Wednesday, October 31, 2012

In Cinemas: November 1 - 7


BAIT 3D is a really enjoyable balance of intentional trash, unintentional trash and a surprisingly decent situation. Starring the dude from THE LOVED ONES, one of the CHRONICLE kids and that guy from NIP/TUCK, it's the ridiculous turn from Dan Wyllie (ANIMAL KINGDOM, CHOPPER and THE HUNTER) that you need to watch out for. If there's one Australian robbery-turned-tsunami-turned-shark-attack film you need to see in 3D this year...

* Make My Movie winner HOW TO MEET GIRLS FROM A DISTANCE finally makes it back from NZFF! It's a "peeping-tom rom-com" that sees our hero stalk the girl he's crushing on, to ensure that he's properly prepared to win her over. Darren over at TVNZ called it "highly amusing, utterly rewarding and a totally unmissable experience" (on the poster and here) and it apparently includes an "utterly brilliant" turn from Jonathan Brough. But then, he has always been superb:

* New Zealand documentary TĀTARAKIHI: THE CHILDREN OF PARIHAKA (NZFF 2012) is back in Rialto's e-cinema (plus has a $10 Film-Talk screening with director Paora Joseph 6 PM Friday). Forty kids take a bus-trip retracing the journey their ancestors were forced to make 130 years ago, when they were taken from their Taranaki village and locked up without trial.

* The guy who made THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS, xXx and the third MUMMY flick has now made a Tyler Perry action movie, which has Matthew Fox from LOST as the baddie! I only mention ALEX CROSS because somehow it also features Jean Reno, John C. McGinley, Edward Burns and Gus Fring?

* Financial thriller ARBITRAGE opens everywhere this week and seems to be doing pretty well over at Rotten Tomatoes, despite Richard Gere's face giving the poster a direct-to-DVD vibe (I do like seeing Susan Sarandon, Tim Roth and Brit Marling in the cast list, though); Event has a quirky new Hindi comedy about a lost family recipe called LUV SHUV TEY CHICKEN KHURANA; there are yet more sly early sessions of THE SESSIONS; The latest three-hour Met Opera - L'ELISIR D'AMORE - begins this week at Rialto Newmarket and Bridgeway (Eventfinda and Bridgeway both mention DOCTOR FAUSTUS starting on Friday too, though there is no session times that I can find, so...)

* Otherwise, KILLING THEM SOFTLYSAFETY NOT GUARANTEEDLOOPER and SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN are all great films still available on the big screens; stylised 3D martial arts romp TAI CHI HERO (and Peter Stormare's cameo) might be worth a look; Judging from the handful of remaining sessions, Maori cannibal comedy FRESH MEAT doesn't look like it's going to make it past its second week; plus DREDD 3DMOONRISE KINGDOMYOUR SISTER'S SISTER and Lebanon's amusing WHERE DO WE GO NOW? are possibly in their final few days.


* Big week!! The 7th annual Show Me Shorts Film Festival begins its nationwide trip in Auckland this week. There will be six collections rotating at The Capitol Cinema in Balmoral over the next 11 days, with further screenings at Pukekohe Cinema 3, the Waiheke Island Community Cinema and even a couple at The Internationalist in Rothesay Bay and way up in Matakana. Documentaries, world premieres, zombies, parallel worlds, superheroes, hand-drawn animation, computer animation, claymation, from NZ, Australia, Switzerland, Spain, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, India, etc...

* Reel Anime 2012 has four new animated Japanese films playing over the next few days: Studio Ghibli's FROM UP ON POPPY HILL (NZFF 2012), part one of a medieval fantasy-horror trilogy BERSERK: THE EGG OF THE KING (with a lead character called Guts!), CHILDREN WHO CHASE LOST VOICES and WOLF CHILDREN (from the team behind SUMMER WARS) have three Queen St. Event sessions each between Thursday and Sunday.

Artweek (actually ten days) is winding down with a couple of FREE film screenings. TOKI DOES NEW YORK (2009) will play at the Art Gallery 1 PM Saturday and Cinema Politica will also be presenting a few films at the Britomart Country Club; MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES (2006) is on at 8:30 PM Thursday and SaturdayTHE YES MEN (2003) - or perhaps its sequel, THE YES MEN FIX THE WORLD (2009) from the sound of the write-up? - at 12 PM on Sunday and closing with CULTURE JAM: HIJACKING COMMERCIAL CULTURE (2001) at 8 PM on Sunday.

* Wednesday is the 19th Annual Watties Cans Film Festival at Hoyts and Event, where it'll cost you one 400g can of not-pet-food to see 2D versions of THE AVENGERS, DIARY OF A WIMPY KID 3, Pixar's BRAVE, ICE AGE 4THE LORAXHOTEL TRANSYLVANIA or THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. And if you're still pondering whether you can afford a can of beans, this clip of the aforementioned Spider-Man making his way to the front door may help convince you...

* SESSIONS Actions Sports 2012 presents BENDING COLOURS about South African surfer Jordy Smith, playing at both Albany and St. Lukes Event 4 PM Sunday & 8:30 PM Monday.

* The films of David Lean are still playing at the Monterey in Howick, with a second screening of RYAN'S DAUGHTER (1970) at 2 PM on Sunday and A PASSAGE TO INDIA (1984) showing at 12:30 PM on Wednesday. They've also got some early morning Pixar films over the next six weekends, beginning this week with A BUG'S LIFE9:30 AM Saturday and Sunday.

* And on top of all that; THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965) returns at 1:30 PM on Sunday to Event, Monterey and Bridgeway; Parts 1 & 2 of documentary series EDEN: THE INSIDE STORY about the Eden Project in Cornwall continue as this week's daily 6 PM documentary over in Devonport, with parts 3 & 4 taking over daily from Sunday; Papakura is getting a few early screenings of the upcoming NZ doco SONG OF THE KAURI (NZFF 2012) Tuesday 12:30 PM & 7:30 PM at the Hawkins Theatre; and LED ZEPPELIN: CELEBRATION DAY has got yet another two screenings of the 2007 concert at Rialto.

All times above are accurate at the time of publication. Your best bet would be to check Flicks or the theatre website before attending. Please let us know in the comments if you spy anything we've messed up/missed out!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

In Cinemas: October 25 - 31


* TAI CHI HERO - the sequel to 3D Chinese martial arts flick TAI CHI ZERO from a few weeks back - is out this week, with the addition of Peter Stormare?? Expect loads more fighting, stylised intertitles, video-game noises and steam-punk contraptions.

* And sticking with loud, brash genre cinema (judging from the poster), New Zealand horror-comedy FRESH MEAT arrives with criminals, cannibals and Temuera Morrison. 

* You can also catch Ben Affleck's latest effort this week; ARGO is based on a true story of an Iranian hostage crisis from the late 70s and has heaps of cool folks like John Goodman, Michael Parks, Philip Baker Hall, Alan Arkin, Adrienne Barbeau & Bryan Cranston in it. And speaking of Affleck and his enormous rolodex of celebrity pals;

* The director of MURIEL'S WEDDING & MY BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING is back with MENTAL, an Australian comedy about mental illness with Toni Collette, Anthony LaPaglia, Rebecca Gibney, Liev Schreiber & Kerry Fox.

* Manukau Event is apparently the only cinema interested in SPARKLE, a remake of a 1976 film inspired by The Supremes, this one starring Whitney Houston (in her last film role), Cee-Lo Green, Mike Epps & Derek Luke; The French, feel-good crowd-pleaser THE INTOUCHABLES is out for real this week; Sex-surrogate film THE SESSIONS has sneak weekend screenings all around town; Event & Hoyts both have a preview screening of BAIT on Wednesday - the new Australian robbery-turns-tsunami-turns-shark attack movie in 3D! And Flicks has mentioned two Bollywood films starting this week - BEST OF LUCK & CHAKRAVYUH - though I can't find screening times for either. But I'll include them in case they show up over the next few days...

* And if none of that is getting you out of the house, don't forget the other stuff continuing on this week: things like KILLING THEM SOFTLY, SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED, DREDD, LOOPER, Angels & Airwaves' LOVE, WHERE DO WE GO NOW? & SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN.


* This month's FREE Japanese film playing at the University is RAINBOW KIDS (1991), a crime-comedy about a botched kidnapping and a ransom that became a media circus. 7:30 PM Thursday at the University Of Auckland (under the General Library building). FREE, dammit.

* Before HOW TO MEET GIRLS FROM A DISTANCE starts in November, there is another Film Talk screening happening at Rialto's e-cinema. Producers Ruth Korver & Andrew Beattie will be there to speak with writer/star Richard Falkner afterwards. 6 PM Wednesday.

* It's Film Society's final bow of the year! And they have a 35mm print of HIGH SOCIETY (1956) for the occasion. A musical remake of THE PHILADELPHIA STORY from 1940 (a personal favourite), this time starring Bing Crosby, Sinatra & Princess Grace. It's playing 6:30 PM Monday at Rialto Newmarket and includes Sinatra & Crosby covering the Debbie Harry / Iggy Pop track WELL, DID YOU EVAH! (to be fact-checked).

* The Vic has a couple of interesting screenings this week; EDEN: THE INSIDE STORY is a documentary about the Eden Project in Cornwall, playing most nights at 6 PM; THE WRECKING SEASON (2004) looks at the origins of things washing ashore a beach also in Cornwall, playing 6 PM Thursday-Saturday. They also have Buster Keaton's THE GENERAL (1926) screening twice this weekend! 11 AM Saturday morning & 2:10 PM on Sunday.

* Monterey's David Lean retrospective trucks along with a second screening of DOCTOR ZHIVAGO (1965) at 2 PM on Sunday, as well as a showing of Robert Mitchum in RYAN'S DAUGHTER (1970) at 12:30 PM on Wednesday.

* Daniel Rutledge & David Farrier continue their monthly screenings down at the Britomart Country Club; for October, they are playing RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981) this Sunday. Dinner & drink deals from 6 PM, movie starts once it gets dark enough (8-ish?).

* A few recent 'one-offs' are actually continuing this week; Cartoon Network has another few early screenings of ADVENTURE TIME WITH FINN AND JAKE this weekend at Event & Hoyts; concert film LED ZEPPELIN: CELEBRATION DAY is apparently "back by popular demand" at Event & Rialto; 3D snowboarding extravaganza THE ART OF FLIGHT also has another two showings at Event. And the Hawkins Theatre in Papakura has another two screenings of PICTURES OF SUSAN (NZFF 2012) coming up next Monday.

All times above are accurate at the time of publication. Your best bet would be to check Flicks or the theatre website before attending. Please let us know in the comments if you spy anything we've messed up/missed out!

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Weekly Reader: October 22

Recommended as the soundtrack for this week's read is MUBI's 3rd soundtrack mix, Trespassers Will Be Eaten.

While you're at MUBI, you could start there with an excellent lengthy interview of Christian Petzold, the director of BARBARA and JERICHOW, by Daniel Kasman and David Phelps.

This week, HOLY MOTORS goes into theatrical release in the States. Steve Erickson interviews director Leos Carax for the Village Voice, while at the AV Club Mike D'Angelo goes deep with a review. Also at the AV Club: the best films of the nineties. That is, the 1890s. And in easily the most fun read of the week, Kelly Lynch dishes on Denzel Washington and Bill Murray.

Better late than never, Tim Wong wraps his NZIFF coverage for the Lumiere Reader.

Andrzej Zulawski and Dolph Lundgren almost teamed up? Evan Husney has the story. Elvis Mitchell's interview with Joaquin Phoenix is a whole lot of fun.

Jaime Christley interviews Abbas Kiarostami for Slant.

And finally: not remotely recent, but this discussion between Stan Brakhage and Godfrey Reggio is a good read.

Friday, October 19, 2012

ALSO In Cinemas: October 18 - 24!! Armageddon Edition

Well, it'd appear that I'm a fool. And probably a snob, too. I could live with letting one screening slip through my fingers, but SIX?!? Armageddon Expo 2012 is on this long weekend at the ASB Showgrounds in Greenlane. And while I'm opening the brochure after it has already begun, the six films haven't screened just yet!

* The original 1982 TRON will be playing, followed by a panel discussion with stars Bruce Boxleitner & Cindy Morgan. United Sweets Main Stage, 9:30 AM Sunday.

* It'd seem that Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan have benefited greatly from their experiences on PIRANHA 3DD and the SAW franchise. Because their follow-up to 2009's THE COLLECTOR has got Shooter McGavin in it! Those of us who think an R18 screening at 2 PM on a Labour Day is a great idea, will be at Stage Three to watch THE COLLECTION.

BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, PART 1 is a new animated film released a few weeks ago, which stars Peter Weller as the voice of Batman and features a female Robin. It screens at the United Sweets Main Stage, 10:30am Saturday.

* I'll freely admit that I have absolutely no idea what it is that I'm talking about here (as with most of this post), but the MASS EFFECT 3 prequel film MASS EFFECT: PARAGON LOST doesn't appear to have been released before now? If that excites you, get to the United Sweets Main Stage, 10am Monday!

* Again, I am fuzzy on the details here, but TALES OF VESPERIA: THE FIRST STRIKE seems to be a 2009 anime film based on the TALES video games. It's a Production I.G. offering, who are responsible from some of my favourite Japanese animation; CROMARTIE HIGH SCHOOL, FLCL, DEAD LEAVES and the animated segments of KILL BILL. Stage Three, 10am Monday.

DARKNESS RISING is the first 5 episodes of the 2010 animated series TRANSFORMERS: PRIME played together as a film. It features the original Optimus Prime and Megatron voice-actors, plus incorporates The Rock somehow? Stage Three, 3:30pm Monday!

There appear to be other shorter screenings too; anime titles such as CAT PLANET CUTIES and CARDFIGHT!! VANGUARD are getting small breaks in there somewhere, in amongst all the signings, Cosplay and panels. Dudes from GAME OF THRONES having a chat, Luke from WWF's THE BUSHWHACKERS live wrestling and Temuera Morrison there to promote FRESH MEAT...
I dunno why it's taken me this long to open the brochure...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

In Cinemas: October 18 - 24


* The lovely time-travel comedy SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED finally begins this week. Starring Aubrey Plaza (PARKS AND RECREATION, SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD) and Mark Duplass (YOUR SISTER'S SISTER, HUMPDAY), it follows a trio investigating a man who placed a newspaper ad looking for somebody to come back in time with him.

* The Palme d'Or nominated KILLING THEM SOFTLY arrives in NZ this week, well before The States for a change. A mob story based on the novel COOGAN'S TRADE, it stars Brad Pitt, Richard Jenkins, James Gandolfini, Ray Liotta, Sam Shepard and a bunch of other good folk. Playing pretty much everywhere. As Wikipedia kinda points out, it's NOT to be confused with this marvelous-looking erotic thriller from 2002:

* Ken Loach's latest film THE ANGELS' SHARE (NZFF 2012) also opens on screens across town. And while session times haven't been released as I'm writing this, The Academy's new manager Andy Miller will apparently be using the film to re-open the cinema this week.

* Elsewhere, Angels & Airwaves' astronaut film LOVE is playing in Rialto's e-cinema after 18 months on the festival circuit, to illustrate (as MOON did) how crazy it is to be stranded in space alone. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4 is here to keep the low-budget franchise trucking along; Tim Burton is back in the claymation game with FRANKENWEENIE 3D; This week's new Bollywood film is university rom-com STUDENT OF THE YEAR; plus there are advanced screenings of the French film THE INTOUCHABLES pretty much everywhere this weekend.


* LED ZEPPELIN: CELEBRATION DAY is a concert film of their 2007 appearance at the O2 Arena. It plays at Hoyts & Event this Thursday (with a couple of extra sessions at Rialto later on).

* This weekend is the 2012 Indonesian Fair and they've chucked in a couple of free film screenings at the North Shore Events Centre. GARUDA DI DADAKU (Garuda on my Chest)(2009) is a film about a soccer-loving kid and plays at 1 PM. RUMAH TANPA JENDELA (The House without Windows)(2011) is about the friendship between two very different children in Jakarta, and plays at 4 PM.

* Film Society shows another 35mm print on Tuesday: Max Ophüls' LE PLAISIR (1952). It consists of three segments, each a story exploring the subject of pleasure. Do note that it's been bumped to Tuesday 6:30 PM due to Labour Day on Monday.

* And also probably due to the long weekend, there is a collection of ADVENTURE TIME WITH FINN & JAKE episodes playing for the kids (and me) at Event & Hoyts, plus for the even younger ones, the double-episode adventure DORA'S ROYAL RESCUE screens at Hoyts & Berkeley cinemas.

* It's time again for the monthly Gay Film Night presented by Number 8 Films. They are showing 2004 gay slasher flick HELLBENT (haha!) about a Hallowe'en killing spree. Plays at 6:30 PM Thursday at Rialto.

* The Auckland Art Gallery is showing THIS WAY OF LIFE (NZFF 2009) for free at 3 PM on Sunday; it's a documentary about the Karena family and their horses in the Ruahine Ranges down South. Back from this year's NZFF, TONGAN ARK is about the tiny island university, and there is a screening at the gallery 2 PM Labour Day, that costs $5 (fundraising for the struggling university itself).

* For all you snowboarding fans, the latest entry playing in the SESSIONS Action Sports 2012 season is THE ART OF FLIGHT. St. Lukes & Albany Event, Sunday 4 PM or Monday 8:30 PM.

* While there is still nothing in the Monterey Abroad slot this week, they have another screening of David Lean's LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962) at 2:00 PM Sunday, as well as a showing of his DOCTOR ZHIVAGO (1965) at 12:30 PM on Wednesday.

* A couple of short documentaries play together over at The Vic this week: RIVER DOG about a man & his dogs in the Wairarapa and GONE CURLING... about outdoor curling in Central Otago. The pair play 6 PM Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

* Finally, there is a few screenings of BBC LAST NIGHT OF THE PROMS at Bridgeway and Rialto, plus Bridgeway will show MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING twice this week, the stage-play filmed at Shakespeare's Globe last year. 10:30 AM Friday and Wednesday.

All times above are accurate at the time of publication. Your best bet would be to check Flicks or the theatre website before attending. Please let us know in the comments if you spy anything we've messed up/missed out!

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Weekly Reader: October 15

There's no contest; the best read this week is Tom Breihan's piece for Grantland about The Asylum, the mockbuster giants who brought you SNAKES ON A PLANE, TRANSMORPHERS, and THE DAY THE EARTH STOPPED, to name just a few.

Wait, I lied. There is a contest. Icelandic editor Valdis Oskarsdottir may not be a household name, but with films from THE CELEBRATION to ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND under her belt, you've probably seen her work. Matthew Hammett Knott at Indiewire has posted a "distillation" of a Q&A that accompanied a screening of the first cut of SPOTLESS MIND, and her bluntness and candor is bracing.

I mentioned Views From The Avant-Garde last week, and it seems like one event in particular garnered a lot of attention (relatively speaking): a screening of Peter Kubelka's MONUMENT FILM. Well, screening isn't really the right description, as it also includes an installation, amazing pictures of which are included in Daniel Kasman's article for MUBI.

Dan Hopper and Ross Nover have provided 10 (spoiler-filled) newspaper headlines from the LOOPER universe, and they keep making me laugh. "Quarters to remain as whimsical party icebreakers."

Leah Churner for the Austin Chronicle presents a big retrospective article on David Byrne's TRUE STORIES.

Find out from William Wilson about three films William Lustig never made.

Over at Flicks, Aaron Yap reviews his commenters on his LOOPER review.

This week's Halloween countdown comes from Grady Hendrix, who's watching all the obscure/forgotten/or just awesome horror films on Netflix he can find.

And, to close out, a treasure trove: 20 episodes of Stan Brakhage's radio show, The Test of Time.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

In Cinemas: October 11 - 17

* The much-loved music documentary SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN is back from NZFF, playing now at Rialto, Bridgeway and the Capitol. Details of Detroitian folk musician Rodriguez' on-stage suicide vary and now a pair of uber-fans set out from South Africa (turns out he was Big in Cape Town) to discover the truth. Heart-warming, tear-jerking, a real crowd-pleaser, filled with beautiful Rodriguez songs.

* "First they took his daughter. Now they're coming for him"…Yep, it got a sequel. Like the first one, TAKEN 2 is co-written by Luc Besson, although this one is directed by his TRANSPORTER 3 pal, Mr. Megaton. It opens in multiplexes across the country today and while it looks to be filled with handguns, cellphones and Rade Serbedzija, what we're really hoping for is some classic Neeson improvisational comedy:

* There's not much else in the way of new general releases this week; we've got the new Bradley Cooper thing that nobody seems to like, called THE WORDS and a Hindi rom-com by the name of AIYYAA.

If the stack of great specialty screenings below aren't your thing, the following films are still playing at the mutliplexes and arthouses 'round town; DREDD, LOOPERTAI CHI 0 3DWHERE DO WE GO NOW?GOD BLESS AMERICAMOONRISE KINGDOMYOUR SISTER'S SISTER, to name just a few...

* It's Wurlitzer time again! Hollywood Cinema in Avondale will be playing Buster Keaton's silent film STEAMBOAT BILL, JR. (1928) while Ron Clark plays the keys right in front of us. The entire program usually runs near 3hrs and has sold out before, but we hope to see you there, 2PM Sunday afternoon.

* With John Davies finishing up at The Academy this weekend, he's got all sorts playing. ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975), Pink Floyd's THE WALL (1982), BEETLE JUICE (1988) and LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (1986), plus he's chosen to close up shop with CINEMA PARADISO (1988) at 9:30PM on Sunday night if you want to go say goodbye. There are a couple of films playing under the Macedonian Film Festival heading this weekend; the new film by BEFORE THE RAIN director Milcho Manchevski, MOTHERS (preceded by the short LITTLE MATCH GIRL), as well as PUNK'S NOT DEAD. And there is even something called THE KOOKY WORLD OF ONLINE ANIMALS playing for the next few mornings, which appears to be a compilation of silly pets from YouTube?

* Film Society has Jean-Pierre Melville's 1949 film LE SILENCE DE LA MER playing on 35mm next Monday at 6:30PM. A German soldier is holed up with a Frenchman and his niece who both refuse to talk to him, and phrases like "devastatingly beautiful" and "technical brilliance" make this tale sound fascinating.

* Wednesday sees Monterey kick back in with its classic films on the big screen. David Lean's epic LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962) plays at 12:30PM and hopefully they'll have their Maurice Jarre cranked up loud:

* The Changing Minds festival is spending the day at The Kenneth Myers Centre in Auckland Central this Saturday. There are free screenings of A HISTORY OF MADNESS THROUGH NZ TV AND CINEMA (1PM) and MENTAL NOTES (preceded by the 17min short BLACK & WHITE at 4PM) before a panel discussion entitled “How can film-makers represent diverse human experience in order to create positive social change?” at 5:40PM.

* AUCKLAND - CITY OF SAILS (12PM & 2PM Saturday), FOUNDATION, FORM, FUNCTION (12PM & 2PM Sunday) and LITTLE POLYNESIA (3:30PM Sunday) all play for free again this weekend at the Auckland Art Gallery.

* In fact, there are a whole bunch of one-off screenings playing in small venues around town this weekend;
- Stuart Townsend's star-studded BATTLE IN SEATTLE (2007) plays at Unite Union in Kingsland at 7PM Thursday and includes a forum afterwards.
- There is a free screening of FAUN VARIATIONS (NZ '87) down at the Gus Fisher Gallery 1PM Saturday and also includes a discussion with artist Sriwhana Spong.
- ANNE FRANK REMEMBERED (1995) plays for free at the Auckland War Museum 7:45PM Wednesday with guest speakers beforehand (kick-off at 6PM).
- PICTURES OF SUSAN is back from NZFF 2012 to play at 12:30PM & 7:30PM on Tuesday at the Hawkins Theatre in Papakura.

* And if all of that isn't enough, the Italian Film Fest has a few more days, Event has a Film Squad screening of FRANKENWEENIE 3D ($10 with combo) Sunday 3PM if for some reason you don't come for the aforementioned Wurlitzer extravaganza, Rialto have a Film Club preview of THE SESSIONS at 6:30PM on Thursday and there are preview screenings of THE INTOUCHABLES at Albany Event & Rialto all weekend. So good luck with all of that!

All times above are accurate at the time of publication. Your best bet would be to check Flicks or the theatre website before attending. Please let us know in the comments if you spy anything we've messed up/missed out!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Weekly Reader: October 7

Last year, I was at the centerpiece event of the NYFF (for a small but devoted group of film fans, anyway): Views From The Avant-Garde, an extraordinary collection of films from both respected masters and emerging practitioners of avant-garde filmmaking. It's on again this week, and Tony Pipolo previews the program for Artforum.

Filmmaker Luther Price is somebody whose work I've never been exposed to, but has a program in the festival; Aaron Cutler and Mariana Shellard interview him for IDIOM magazine, with astonishing stills, frank descriptions of sexual content, and repeated abuse of the ellipsis.

For the precious few who got to see it, and the smaller set within there that didn't fall asleep, Ben Rivers' film TWO YEARS AT SEA was a major highlight of the 2012 NZFF. It opens in New York soon, hence Dennis Lim profiling him for the New York Times.

TWO YEARS AT SEA - TRAILER from Ben Rivers on Vimeo.

Not so much from the sublime to the ridiculous, as both the sublime and ridiculous are represented here: Drafthouse Films has two of the most disparate films possible, MIAMI CONNECTION and WAKE IN FRIGHT, amongst its upcoming releases. Eric Kohn at IndieWire gets the story behind their acquisitions. MIAMI CONNECTION's resurrection at Fantastic Fest is photo-documented by Andrew Todd at Flicks, while fans of WAKE IN FRIGHT are directed to Nicolas Rapold's profile of the film for the New York Times.

There's no guarantee what Fantastic Fest films will get to these shores (a year later, and there's neither hide nor hair of such 2011 festival highlights as BEYOND THE BLACK RAINBOW, A BOY AND HIS SAMURAI, and EXTRATERRESTRIAL in New Zealand), but RIchard Whittaker's wrapup of which films have received distribution might help point you towards some films to anticipate. Or dig deep with Twitch's super-wrapup.

Anthology Film Archives has announced this year's William Lustig Presents series, which for genre freaks is essential reading; even if you can't be there, this is a checklist of great, unusual, and/or unforgettable genre films you'll need to track down.

On the eve of V/H/S's American release, Brightest Young Things interviews Ti West.

Daniel Kasman goes deep and long with Brian DePalma. Beware of spoilers for PASSION, his new movie (as well as for LOVE CRIME, the film it remakes), but a careful eye can skim and still get a lot of great content.

If you haven't been paying attention to the recent tedious spate of "death of film" articles, you're lucky. If you have, Oliver Lyttelton's sarcastic rejoinder in the form of a historical timeline of "death of cinema" pronouncements is a welcome respite.

Dr. Film casts a jaundiced eye on the Lawrence of Arabia digital remastering.

Rian Johnson has created an in-theatre commentary for his film LOOPER. Use responsibly.

A couple weeks old but file under "new-to-me": Stephen Toblowsky raves about his experience filming SNEAKERS.

Brian Camp makes a compelling, lengthy argument for 1967 being action's greatest year, citing films like YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, POINT BLANK, and SAMURAI REBELLION.

Five lessons from Chantal Akerman, courtesy of Fandor.

In preparation for Halloween, Stacie Ponder at Final Girl has outlined her viewing, and is adding daily viewing diaries.

And finally: Mark Tinta probably gives way more consideration to TAKEN 2 than it deserves; a blog well worth scanning, his, as is any that uses an EXORCIST 3 image in its title graphic. Meanwhile, a handy flowchart to determine where you have been taken.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

In Cinemas: October 4 - 10

For a full listing of screen times across Auckland, Flicks or the theatre website is probably your best bet. Double-check before attending, as times change, we make mistakes, etc. Please mention anything we've forgotten in the comments, and tell us if you've found any off-the-beaten path must-sees!

The big news this week is NZ's Karl Urban in DREDD showing up in theatres. Unlike the Stallone version, this film's apparently faithful to the much-beloved original comic, and chock full of stylish violence. One can only hope that they've repurposed Anthrax's Judge Dredd-inspired anthem for the credits.

At the Academy, there's BLACK & WHITE & SEX, a black and white (surprise!) "experimental Australian drama" showing as part of their Season of Sex. KAMA SUTRA: A TALE OF LOVE (1996) and BOUND FOR PLEASURE (2004) also continue as part of said season.

Otherwise, the pickings are mostly slim. If you're a fan of singing groups, this is a great week for you, as PITCH PERFECT and THE SAPPHIRES both hit theatres. Indian film ENGLISH VINGLISH sneaks in on Friday, and kids can look forward to TINKER BELL AND THE SECRET OF THE WINGS.

* There are still a bunch of great films to get you out of the house though; LOOPER, TAI CHI 0 3D, DUE WEST: MY 3D SEX JOURNEY, WHERE DO WE GO NOW?, GOD BLESS AMERICA, MOONRISE KINGDOM, ON THE ROAD, JACKPOT and YOUR SISTER'S SISTER are all still on the big screens around town.

Pick of the week: Leanne Pooley's excellent 2003 documentary HAUNTING DOUGLAS, about dance choreographer Douglas Wright, screens 1 PM Saturday at the Gus Fisher Gallery, and it's free.

* Auckland Film Society has a 35mm print of Jacques Becker's 1952 film CASQUE D'OR this week. The promise of crime syndicate gangsters, the beauty of the Belle Époque and the titular dame Marie "Golden Helmet" have me pretty excited for this one. The following two Mondays at Film Society will also be 35mm French classics, so this week is the perfect chance to grab a $30 three-week membership! 6:30 PM Monday at Rialto Newmarket.

* Antarctica documentary THE LAST OCEAN (NZFF '12) continues until Saturday at The Vic in Devonport. Then the wonderful HOW FAR IS HEAVEN (NZFF '12) takes over in next week's Doc Spot, about the small community of Jerusalem on the Whanganui river. Chris Pryor & Miriam Smith are back to do another Q&A after the 7:30 PM screening on Sunday.

Tommy Wiseau's disasterpiece THE ROOM (2003) is in the house for potentially the last time at Academy Cinemas, 10:30 PM Friday night.

As part of their going-away celebration, Academy Cinemas is also screening PINK FLOYD: THE WALL (1982) at 10:30 Saturday night.

Academy Cinemas will also be hosting part of the CHANGING MINDS festival next week, an apparently free set of screenings including shorts and features from NZ filmmakers including GORDONIA (NZFF '10), SQUEEGEE BANDIT (NZFF '06), MENTAL NOTES and INTERSEXION.

The Italian Film Festival continues on at Rialto and Bridgeway Cinemas. We here at Auckland Cinephile have yet to hear of anyone who's been, but if you have and have recommendations, please add them in the comments.

The Monterey doesn't appear to have its Friday night foreign film or its Wednesday/Sunday classic this week and the Winter Films have ended at the Polish Heritage Museum. But there are some interesting screenings coming up at The Peace Place in the CBD. This Monday at 7:30 PM, they are playing the animated film PERSEPOLIS (NZFF '08) based on Marjane Satrapi's autobiographical graphic novel (I love that phrase) set during the Islamic Revolution.

The Auckland Art Gallery has two 50 minute documentaries about Auckland's good ol' days, both with live piano accompaniment. On Saturday at 12 PM & 2 PM, AUCKLAND: CITY OF SAILS has vintage footage from all around of our city, dating from 1911 right up to 1986. Then at 12 PM & 2 PM on Sunday, FOUNDATION, FORM, FUNCTION looks at the history of structures like The Civic or the Harbour Bridge.

* And finally for the kids, Cartoon Network favorite BEN 10: OMNIVERSE plays in a limited School Holiday run at the multiplexes this Saturday and Sunday.