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   1 8   A P R I L  -
  W E D N E S D A Y   2 4   A P R I L   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 takes a break on Easter Monday but returns, Embassy at 6.15pm Monday 29 April with: DAISIES (Vera Chytilova, Czechoslavakia 1966).
    A brightly colored surrealist comedy starring a couple of chicks in search of kicks. Spawned by the Prague Spring, the best friends undertake a quest to find a life different from their previously regimented patriarchal society. Picking up men to fleece for fancy dinners, escaping sexual obligations by hopping trains, chatting up a man on the phone while roasting and cutting sausages in their room, the two are transgressive adventurers and inveterate consumers. They must be seen to be believed: frenzied, obsessive, undaunted until a Boschian ending plunges them into the consequences of their actions. Chytilova made a visionary masterpiece that has always been ahead of its time: feminist for the seventies, punk performance for the eighties, postapocalyptic vision for the nineties, it deserves absolute celebration for its empowering invention of female buddies on the move. - B. Ruby Rich, BAMPFA.
    Anyone can join the Film Society at any time on line.

  • Film Festivals to note:
  • Resene Archecture and Design Film Festival - 2019. Embassy 23 May - 9 June.
  • NZ International Film Festival - 2019. 26 July - 11 August.
  • If your festival is not listed here, please advise the Cinemaster

  • The Nga Taonga Sound and Vision cinema has closed. Archive employees are now located in 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!

    THE AFTERMATH - Paring Rhidian Brook's 2013 bestseller down to a straightforward love triangle between Keira Knightley and Jason Clarke's troubled English married couple and the dreamy German widower (Alexander Skarsgard) whose house they've requisitioned in postwar Hamburg, James Kent's film settles efficiently but less enthrallingly into rainy-afternoon soap territory. Advance screenings over Easter. Also Coastlands.

    RED JOAN - A good old-fashioned British spy thriller in the scientific mold of Enigma, with a bewitching female heroine (or anti-heroine, if you will) played by the excellent actresses Judi Dench and (as her younger self) Sophie Cookson, this revisits the incredible real-life spy case of Melita Norwood. It is directed with a strong sense for character by Trevor Nunn. After its Toronto premiere, this well-rounded piece has the cards in hand to find a happy niche with audiences. Also Lighthouse.

    THUNDER ROAD - Jim Cummings, who also wrote and directed this film, exposes the character he's playing like an X-ray. He rips the band-aid off a certain kind of contempo middle-class heartland despair, and the result is an altogether uncanny small drama.

    WHERE HANDS TOUCH - A tale of trauma and survival, this is grim, compelling stuff, but the tireless humanism of the two leading characters makes it undeniably moving, aided by the careful and empathetic guidance of British writer-director Amma Asante. It's an overwhelming and damning portrait of a nation in the grip of hatred, violence and death, but what makes it unforgettable is the strength of one girl who clings to the power of decency and love in the face of depravity and doom. Also Shoreline.

    MISSING LINK - Watching this feels less like watching the typical Pixar, DreamWorks or Blue Sky film than reading a pop-up picture book to a child at bedtime, examining a series of moving dioramas, or going to a kid-friendly gallery where you're allowed to touch the art. It's pretty low-stakes compared to the kinds of movies that end with the fate of the world (or the universe) hanging by a thread, but that's a feature, not a bug, and there are worse things than sending viewers home with smiles on their faces. Also Roxy, Monterey and Reading Porirua.

    THE CURSE OF THE WEEPING WOMAN - The loosely tied latest entry into The Conjuring universe suffers from an anemic script with too little scares and an underappreciation for who would likely be its core audience. Screenwriters Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis approach horror as if only newcomers to the genre will watch the movie. It's frustratingly simple, the dialogue over-explains everything and while there are a few solid moments of suspense, there's too much dead air in-between. Also Coastlands.

    u p c o m i n g   f i l m s
    AVENGERS: ENDGAME Apr 25 Readings
    BREAKING HABITS Apr 25 Penthouse
    THE CHAPERONE May 02 Readings
    LONG SHOT May 02 Readings
    LAST SUIT May 02 Penthouse
    THE AFTERMATH May 02 Lighthouse
    May 02 Penthouse
    THE HUSTLE May 09 Readings
    POMS May 09 Penthouse
    ALL IS TRUE May 09 Lighthouse


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