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

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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 in many situations.

  • The Wellington Film Society is set to reopen on Monday 18 October at 6.15pm. The Embassy has advised that they can accommodate approximately 250 people - this will be on a first come, first served basis. To maintain control of numbers and distancing WFS will not be admitting late arrivals. All attendees must either scan the Covid QR code or fill in the manual registration form at the Embassy's sign-in desk. It has not been finalised what film will be screening. If the missed film Z can be sent in time from Westport it will be screened, otherwise the scheduled Zombie Child, which can more easily be rescheduled next year, will screen. Details will be advised later in the week. Anyone can join the Film Society at any time on line.

  • Film Festivals to note:
    The Japanese Film Festival 2021, October 15-17 Roxy. Free - but seats need to be booked.
    The NZ International Film Festival 2021, 4-21 November. Embassy, Penthouse, City Gallery, Roxy, Lighthouse Cuba and Petone, and Readings Porirua. The schedule is now available on their website. Printed brochures should be available next week.
    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!

    PERSIAN LESSONS - A war of attrition plays out between a Belgian Jew and a Nazi in this clever and darkly amusing ride to hell and back from Ukrainian born director Vadim Perelman. Set in occupied France in 1942 and based on a short story by Wolfgang Kohlhaase, a young Belgian prisoner of war is forced to change his nationality and invent an entire language on the pretence of being Persian, in order to escape the clutches of an ego-driven commandant who saves him from the firing squad. Elegantly framed and lit by DoP Vladislav Opelyants, the only flaw is the irritating score that incessantly needles away when silence would occasionally be preferable. But even that can't detract from this really gripping and intelligent wartime thriller. Also Lighthouse Petone and Shoreline.

    LAMB - This intimate, four-character film has its own quiet rhythms, compatible with yet distinct from any perceived A24 house style. It's a hybrid of unnerving, dread-based horror and genuine domestic drama..Thanks in part to terrific work from Noomi Rapace, always an ace at combining toughness and vulnerability, but not always well-served by her movies. Here, she gives her reawakened maternal instincts a subtle layer of guilt. That's where some real-life horror seeps into this magical-realist drama. Also Lighthouse Cuba and Sholeline.

    u p c o m i n g   f i l m s
    THE LAST DUEL Oct 21 Readings
    JULIA Oct 14 Lighthouse
    RON'S GONE WRONG Oct 21 Readings
    HALLOWEEN KILLS Oct 21 Readings
    JUNIPER Oct 28 Penthouse
    LAST NIGHT IN SOHO Nov 04 Readings
    ETERNALS Nov 04 Readings
    SKIES OF LEBANON Nov 04 Lighthouse
    OFF THE RAILS Nov 04 Penthouse
    DUNE Dec 02 Readings
    Jan 06 Lighthouse


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