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 2   S E P T E M B E R  -
  W E D N E S D A Y   1 8   S E P T E M B E R   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 16 September at the Embassy, AQUARIUS (Kleber Mendonca Filho, Brazil/France 2016).
    A performance of tremendous wit, vitality and lusty defiance by Sonia Braga drives Brazilian film-maker Kleber Mendonca Filho's remarkable second feature. A portrait of a 65-year-old woman refusing to be bullied out of her seafront apartment by developers, this is both a powerful celebration of its independent heroine and a scathing satire on institutional corruption. . . Soon she is the only tenant left in a ghost building, prey to the developers' covert harassment - from orgiastic parties in the apartment above to shit in the stairwells, bonfires in the car park and worse. Like her home, Clara is under siege from a new generation of entrepreneurial termites, lending an edge of horror to the drama, a tangible sense of creeping dread. - Mark Kermode, The Observer.
    Anyone can join the Film Society at any time on line.

  • Film Festivals to note:
  • Cinama Italiano Festival. Empire 6 - 14 November. The programme is available as a .pdf on the website, but doesn't appear to be printable as a booklet. Classic films include 8 1/2 and Fellini's Roma. Tickets available now on the Empire website.
  • If your festival is not listed here, please advise the Cinemaster

  • The Nga Taonga Sound and Vision cinema has closed. Archive employees have moved 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!

    ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE 2 - The tone and the plot take some time to settle, but once director Thurop van Orman hits his fully frenetic stride (and adults decide to surrender their senses and go along for the ride), the bird and pig unit become almost affable in their daftness. Also Penthouse, Empire, Roxy, Readings, Monterey, and Coastlands.

    DOWNTON ABBEY - Being reintroduced to the residents of Downton Abbey is like running into old neighbors who moved out years ago - their faces look familiar, and you remember their annoying habits, but their names can be elusive. The plot is brilliant, not so much because it is surprising, but because it allows every member of the cast to do what we expect of them. The thrill lies in seeing everyone again. At least for a couple of hours. Also Penthouse, Empire, Roxy, Lighthouse, Readings, Monterey, Coastlands and Shoreline.

    MYSTIFY: MICHAEL HUTCHENCE - Director Richard Lowenstein pulls together a relatively intimate portrait of the famed INXS rock icon, in a documentary that soars for the majority of its time before crashing into more sombre territory in its final 30 minutes. From the NZIFF. Also Empire and Coastlands.

    HIGH LIFE - It's always risky when an overseas master tries their hand in English language with Hollywood actors. Claire Denis surmounts the challenge with exemplary finesse, holding on to her intelligence and the skill with which she executes it, while playing to the flashier pleasures of big-budget American product. From the NZIFF.

    FOR MY FATHER"S KINGDOM - A loving portrait of a father told from the perspective of his four kids, having premiered in Berlin earlier this year, now returns home to audiences who know this experience intimately. In trying to understand her father, director Vea Mafile'o and Jeremiah Tauamiti capture a moving story about generational difference, resilience and unconditional love. From the NZIFF.

    GIRLS OF THE SUN - Eva Husson's feminist war movie: impassioned, suspenseful and angry, is a robust action-film which will sit ill with contemporary issues and events. Its unsophisticated enough to be sure where right and wrong are placed, and incidentally to have faith in the efficacy of warzone journalism.

    u p c o m i n g   f i l m s
    ABOMINABLE Sep 19 Readings
    AD ASTRA Sep 19 Readings
    GOOD BOYS Sep 19 Readings
    RAMBO: LAST BLOOD Sep 19 Readings
    FLORIANOPOLIS DREAM Sep 19 Lighthouse
    Sep 26 Readings
    Sep 26 Readings
    UGLYDOLLS Sep 26 Readings
    MAIDEN Sep 26 Penthouse
    THE GOLDFINCH Sep 26 Lighthouse
    BELLBIRD Nov 07 Penthouse


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    Classic and contemporary cinema from around the world, from NZ's only non-profit network of film exhibition