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   3 0   N O V E M B E R  -
  W E D N E S D A Y   0 6   D E C E M B E R   2 0 2 3  

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  • The Wellington Film Society, Embassy, 6.15pm Monday 4 December:
  • THE AFRICAN QUEEN John Huston | UK/USA | 1951. (Final for year)
    Star vehicles have been a part of the Hollywood assembly line practically since its inception, but few have utilized (and literalized) the concept to such beloved effect as this. Really, what is the idea behind John Huston's 1951 adventure-romance other than putting Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn on a riverboat in Africa and see what happens? His filmmaking eye seems much more enamored with the jungles of Uganda and Belgian Congo, whose verdant foliage and golden yellows were captured with rich Technicolor by cinematographer Jack Cardiff. Their textured tones look ripe enough to pluck off the screen in the film's painstaking new restoration, but attention must also be paid to the darker hues, which gain a striking, inky blackness in the new print. - Matthew Connolly, Slant Magazine, 2011.
  • Members only. Anyone can join the Film Society at any time on line, and pick up the membership card at the screening.

  • Film Festivals to note:
  • If you have a festival due to run in Wellington and it's not listed here, contact 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.

    For comments and movie news, contact the Cinemaster at

    s t a r t s   t h i s   w e e k!

    GODZILLA MINUS ONE - With an emotionally engaging storyline and plenty of city-stomping, heat-ray-breathing action, the first live-action Godzilla from Japan since Shin Godzilla marks a high point in the long-running series. Also Queensgate.

    THE OLD OAK - Ken Loach's fierce final call for compassion and solidarity. A northern pub landlord confronts locals' hostility towards Syrian refugees in Loach's latest - and possibly last - piece of politically trenchant cinema. If it is his final film, he has concluded with a ringing statement of faith in compassion for the oppressed. Also Lighthouse and Shoreline.

    ONE LIFE - Nicholas Winton - dubbed "the British Schindler" - perhaps won't be known to many, especially outside of the UK, but this film does a salutary job of shining a spotlight on him. Following The Father and Armageddon Time, Anthony Hopkins plays another blinder: he's first-rate as the older Winton. But he's just one (pivotal) piece of a jigsaw that could well renew your faith in humanity. From the British and Irish Film Festival. Also Lighthouse and Coastlands.

    JACK MIMOUN AND THE SECRETS OF VAL VERDE - This is a rollicking adventure tale with characters we can believe in and a plot that zings: a little bit naughty, filled with unexpected snares and courage, and, above all, incredibly funny. From the French Film Festival. All Lighthouse.

    JOURNEY TO BETHLEHEM - If you feel the need to watch a faith film, you could do far, far worse than this one, a decently staged musical treatment of the nativity that feels like a Christian version of a live action Disney movie. As in Disney, however, it's the villain who is really memorable. Antonio Banderas can't decide between stealing his scenes and chewing the scenery, so opts for both as evil King Herod, here costumed to evoke the devil in South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut. Also Monterey and Coastlands.

    u p c o m i n g   f i l m s
    NEXT GOAL WINS Dec 03 Readings
    THE BOYS AND THE HERON Dec 07 Lighthouse
    DICKS: THE MUSICAL Dec 07 Lighthouse
    WONKA Dec 14 Readings
    WISH Dec 26 Readings
    MIGRATION Dec 26 Readings
    TWO TICKETS TO GREECE Dec 26 Penthouse
    ONE LIFE Dec 26 Lighthouse


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