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

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  • The Covid alert level in Wellington is at Level 2. Cinemas can open as long as everyone can safely stay 1 metre apart. Scanning in with the Covid-19 Tracer app is now mandatory (or sign in if you haven't got the app), and turn on Bluetooth tracing. Mask wearing is also mandatory. The country moves to the "Traffic Light" system next week. Be prepared by having your "My Vaccine Pass" ready to enter cinemas.

  • The Wellington Film Society, Embassy, Monday 29 November at 6.15pm: SWEET COUNTRY (Warwick Thornton, Australia 2017).
    It's 1929 on the vast, desert-like Eastern Arrernte Nation lands that are now known as the Central Australian outback. Sam Kelly (Hamilton Morris), a middle-aged Aboriginal man, works the land of a kind preacher, Fred Smith (Sam Neill). After an ill-tempered bully arrives in town and Kelly kills him in self-defense, he and his wife, Lizzie, go on the run as a posse gathers to hunt him down. With a sensitively written screenplay by Aboriginal writers Steven McGregor and David Tranter, Thornton expands on the themes of his extraordinary feature debut, Samson & Delilah, and draws on the conventions of the American Western to explore the genesis of contemporary Australian racism and the generational neglect of Aboriginal people. Serving as both cinematographer and director, Thornton creates an indelible visual language that penetrates the complex relationship between indigenous culture and white-power-obsessed colonialism. - Sundance Film Festival 2018.
    Anyone can join the Film Society at any time on line.

  • 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.

    If you are looking for a new web host, by using Host Bee, linking from their graphic at the foot of this page, the small commission we receive will help offset the cost of running this website.

    For comments and movie news, contact the Cinemaster at

    s t a r t s   t h i s   w e e k!

    VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE - The sequel to 2018's Venom is a lean, mean, character-driven superhero story about a brain-eating extraterrestrial symbiote trying to preserve its individuality in the middle of a rocky domestic partnership with a struggling reporter. This is a bold and brisk superhero story, unlike any other mainstream Hollywood film in the genre. It crams a heck of a lot of movie into an hour and a half, but it doesn't feel like it needed to be longer. It just feels like we need more movies like it. Also Empire, Roxy, Readings, Monterey and Coastlands.

    HITLER VS PICASSO AND THE OTHERS - The Nazis' massive theft of art from wealthy and middle class Jewish families is examined in this taut documentary by director Claudio Poli. Amid the greed, tales of cultural espionage, and suspenseful investigations into the network which enables art to flow from approved and 'degenerate' exhibits into the hands of leading scoundrels, there's always a return to the families of victims, and Germany's lingering challenge to fully address the theft of art & culture. Also Lighthouse.

    PETITE MAMAN - Celine Sciamma's beautiful fairytale reverie is occasioned by the dual mysteries of memory and the future: simple, elegant and very moving. It is a ghost story, or a parable, played with realist calm. The girls, Nelly and Marion - a ghost of her mother as a child), talk about the future and the past as casually as they would talk about anything else. Making these two characters vulnerable and delicate children is an artistic masterstroke on Sciamma's part. What a superb movie - a jewel of this year's Berlin film festival. Also Lighthouse and Shoreline.

    TITANE - There's no denying that Julia Ducournau's work is of a demented visionary in full command of her wild mind; a shimmering aria of fire and metal that introduces itself as the psychopathic lovechild of David Cronenberg's Crash and Shinya Tsukamoto's Tetsuo: The Iron Man before shapeshifting into a modern fable about how badly people just need someone to take care of them and vice-versa. And, lest it need to be said, this is a movie that needs to be seen on a big screen with even bigger sound and a screaming crowd surrounding you on all sides. Direct from the NZIFF. Also Lighthouse Cuba.

    u p c o m i n g   f i l m s
    ECANTO Dec 02 Readings
    DUNE Dec 02 Readings
    PRINCESS Dec 02 Penthouse
    THE FRENCH DISPATCH Dec 09 Lighthouse
    SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME Dec 16 Readings
    WEST SIDE STORY [2021] Dec 26 Readings
    SING 2 Dec 26 Readings
    DEICIOUS Dec 26 Lighthouse
    SKIES OF LEBANON Mar 03 Lighthouse


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