The Wellington Film Guide

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 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 8   M A Y  -
  W E D N E S D A Y   2 4   M A Y   2 0 1 7  

t h e   f i l m s

n e w s   c l i p s

  • The Wellington Film Society, Paramount, Monday 22 May, 6.15pm: THRONE OF BLOOD (Akira Kurosawa, Japan, 1957).
    The tensest and most charged of Shakespeare films, Throne of Blood, is also the foggiest. For a while, at the start of this 1957 adaptation of Macbeth, by Akira Kurosawa, you wonder whether, and how, the action will ever break free of the mist. The sense of release, once the film does snap awake, is unforgettable: riders racing through glades, heralds yelling news of desperate conflicts. None of the play's dialogue survives; or, rather, it is distilled into a stream of images both foul and fair. The divided warrior is Washizu (Toshiro Mifune), who is tempted to seek his destiny by a single, thread-spinning spectre (rather than by the usual trio of witches) and urged along by his formidable spouse (Isuzu Yamada), who is herself no more than a glimmering ghost as she emerges from the gloom with a drug to dope the guards. No stage production could match Kurosawa's Birnam Wood, and, in his final framing of the hero - a human hedgehog, stuck with arrows - he conjures a tragedy not laden with grandeur but pierced, like a dream, by the absurd. - Anthony Lane, New Yorker.
    Anyone can join in the 30 minutes before the screening. Or join anytime on line.

  • Nga Taonga Sound and Vision. Screening in the Main Cinema until 27 May: Politics on Film, the issues, antics,intrigue, ads and personalities that have spiced politics over the decades feature in our election year festival of political documentaries, films and archival footage. Check out Nga Taonga's calendar of screenings and events for details.

  • Film Festivals to note:
  • NZIFF Autumn Events Embassy, 3 -21 May.
    These are not on the Embassy's screening schedule. This final week:
    Saturday 20 May, 3.00pm CAMILLE, George Cukor 1936.
    Sunday 21 May, 1.15pm WOODSTOCK: THREE DAYS OF PEACE AND MUSIC (Director's Cut), Michael Wadleigh 1970.
  • NZ International Film Festival 2017. Embassy, Paramount, etc. 28 July-13 August. Keep these dates free.
  • 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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    s t a r t s   t h i s   w e e k!

    Architecture and Design Film Festival 2017 - Runs till Sunday 4 June. No individual reviews. Festival-film titles are preceded by the label 'Radff'. Hover your mouse over the screening time to find how many seats are available for the session you are interested in.

    KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD - Guy Ritchie's superfluous King Arthur reboot stars Charlie Hunnam as the man who would be king, brought up to 21st century code with a lotta side crunches and wisecracking pals he calls his crew. Raised an orphan with no memory of his royal lineage, his Arthur fairly quickly pulls the sword Excalibur from the stone, but it takes a lot longer for him to agree to challenge the evil king Vortigern, who's played by Jude Law in delicious eyeliner, layered extra-thick for whenever he's playing extra-evil. Also Empire, Readings, Monterey and Coastlands.

    PECKING ORDER - A thoroughly entertaining and well-crafted look into the world of competitive poultry showcases in New Zealand. Director Slavko Martinov trains his cameras upon several members of the Christchurch Poultry, Bantam and Pigeon Club. It is to Martinov's credit that he presents the proceedings with a good, balanced eye, but also allows enough breathing room for the eventual hilarity that can - and must - ensue in any movie devoted to obsessive chicken lovers. Also Lighthouse and Monterey.

    SNATCHED - Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn play a daughter and mother on a disastrous South American vacation in Jonathan Levine's comedy. Schumer and Hawn know what funny looks and sounds like, and they lend their dialogue and gags - no matter how tepid - enough snap and personality to distract you, at least some of the time, from the utter laziness of the material. To put it bluntly: They're worth watching even in junk like this. Also Readings, Montery and Coastlands.

    DOC EDGE FESTIVAL 2017 - Runs till Sunday 21 May. Click on the graphic on the Roxy "Times" link to book. Normal schedule resumes on Monday.

    JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 - Keanu Reeves is back as the savage but sensitive hitman in this wildly enjoyable and ridiculous action flick. What a stupendously entertaining ride it is. Director and former stuntman Chad Stahelski is back in the director's chair, and he knows his craft inside out: every punch lands hard, every gunshot roars like thunder. Neon-lit and gloomy, the film is lovely to look at - think Nicolas Winding Refn without the pretension. Also Monterey, Reading Porirua and Coastlands.

    u p c o m i n g   f i l m s
    May 25 Readings
    THE HIPPOPOTAMUS May 25 Penthouse
    NORMAN May 25 Penthouse
    THE PASSION OF AUGUSTINE May 25 Lighthouse
    MY PET DINOSAUR May 25 Readings
    WONDER WOMAN Jun 01 Readings
    BAYWATCH Jun 01 Readings
    McLAREN Jun 01 Penthouse
    THE MUMMY Jun 08 Readings
    ROSALIE BLUM Jun 08 Lighthouse
    ROUGH NIGHT Jun 15 Readings
    CHURCHILL Jun 15 Penthouse
    THE OLIVE TREE Jun 15 Lighthouse


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