The Wellington Film Guide

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Cinemas of New Zealand

 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   J A N U A R Y  -
  W E D N E S D A Y   5   F E B R U A R Y   2 0 2 0  

t h e   f i l m s

n e w s   c l i p s

  • The Wellington Film Society has launched its 2020 programme, and will return to the Embassy on Monday 2 March with CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, a 3D classic from 1954. Brochures will be on the streets from the weekend, but you can check out the Schedule right here. There are 33 reasons to join, and the membership fee covers the cost of seeing all the films on the list. Plus discounts at the NZIFF. Anyone can join the Film Society at any time on line. So join now and have your card in time for the first film of the season.

  • Film Festivals to note:
  • NZ International Film Festival 2020. Embassy, etc. 31 July -16 August 2020. Mark your diaries now.

    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!

    MIDWAY - With Roland Emmerich in the director's chair, there was reason to worry as to what the final product would be. Emmerich, after all, is the man responsible for 1996's big-boom sci-fi blockbuster Independence Day and 1998's Godzilla, the really cheesy one. What's not expected is how serious-minded and well-acted the picture is. A great deal of the credit for that should go to screenwriter Wes Tooke, who has crafted a screenplay that sticks remarkably closely to the facts, at least, as such things go in movies of this type. Also Readings, Monterey, Coastlands and Shoreline.

    THE EXTRAORDINARY - The two shining stars of modern French social comedy Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache (Intouchables, Cest L'a Vie) waited a long time to make this, casually dropped in as the closing film of Cannes 2019, yet one of the very best in the festival. Opening a door into the world of teenagers and young adults who are profoundly autistic, it is clearly a personal film, made through the directors' real-life friendship with its subjects, two indefatigable suppliers of round-the-clock care for those the system has rejected. Also Lighthouse.

    FRIDA: VIVA LA VIDA - Giovanni Troilo's docu-film is a journey through the works, places and personal possessions associated with the revolutionary Mexican artist who has become a pop icon, Frida Kahlo. The film is a six-chapter itinerary in search of this pop icon, taking us to the heart of Kahlos Mexican homeland, by way of exclusive interviews, documents from the time, reconstructions and works by the artist herself, including her most famous self-portraits. Also Lighthouse.

    A HIDDEN LIFE - Terrence Malick tells the story of an Austrian conscientious objector who martyrs himself for his beliefs. Telling the story of Franz Jagerstatter, who chose prison over fighting for the Nazis, this tormented film follows the same dreamlike, whispery tone of Malick's post-Tree Of Life work, but that air of gentle contemplation is repeatedly undercut by the distant evil forces which are fast encroaching on these characters' lives.

    SEBERG - Kristen Stewart plays nouvelle vague icon Jean Seberg in this account of the FBI surveillance that truncated her Hollywood career, with Jack O'Connell as the investigator needled by conscience. The script doesn't always avoid canned sloganeering, and the pacing could be tighter. But as the gamine with the pixie cut immortalized on the poster for Godard's Breathless, the luminous Kristen Stewart keeps you glued throughout, giving a coolly compelling performance that becomes steadily more poignant as the subject unravels.

    THE GRUDGE - Writer-director Nicolas Pesce's new American version doesn't reinvent the formula of Japanese filmmaker Takashi Shimizu . Andrea Riseborough plays Detective Muldoon, a newly widowed cop investigating the violent history of a house in the small town she's recently moved to with her young son. As she discovers the house is cursed, Muldoon begins experiencing the effects of that curse herself. This is not a "fun" horror picture. It's about miseries both supernatural and mundane. Also Monterey, Reading Porirua and Coastlands.

    u p c o m i n g   f i l m s
    BIRDS OF PREY Feb 06 Readings
    LA BELLE EPOQUE Feb 06 Penthouse
    FOR SAMA Feb 06 Penthouse
    BEATS Feb 06 Lighthouse
    EMMA Feb 13 Readings
    SONIC THE HEDGEHOG Feb 13 Readings
    HELEN KELLY - TOGHETHER Feb 13 Lighthouse
    RICHARD JEWELL Feb 13 Penthouse


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