* Stealing the limelight this week is Wes Anderson's latest, MOONRISE KINGDOM, which played in July to a full house at the Civic and opens for regular release. You've probably heard of it, so watch Bill Murray giving a tour of the set.
* Bobcat Goldthwait's GOD BLESS AMERICA was that secret screening at Academy Cinemas last week. It's back this Sunday at 7:30 for another showing, should you want to see a bullet in the face of pretty much every American sacred cow. Here's an AV Club interview to get you primed.
* THE BULLET VANISHES is a new Chinese detective thriller set in the 1930s starring Nicolas Tse (THE VIRAL FACTOR, WU XIA) and Ching Wan Lau (MAD DETECTIVE) that gets reasonably positive notices from the folks at Twitch. Also in world cinema: Bollywood sci-fi comedy JOKER and French baby-rearing comedy A HAPPY EVENT.
* Also: Maggie Gyllenhaal vibrator period piece comedy HYSTERIA previews this weekend; MEN LIKE US, a Kiwi documentary about gay men, opens at Rialto; and THE EXPENDABLES 2.
Continuing in release are the following festival films:
* HOW FAR IS HEAVEN, the acclaimed NZ documentary
* MARGARET, directed by Kenneth Lonergan (YOU CAN COUNT ON ME) and starring Anna Paquin
* I WISH directed by Hirokazu Kore-Eda (STILL WALKING, AFTER LIFE)
* BERNIE by Richard Linklater (SLACKER, BEFORE SUNRISE)
* VULGARIA, the Incredibly Strange gross-out film about filmmaking
* SHUT UP AND PLAY THE HITS, the LCD Soundsystem concert film/documentary.
* This week, the big news in Auckland is the Big Screen Symposium, bringing to town such luminaries as American indie producer Ted Hope, the inimitable Sam Neill, director of THE SAPPHIRES Wayne Blair, and Ben Lewin, writer/director of Sundance hit THE SESSIONS. The latter film screens on Thursday night at Event Queen Street for ticket holders only; see it for $325 and get a 2-day conference on the weekend for free!
* This month's Japanese film screening, sponsored by the Japanese Embassy: ACACIA WALK, a 2000 family drama. Plays 7:30 Thursday night.
* Bogart. Hepburn. THE AFRICAN QUEEN. 2:15, Sunday, Monterey Cinemas. They're also showing WINTER IN WARTIME (which played the 2010 World Cinema Showcase) at 6:30 on Friday night.
* A one-off screening of FATBOY SLIM LIVE FROM THE BIG BEACH BOOTIQUE unfurls Friday night at selected Event Cinemas locations, whilst extreme sports documentary CONGO: THE GRAND INGA PROJECT hits on Sunday and Monday.
* The Victoria Picture Palace, whilst changing management, is doing weekend documentary screenings. This weekend: QUEEN OF THE SUN: WHAT THE BEES ARE TELLING US and THE BOY MIR: 10 YEARS IN AFGHANISTAN.
* So here's a question for you, the reader: should we mention every single non-current movie playing in repertory? Because MAMMA MIA! screens at Berkeley Takapuna on Wednesday the 5th.
* And last but far from least: the Te Tuhi Gallery in Pakuranga is hosting the touring show True Stories/Scripted Realities until October 28, featuring moving image art from six filmmakers. One piece in particular, Omer Fast's THE CASTING, is highly recommended as one of the best works of moving image art I've ever seen in a gallery and is well worth the trip to Pakuranga. (We're not as familiar with what's going on with filmmaking in galleries as we are with cinemas, so definitely keep us posted on anything we should know about!)