is already aptly touted for an Oscar nomination), Martha Plimpton, Jason Isaacs and Reed Birney let you guess the outcome of their “talks” until the final footage.

One Second is Zhang Yimou's love letter to the power of cinema.

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One Second is Zhang Yimou’s love letter to the power of cinema.

A second

Veteran Chinese director Zhang Yimou’s latest drama is not only a love letter to the power of cinema, it also looks like his most personal film since 2005 Ride alone for thousands of kilometers.

Set during the Cultural Revolution, it’s the beautifully told story of a man desperate to see a particular news item, whose plans are jeopardized when a young girl tries to steal it. A tale with a lot of burlesque, action and lots of poignant moments.

Shiva Baby presents a breakout performance by Rachel Sennott.

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Shiva Baby presents a breakout performance by Rachel Sennott.

Baby Shiva

Destined to be the one of this year Death at funeral Where Toni Erdmann, it is the edgy and dazzling comedy that all those who brave it will speak endlessly.

Starring a stunning performance by Rachel Sennott, screenwriter and director Emma Seligman’s debut feature tells the story of an inept young woman who sees her worlds collide when she meets her sugar daddy and her ex. girlfriend as she attends a funeral service with her devout Jewish parents. .

David by Benjamin Voisin and Alex by Félix Lefebvre are enjoying the summer of 1985.

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David by Benjamin Voisin and Alex by Félix Lefebvre are enjoying the summer of 1985.

Summer 85

The favorite of the François Ozon festival (Pool, 8 women) the last film is a French adaptation of Aidan Chambers’ novel (1982) set in Southend Dance on my grave.

The action here is in Le Treport, as the young Alex (Félix Lefebvre) becomes more and more in love with the mercurial David (Benjamin Voisin). Air’s JB Dunckel provides the evocative soundtrack, alongside classic tracks from Rod Stewart and The Cure.

Titanium is full of visceral sensations and images that are not easy to forget.

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Titanium is full of visceral sensations and images that are not easy to forget.

Titanium

This year’s Palme d’Or winner is certainly not for the faint hearted. A kind of cross between that of David Cronenberg crash and Scarlett Johansson starring Under the skin, Julia Ducournau’s French “horror” is filled with feelings and visceral images that are not easy to forget.

Basically, it is the story of Alexia (Agathe Rousselle), troubled, who finds an unlikely new home when she is taken in by an aging fire chief (Vincent Lindon), who is convinced that the newly cropped young woman is in fact his long lost son. .

Currently scheduled for Wellington on Thursday, November 4, Whānau Mārama: the New Zealand International Film Festival also includes visits to Christchurch, Dunedin, Gore, Hamilton, Hawke’s Bay, Masterton, Nelson, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Tauranga and Timaru. between that date and December 5. For more information, locations, reservations and session times, see nziff.co.nz


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Gerald R. Schneider

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