The Wellington Film Guide

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Radio NZ Widescreen
Cinemas of New Zealand

 T H I S   W E E K   I N   W E L L I N G T O N

T H U R S D A Y   1 7   J A N U A R Y  -
  W E D N E S D A Y   2 3   J A N U A R Y   2 0 1 9  

t h e   f i l m s

n e w s   c l i p s

  • The Reading Cinema complex has closed following receipt of a draft engineering report. A summary of events can be found in this RNZ report here.

  • The Wellington Film Society's 2019 season will commence at the Embassy at 6.15pm Monday 4 March. The schedule will be officially released on 28 January. Look out for films by Aki Kaurismaki, Screwball Comedy, some Cult and Classic films, among others. The film society runs on a membership basis because of the 'rights' to screen it obtains from the film distributors. A twelve month subscription covers 33 films, less than $4.00 per movie. Anyone can join the Film Society at any time on line.

  • The Nga Taonga Sound and Vision cinema has closed. Archive employees are moving to office space within the National Library building on Molesworth Street and are actively looking at alternative screening venues to bring their work to Wellington audiences.

  • Film Festivals to note:
  • French Film Festival - 2019. 12 - 27 March. Penthouse and Lighthouse Petone. Details still to come.
  • NZ International Film Festival - 2019. 26 July - 11 August.
  • If your festival is not listed here, please advise the Cinemaster

    This site relies on the various cinemas having their own websites up to date to access their screening times. The paragraphs describing the films starting this week are in most cases adapted from the linked reviews.

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    For comments and movie news, contact the Cinemaster at

    s t a r t s   t h i s   w e e k!

    GLASS - After surprising old fans in Split, M. Night Shyamalan completes his long-brewing superhero trilogy in a new film starring Sarah Paulson, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis and James McAvoy. Here the writer-director aims to complete an opus much more ambitious than his breakthrough ghost story The Sixth Sense - still his only film that nearly everyone agrees works. As a trilogy-closer, it's a mixed bag, tying earlier narrative strands together pleasingly while working too hard to convince viewers Shyamalan has something uniquely brainy to offer in the overpopulated arena of comics-inspired stories. Also Empire, Roxy, Monterey,Reading Porirua and Coastlands.

    MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS - Despite its ruff collars and Elizabethan English, this is no staid, stuffy period drama, as restrained as the breathing of corseted women. Instead, this a vital film, whose lace-trimmed bosom heaves with life. Theater director's Josie Rourke's film debut about the rivalry between Mary Stuart (Saoirse Ronan) and Queen Elizabeth I (Margot Robbie) is unlikely to win over your picky high school history teacher's heart, but it does bring a sense of immediacy to the lives of these monarchs who died centuries ago. Also Penthouse, Empire, Lighthouse, Reading Porirua, Coastlands and Shoreline.

    THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING - Using major studio money, writer/director Joe Cornish's sophomore effort joins the recent Paddington movies in blending socially conscious messages within terrifically sharp and entertaining family entertainment, creating a unique moment in British film that hopefully doesn't end here. Certainly, the despairing sensation of insignificance that 12-year-old Alex feels, is heightened against the backdrop of a world facing imminent collapse. So, it's not a surprise that when he pulls the legendary sword, Excalibur, out of some stone behind a building site, not only is he skeptical, he's not quite sure he wants the job of saving the world. Also Empire, Roxy, Monterey and Reading Porirua.

    MAKING THE GRADE - This documentary acquaints us with a whole spectrum of Irish piano students, those studying for their first grade exams all the way to the 8th. Old and young are peppered randomly throughout; some have natural ability and others are a little plonkier, but they're all dedicated. Whether it's a little girl discovering power and confidence in her music, or a woman finding solace and self-care in hers, it's moving just to see others moved by music of their own creation. And of their teachers? This is a loving tribute.

    u p c o m i n g   f i l m s
    DRAGON BALL SUPER: BROLY Jan 24 Readings
    THE MULE Jan 24 Penthouse
    GREEN BOOK Jan 24 Lighthouse
    BEN IS BACK Jan 31 Penthouse
    WELCOME TO MARWEN Jan 31 Penthouse
    THE HATE U GIVE Jan 31 Penthouse
    CAPERANAUM Feb 07 Lighthouse
    ON THE BASIS OF SEX Feb 07 Penthouse


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    Classic and contemporary cinema from around the world, from NZ's only non-profit network of film exhibition