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   6   M A Y  -
  W E D N E S D A Y   1 2   M A Y   2 0 2 1  

t h e   f i l m s

n e w s   c l i p s

  • The Covid alert is at Level 1. Scan yourself in every time with the Covid-19 Tracer app, and turn on Bluetooth tracing.

  • The Wellington Film Society, Embassy, Monday 10 May at 6.15pm, SYSTEM CRASHER (Nora Fingscheidt, Germany 2019).
    An intensive drama about a pre-pubescent girl who actually crashes Germany's child and welfare system whilst on her quest for love and security. When neon pink flashing images flood the screen, it's a sign that nine-year-old Benni has lost all control. She screams, swears, hits out and spits. Though she can be extremely violent, the traumatised girl is also lovable, understanding, vulnerable and very smart. Tossed from one foster home to the next, she dreams of nothing more than being reunited with her overstrained mother. Nora Fingscheidt has created a deeply moving portrait of the vulnerability of childhood, asking where Benni belongs, who can help her and how she can be supported. Through the commitment of an excellent cast and with its powerful narrative of a young girl who has lost her place in society, Fingscheidt challenges conventional attitudes towards innocence, systems of support and, ultimately, the role of the welfare state. - Juliane Grieb, London Film Festival 2019.
    Thanks to Goethe Institut. Members free, public by koha at the door. Anyone can join the Film Society at any time on line.

  • Film Festivals to note:
    The Resene Architecture and Design Film Festival 2021, 20 May-6 June. Lighthouse Cuba and Embassy. Brochures available from the venues, or download a .pdf from the link.
    The NZ International Film Festival 2021, 4-21 November. Embassy, Penthouse, Roxy, Lighthouse Cuba and Petone, and Readings Porirua. Check the link for more details and the rationale for this year's delayed dates.
    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.

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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!

    JAMES AND ISEY - A portrait of two immensely loveable people and the bond they share. Florian Habicht is an idiosyncratic director, with a wonderful eye for a frame and a face, but maybe an even better sense of when to just stand back and let a story tell itself. A good documentary maker never needs to interrogate a story too hard, otherwise the shape - the truth - of the subject will be lost. He has found another tiny and unlikely story to tell. And, as ever, he has found a whole world within it. Also Empire, Roxy, Lighthouse, Monterey, Reading Porirua, Coastlands and Shoreline.

    JUNE AGAIN - Written and directed by JJ Winlove this is a 99 minute heartfelt dramedy. A twist of fate gives no-nonsense matriarch June (Noni Hazlehurst) a reprieve from an ongoing illness and the chance to bring her estranged children, Ginny and Devon (Claudia Karvan and Stephen Curry), together, save their ailing wallpaper family business and search for an old flame. She re-enters the lives of her children and learns that things have not gone according to plan. Be warned, you may well be brought to tears unexpectedly. Also Lighthouse and Monterey.

    LOCKED DOWN - This surprisingly lighthearted COVID movie stars Anne Hathaway and Chiwetel Ejiofor as an estranged couple who plot a jewel heist during lockdown. Writer/Director Steven Knight's script uses the pandemic as more of a setting than a subject. COVID-19 serves as a fitting backdrop for an amiable romp about the freedoms we take for granted, and the confines that dictated our lives long before we were forced to spend them at home. Also Monterey.

    LIGITANTE - "Not everything is within our control." This phrase, spoken at the midway point of Franco Lolli's film, which opened Cannes Critics' Week, resonates through the whole story. Beyond the frame, it also captures the emotional essence of the stoic helplessness many people feel when faced with a family member's terminal illness. Lolli, like his protagonist, has a lot going on, but you never doubt either's ability to emerge intact. Advance screenings this weekend. All Lighthouse.

    MOON ROCK FOR MONDAY - There is a consistently fascinating tier of filmmaking at work in Australia: small features financed independently of the government funding bodies that boast an undeniably commercial streak, often working in genres that our bigger budgeted films seem to assiduously avoid. This film announces an exciting new cinematic voice in writer/director Kurt Martin, who blends the coming-of-age and criminals-on-the-run genres with a real sense of style and assurance.

    u p c o m i n g   f i l m s
    May 13 Readings
    THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD May 13 Readings
    LITIGANTE May 13 Lighthouse
    FINDING YOU May 13 Penthouse
    THE ARTIST'S WIFE May 20 Penthouse
    A QUIET PLACE: PART 2 May 27 Readings
    CRUELLA May 27 Readings
    BLACK WIDOW Jul 08 Readings
    THE KING'S MAN Aug 20 Lighthouse
    NO TIME TO DIE Oct 08 Readings


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