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   2 2   A U G U S T  -
  W E D N E S D A Y   2 8   A U G U S T   2 0 1 9  

t h e   f i l m s

n e w s   c l i p s

  • The Wellington Film Society, 6.15pm Monday 26 August at the Embassy, THE VIRGIN SUICIDES (Sophia Coppola, USA 1999).
    This extremely assured directorial debut from Sofia Coppola finds an unexpected perspective on what should by rights be difficult subject matter - teenage suicide. Adapting Jeffrey Eugenides' best-seller, Francis Coppola's daughter tells the story of the Lisbon sisters - five delicious blondes who set teenage hormones raging in Grosse Point, Michigan, some 20-odd years ago. On her second suicide attempt, Cecilia impales herself on the railings outside the house. In the ensuing months, the remaining (older) sisters cast a troubling shadow over the neighbourhood, especially for the boys at school. Kept on a tight leash by their religious parents, the girls come to represent the intangible mysteries and sorrows of all women. As a rule of thumb, one should approach any movie constructed around a metaphor with caution. Nevertheless, Coppola casts quite a spell. The tone of wistful regret and longing doesn't preclude a good deal of gentle humour. It's a restrained, subtly suggestive piece which disintegrates if you try to get a fix on it. - Tom Charity, Time Out.
    Anyone can join the Film Society at any time on line.

  • Film Festivals to note:
  • 11th German Film Festival - 2019. Lighthouse Cuba 4-8 September. Free. Limit of 2 tickets per customer.
  • If your festival is not listed here, please advise the Cinemaster

  • 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 looking at alternative screening venues to bring their work to Wellington audiences.

    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!

    OVERCOMER - It's been four years since Christian filmmakers Alex and Stephen Kendrick shocked Hollywood with a film - War Room - that climbed to No. 1 in the nation on its second weekend. This newest film tells the story of a high school basketball coach, John Harrison, who questions his worth and life's purpose until he crosses path with a blind Christian man who is comfortable in his own skin. Also Monterey and Coastlands.

    WEATHERING WITH YOU - Following the international success of 2016's Your Name, director Makoto Shinkai conjures another tale of impossible young love, stretched across multiple dimensions. The director's bold visual signature remains, as do pop outfit Radwimps on the soundtrack, but this new film lacks the kinetic bombast that made Shinkai's earlier works so special. Also Roxy.

    BLINDED BY THE LIGHT - In Gurinder Chadha's best movie since Bend It Like Beckham, a Pakistani British teenager gets jolted alive by the music of Bruce Springsteen. Based on a memoir by Sarfraz Manzoor, it's the sort of unguarded drama they used to make in the '80s - a coming-of-age tale of unabashed earnestness - but it's also a delirious and romantic rock 'n' roll parable. Also Roxy, Lighthouse, Readings, Monterey, Coastlands and Shoreline.

    2040 - This is an achievement, managing to create an affirming and positive documentary about climate change that does not shy away from the challenges. Opening with an astonishing digitally enhanced tour of Damon Gameau's home. That personal presence informs the film, that's when his daughter Velvet is due to be 25, and this film is addressed to her. Not apostrophically, directly - it's slightly jarring to be called darling by a film, never mind half a dozen times, but it's part of the charm. Direct from the NZIFF. Also Lighthouse.

    ANGEL HAS FALLEN - Gerard Butler continues to burnish his brand of square-jawed, derivative heroism in this third instalment in the pedestrian trilogy of actioners about a grizzled Secret Service agent who won't let anyone lay a hand on the American president. But as usual with this series, the storytelling and character arcs tend toward the ludicrous, doling out cliches and macho posturing with an untroubled air. Also Readings and Monterey.

    BILLY AND THE KIDS - An insightful look inside the boxing academies run by champion Kiwi boxer Billy Graham, through the eyes of the kids whose lives they have changed. Direct from sold out sessions at the NZIFF.

    u p c o m i n g   f i l m s
    FOR MY FATHERS KINGDOM Aug 29 Readings
    APOLLO 11 Aug 29 Roxy
    THE KITCHEN Aug 29 Readings
    MIA AND THE WHITE LION Aug 29 Readings
    DAN CARTER: A PERFECT 10 Aug 29 Lighthouse
    IT: CHAPTER TWO Sep 05 Readings
    AMAZING GRACE Sep 05 Penthouse
    THE FAREWELL Sep 05 Penthouse
    MAIDEN Sep 26 Penthouse
    BELLBIRD Nov 07 Penthouse


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