* Three returning NZFF films topline this week's new releases. The word is split on ON THE ROAD, Walter Salles' adaptation of Jack Kerouac's groundbreaking Beat Generation memoir/novel. Regardless of whether you're in the market for this literary adaptation or not, any excuse is a good excuse to hear William S. Burroughs and Kurt Cobain together.
* YOUR SISTER'S SISTER, also from NZFF 2012, is the latest film from indie American filmmaker Lynn Shelton. Emily Blunt, Rosemarie Dewitt, and Mark Duplass topline the cast in another emotionally raw, uncomfortably funny film from the maker of HUMPDAY.
* A third NZFF film, Kiwi documentary THE LAST OCEAN, profiles the overfishing of the Ross Sea. In addition to regular screenings, there's a Friday night screening at Rialto with director Q&A, and two screenings Thursday at Bridgeway with Q&A as well.
* HEADHUNTERS, a sly unpredictable Norwegian thriller adapted from a Jo Nesbo book, was a highlight of this past summer; now, a second Nesbo adaptation, JACKPOT, arrives, along with the promise of more blood, crime, and dark fun.
* The most promising Asian film of the week in our humble opinion is WARRIORS OF THE RAINBOW: SEEDIQ BALE, a Taiwanese tale of an indigneous tribe defending themselves against foreign invasion. Twitch has given the film a big thumbs up, so this 2 1/2 hour epic might turn out to be well worth your time if you've the stomach for R18 graphic violence. Also opening are two Indian films: Bollywood romantic comedy BARFI! and Punjabi romantic comedy DIL TENU KARDA HAI PYAAR.
* The doldrums of winter between school holidays are when the studios flush out their R-rated films that they don't think there's much audience for. But if you want to take a chance, maybe RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION, SAVAGES, or THE WATCH are good. Maybe.
Other films of note still in release include HOW FAR IS HEAVEN, MARGARET, I WISH, BERNIE, GOD BLESS AMERICA, THE LAST DOGS OF WINTER, and MOONRISE KINGDOM.
* Kiwi filmmaker David Blyth invades the Academy this week as part of their sex season with his documentary BOUND FOR PLEASURE. (Link not safe for work, probably.)
* Other events at Rialto: the new film by the Sarkies brothers, TWO LITTLE BOYS, previews with director Q&A, Thursday the 13th at 6:15 pm. For extreme sports fans, NZ Mountain Film Festival 2012 arrives on Tuesday the 18th. And a charity screening of documentary AFRICA UNITED takes places Wednesday the 19th at 8:00 pm.
* I'm still gutted I missed Wim Wenders' doco PINA in 3D last year; it's screening at 3:30 PM on Monday the 17th at Bridgeway. They also have a screening of the aforementioned AFRICA UNITED on Tuesday the 18th at 8:00 PM.
* Fred & Ginger season continues at Monterey Cinemas with TOP HAT on Sunday at 2:10 PM and THE GAY DIVORCEE on Wednesday at 12:30 on the 19th. They're also sneaking in the 2005 Spanish/Argentinian romance ELSA AND FRED on Friday night at 6:30 PM.
* Those who prefer epic romance are directed to Berkeley Mission Bay for DOCTOR ZHIVAGO, Sunday at 6:00 PM.
* Speilberg month continues at Hoyt's Sylvia Park on Sunday night at 8:00 pm with E.T. We here at Auckland Cinephile have fond memories of the horrible Atari 2600 game, millions of cartridges of which are now buried in the desert.
* This Sunday at the Polish Heritage Museum in Howick: a double feature of documentaries, BLOODY FOREIGNERS: THE UNTOLD BATTLE OF BRITAIN and GLADIATORS OF WORLD WAR 2: FREE POLISH FORCES.
* The Auckland Art Gallery continues its free screenings this Sunday at 2:30 with LITTLE POLYNESIA, which appears to be a program of shorts that takes its name from a 1973 short of the same name.
* Documentaries this Saturday and Sunday night in Devonport at The Vic: THE YES MEN SAVE THE WORLD and a double feature of PLANET ALDABRA - NO MAN'S LAND and THE SHARK FEEDERS.
* And last but not least, for all the Papakura residents in the house: NZFF 2012 documentary MAORI BOY GENIUS plays at the Hawkins Theatre on Thursday at 7:30 PM.