Wednesday, November 28, 2012

In Cinemas: November 29 - December 5

Only have time for a quick update, as this week I have scored a new job at Animation College NZ, as well as a chainsaw wound to the gut. These things are not related, but combined are exhausting me. And while my injuries are keeping me out of the cinemas, your excuse can't be as good, surely.


* BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD is finally back from NZFF 2012. A rather unique film about a little girl in a fictional bayou, floods and prehistoric creatures. Pretty great.

* Now, while Rachael Wilson's documentary YAKEL 3D is "New Zealand's first 3D film", Auckland actually appears to only have a 2D version of it in Rialto's e-Cinema (Dunners has the 3D version playing). Back from DocEdge 2012, it's about a tribe in Vanuatu and their 108-year-old chief. Rachael will be there actually, at the 6 PM Monday screening for a Q&A!

* Charlotte Rampling and Gabriel Byrne have a new noir thriller out; I, ANNA also has Eddie Marsan from ALICE CREED and even Pussy Galore herself, Honor Blackman! Playing at The Monterey or in Rialto Newmarket's e-Cinemas.

* Actually, those Newmarket e-Cinemas are pretty busy this week. Minnie Driver tries to get her students to perform a musical version of THE TEMPEST in HUNKY DORY, if that's your thing.

* Also back from NZFF 2012 is WUTHERING HEIGHTS. Directed by Andrea Arnold (FISH TANK / RED ROAD), it's a pretty stunning adaptation. Playing in Rialto's big boy, cinema 3.

* In asian cinema this week, a terrible drought hits while the Chinese are trying to fight the Japanese; BACK TO 1942 (一九四二) plays on select Event screens and stars Adrien Brody and Tim Robbins, wait what?? Plus Hoyts have the South Korean diamond heist flick THE THIEVES (도둑들), which stars Kim Yoon-seok from THE CHASER & THE YELLOW SEA, Lee Jung-jae from THE HOUSEMAID and Simon Yam from IP MAN, the Lara Croft sequel and pretty much every Johnnie To film.

* Then in Indian cinema, we've got Hindi crime story TAALASH playing at select multiplexes and medical romantic thriller (??) AYALUM NJANUM THAMMIL arriving on Friday at Sylvia Park.

* I'd also like to point out that SHADOW DANCER is barely hanging on in its second week, so see it while you can. Also, COMPLIANCE continues at the Academy; if you're not convinced you should see it, let us try to convince you. Also, HOW TO MEET GIRLS FROM A DISTANCE and SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED start their run out at Pukekohe 3.


* The new Academy Cinema is still managing to impress; they're piping in a live Q&A with the guys behind KLOWN (KLOVN - THE MOVIE) at 9:15 PM Friday. Not bad for $20, I still haven't checked out their new digs yet... Updated: the guests have cancelled, but the screening's still on for only $5!

* NOSFERATU is back for two live score screenings at The Vic! Guitar, piano, looping, etc...sounds interesting. The Vic also has ON THE ROAD returning, EDITH COLLIER: A LIGHT AMONG SHADOWS (NZFF 2007), VILLAGE BY THE SEA (NZFF 2012), the aforementioned SHADOW DANCER and a bunch more this week.

* MEMOIRS OF THE MONTEREY is the premiere of the 30 minute documentary about the Howick cinema. Entry by gold coin donation, 8 PM Monday at the Uxbridge Arts Cinema Club. Director Scott Boswell will chat afterwards, probably still riding high from the premiere of his film THE FALL GUYS that premiered in Auckland last weekend.

* 2007 documentary AMAZING JOURNEY: THE STORY OF THE WHO plays at 2 PM Saturday as part of the exhibition "Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 - Present", which is on at the Auckland Art Gallery. And while this clip isn't quite The Who, I'm in Movie Marathon mode, so excuse the segway...

* Monterey has Pixar's WALL•E (2008) playing for $5 at 9:30 AM Saturday and Sunday. The Gus Fisher Gallery has the 30-minute film from 1988 THE WAY THINGS GO playing for FREE at 1 PM Saturday. It's outdoor cinema season already too, so THE BAND'S VISIT (ביקור התזמורת)(2007) plays for FREE at Silo Cinema 9 PM Friday night. Also, there is a rather early (it's not due till Boxing Day!) sneak preview of WRECK-IT RALPH 3D, only it's a Kid's Club Premiere and I don't know if I can join that...2 PM Sunday at Event if you're cleverer than me.

* And finally, the latest in the "National Theatre Live" series is TIMON OF ATHENS, directed by the guy who made THE CRUCIBLE and THE MADNESS OF KING GEORGE. Playing at The Monterey, The Bridgeway and Rialto Newmarket.

All sessions 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, November 24, 2012


You're unlikely to see a more challenging or unsettling film this year in New Zealand theatres (outside of the Fatso 24 Hour Movie Marathon, anyway) than COMPLIANCE, the second film by director Craig Zobel (after the little-seen, particularly in New Zealand, GREAT WORLD OF SOUND). My viewing last night provoked at least half a dozen walkouts, out of an audience of less than 20. This, despite the fact that there's not a single drop of blood spilled, and the entire film is based on a true story.

"Based on a true story", of course, can easily be code for "very little truth remains", and many seem to be reacting to COMPLIANCE with disbelief. Surely, the events on screen are exaggerated?

They aren't.

A little background. Over the course of 12 years in America, 70 prank calls were made to fast food restaurants or grocery stores by a man claiming to be a policeman. What happened then, I'll save for Wikipedia, though be warned before you go reading that one of the cases there is pretty much beat for beat the inspiration for COMPLIANCE. All those who are wary of spoilers should know is that:

a) the wording of the R16 rating should give you a hint that things go very, very badly and
b) if you are tempted into disbelief during viewing, remind yourself that the most outlandish material in COMPLIANCE is lifted directly from court records. (Zobel asserts this in this highly spoilery but very interesting interview.)

COMPLIANCE is upsetting because we don't want to believe that the film's true. So perhaps it's best to talk about the director's original inspiration for the film, which wasn't the aforementioned case but the Milgram experiments. Psychologist Stanley Milgram oversaw an experiment in which participants were encouraged to administer electro-shock to another person in the service of learning word pairs. (In reality, the electro-shock was faked, but the participant didn't know this.) If the participant displayed reluctance, they were encouraged to continue, even though they could hear their victim's screams.

In the end, fully 65% of the participants were willing to administer the maximum 450-volt shock.

Last night was my second screening of COMPLIANCE, after seeing it at NZFF in July. A first viewing is roughly like getting hit by a bus, where one's immediate visceral emotional response overpowers any ability to rationally break down what's happening. This time I could look more analytically at the techniques used by "Officer Daniels" (Pat Healy) on the store's manager Sandra (Ann Dowd) and the young victim Becky (Dreama Walker), as well as the other employees that get sucked into the drama, and, most tragically, the manager's fiance Van (Bill Camp). Everyone believes they're doing the right thing; or, if they realize they aren't, "Officer Daniels" uses other techniques to ensure that they don't have a choice. Or feel like they have a choice. The extent to which those are actually two different things is one of many, many interesting discussions that this film can provoke.

(It's worth taking a moment here to acknowledge the largely stunning performances here; it's rare to see middle America portrayed on screen without condescension, and while Ann Dowd has been justly being praised, she's supported by an excellent ensemble: Bill Camp, in particular, takes an incredibly difficult role and nails it. And I think Dreama Walker's performance is being overlooked in many reviews.)

Anyway: on this watch, what's truly upsetting is how little physical coercion seems to be required to take Becky to the dark places she goes; the ending underscores how difficult it is to reconcile what each person believes about themselves with what they have done. We like to think that we are better than this, both individually and collectively, and indeed one frequent criticism of COMPLIANCE is from viewers who believe that the characters are stupid and that they, the viewer, wouldn't fall for such an obvious ploy.

Choose to believe that if you like. For my part, I'm on the side of A.V. Club writer Sam Adams, who notes in an excellent interview with Zobel: "The primary qualification for falling prey to something like this is being sure you never would."

COMPLIANCE is now screening exclusively in Auckland at Academy Cinemas. They're under new management now; those who have avoided it over the past few years should take note that they've fixed their sound system, and a upgrade to DCP is due within the month so top-quality pictures are hopefully soon to follow. If films like COMPLIANCE are a harbinger of what's to come programming-wise, I suspect I'll be spending a lot of time there; with most other arthouses in Auckland targeting the 60+ market, it's refreshing to have somebody focused on films that aren't safe or easy, but challenging and rewarding.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

In Cinemas: November 22 - 28


* Academy Cinemas have a brand new website up and running! Plus, they've got COMPLIANCE back from NZFF 2012 - the gripping, disturbing and possibly even infuriating (in a great way) true story of theft accusation in the workplace and the titular compliance that follows...

* SHADOW DANCER is another one back from NZFF 2012, now playing at both The Monterey and Rialto Newmarket. An IRA thriller from the MAN ON WIRE / PROJECT NIM guy, with Clive Owen, Andrea Riseborough from NEVER LET ME GO, Littlefinger from GAME OF THRONES and Scully. I'm looking forward to this one!

* It really is a NZFF 2012 week, with MONSIEUR LAZHAR joining the fray at Rialto Newmarket, Capitol Cinema and The Monterey. A French-Canadian drama about a teacher and his students wouldn't normally get me into a theatre, but I've heard too many good things from too many good folks. However..

* ...I don't know who is gunna be at the arthouses watching the three Film Fest offerings above, not when SKYFALL is out. James Bond is everywhere - in the cinemas, on the buses, coating buildings and magazines - and with pretty much everybody claiming that it's far better than the last one, it's probably worth checking out. Maybe even an IMAX visit?

* Seen Bond and caught the other three at the Film Fest earlier this year? ARGO, a hostage thriller containing a fair amount of fun is still going strong all over town; Outside the multiplexes, good ol' Frank Langella & his programmable friend - aka ROBOT & FRANK - still have a lot of screenings; Christopher Plummer's tour-de-force BARRYMORE has a few more sessions at Rialto Newmarket, The Bridgeway and The Monterey; DIANA VREELAND: THE EYE HAS TO TRAVEL (NZFF 2012) continues on at Rialto Newmarket, with a few more showings at The Bridgeway and Capitol Cinema; plus Academy Cinemas still have both ELECTRICK CHILDREN - an indie coming-of-age film set in the Mormon world - and the rugged Danish comedy KLOWN (KLOVN - THE MOVIE)(NZFF 2012).


* Silo Cinema is back again with more FREE screenings down by the waterfront! Jake and Elwood, Carrie Fisher, John Candy, James Brown, Cab Calloway, Aretha and pretty much everybody else can be seen projected on the water-tank in BLUES BROTHERS (1980), Friday 9:00 PM.

* The Rolling Stones celebrate their 50th anniversary next Wednesday evening with Brett Morgen's CROSSFIRE HURRICANE doco. At Rialto Newmarket, The Monterey, Queen St and Albany Event.

* From the dude that brought us TYRANNICAL LOVE comes kiwi crime comedy THE FALL GUYS. The $30 Auckland Premiere this Saturday 8 PM at SkyCity Theatre includes drinks, live music and a Q&A from those involved!

* AUCKLAND UNIVERSITY HONOURS STUDENT FILMS OF 2013 is such a handy title, no further synopsis is necessary for this collection. Plus, it's all FREE!! 6 PM Thursday at The Academy. FREE SHORT FILMS!!

* "Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 - Present" will be at the Auckland Art Gallery for ages yet, and their latest FREE film screenings are; Rock documentary JOY DIVISION (2007) at 1 PM Saturday; and THE FILTH AND THE FURY (NZFF 2000) at 2 PM Sunday, boasting clips from the never-completed WHO KILLED BAMBI?. Leave it to Sting to show us what we're missing:

* Over at The Vic; Six more evening screenings of EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP (NZFF 2010), the inventive doco from Banksy about street art; 3-2-1 A PORTRAIT OF KURT JACKSON about the British painter turns up once again at 3:15 PM Friday; OPEN AT PAGE 100 is a Robin Kewell doco about the teacher Robin Child and is on again this weekend; the Michael Heath documentaries about the New Zealand-born painter - EDITH COLLIER: A LIGHT AMONG SHADOWS (NZFF 2007) and VILLAGE BY THE SEA (NZFF 2012) stick about for the weekend; plus more Robin Kewell and more Cornwall in EYES AND EARS, three short films collected to play on Thursday and Friday.

* The enjoyable 3D blast of NITRO CIRCUS was s'posed to be four days only, but unsurprisingly, it's going another long weekend at Event. Even MY LITTLE PONY: IT'S A PONY PARTY is going another round at Hoyts for the Bronies...

* Uxbridge Arts Cinema Club has LIFE IN MOVEMENT (DocEdge 2012) playing for $8 in Howick, Monday at 8 PM. A documentary about Sydney Dance Company director Tanja Liedtke and the tour of her works after her untimely death at age 29.

* MetOpera fans get VERDI: OTELLO this week at The Bridgeway, Monterey and Rialto Newmarket. And The Monterey's next Pixar screening is TOY STORY 3, at 9:25 AM Saturday and Sunday! Five bucks! Nice and early!

All sessions 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!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Reader: 18 November

A relentlessly belated post, and so it only makes sense to start with an outdated link to a Halloween horror-themed blog-a-thon. You could spend the next couple weeks catching up with this exhaustive collection of articles on Italian horror films, or at least scan them for viewing ideas. From one filmmaker to another: Michael Powell writes to Martin Scorsese about the GOODFELLAS script, at Letters of Note.

Glenn Kenny's Blu-Ray Consumer Guide is recommended for anyone who can play US Blu-Rays and doesn't mind being tempted into spending hundreds of dollars. For additional Christmas shopping ideas, the New York Times also has a guide to holiday releases.

Also of note at the NYT: A.O. Scott interviews Robert De Niro, at length.

At Flavorwire, Jason Bailey consolidates thoughts on 20 filmmakers on what motivates them to make films.

At MUBI, a lengthy consideration of the Vancouver International Film Festival. And closer to home, NZFF film director Bill Gosden chimes in on Vancouver as well.

What's up with Korean filmmakers making films for American audiences? Solvej Schou at EW digs in to the upcoming films by Bong, Kim, and Park.

A fantastic profile of Jacques Audiard, director of READ MY LIPS, THE BEAT MY HEART SKIPPED, A PROPHET, and the upcoming RUST AND BONE, provided to the Telegraph by Robbie Collin.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

In Cinemas: November 15 - 21


Turns out that I 'unfortunately' missed the TWILIGHT: BREAKING DAWN double-feature all over town Wednesday night, and marathoning was the only way you'd've tricked me into seeing those things. So while that mammoth clogs the multiplexes all this week, it's up to the arthouses to come to the rescue...

* After the crooning in last week's screening of THE SOUND OF MUSIC, I'm unsure how ready I am for 83 minutes of concentrated Christopher Plummer thesping in BARRYMORE this week. It's based on the play with Plummer as the titular John Barrymore, trying to recapture his Richard III fame and looks to take place entirely on-stage. Rialto is charging $25 to see it in their e-cinema, but it's normal pricing at the Monterey (meaning $8.50 Monday and Tuesday).

* DIANA VREELAND: THE EYE HAS TO TRAVEL (NZFF 2012) is a documentary about the enigmatic fashion editor, and I hear it's definitely worth a look regardless of how uninteresting that sounds (to me). At the Capitol, the Monterey, Bridgeway and in Rialto's e-cinema.

* Local documentary SONG OF THE KAURI (NZFF 2012) has returned at both The Vic and in Rialto's e-cinema (what do they play on their other five screens?!). Rialto also squeeze filmmaker Mathurin Molgat into that room at 6 PM on Friday for a Film Talk session.

* Grandma-cinema meets sci-fi heist film? Not sure, but ROBOT & FRANK is at most arthouses this week (including Rialto cinema 5, from the look of it, answering my question above). With Frank Langella (Skeletor/Nixon), James Marsden (Cyclops), Liv Tyler, Susan Sarandon, Peter Sarsgaard and a robot. I'm hoping for some creepy Actroid-F action or perhaps some mean dance moves;

* There will be 'sneak previews' of MONSIEUR LAZHAR (NZFF 2012) around town this weekend. The right folks are loving this French-Canadian drama about a teacher and his students, so I'm guessing I'm gunna enjoy it too, despite being another film with subject matter that fails to grab me.

* There're some other slightly older options, too. A few Event cinemas still have adorable-looking Taiwanese film WHEN A WOLF FALLS IN LOVE WITH A SHEEP (南方小羊牧場), Hong Kong police actioner COLD WAR (寒戰) is still at Sylvia Park Hoyts, and while Bridgeway seems to've dropped the indie flick ELECTRICK CHILDREN, Rialto still has their e-cinemas. In fact, Academy might still have it as well; they haven't updated their listings just yet and are probably even still playing the painfully funny KLOWN (KLOVN - THE MOVIE). You can also still catch the tail-end of JGL vs. Bruce Willis in LOOPER, the other wonderful time-travel flick SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED, local peeping-tom-rom-com HOW TO MEET GIRLS FROM A DISTANCE...


Auckland Art Gallery's "Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 - Present" exhibition has a few more film screenings this weekend. Good ol' The Band gets a bunch of special guests on stage for their finale show in Scorsese's THE LAST WALTZ (1978), which plays at 2 PM Saturday. And IN BED WITH MADONNA (aka MADONNA: TRUTH OR DARE from 1991) will be playing at lunchtime on Sunday. Both of those're free.

NITRO CIRCUS 3D is on for four days only at Pukekohe 3Event and Hoyts. It appears to be almost identical to JACKASS, but I love how well nonsense like this utilises the 3D technology, so count me in!

"A gay detective who always gets his man"...Number 8 Films have their monthly Gay Film Night this week; THIRD MAN OUT is about "America's First Gay Detective" (according to the poster) and will be at Rialto Newmarket 6:30 PM Thursday.

* The Peace Place in Auckland's CBD has a screening of the new FOUR HORSEMEN documentary at 7:30 PM Monday (entry by koha/donation). Loads of clever fellows like Noam Chomsky talk on film about how the world really works.

Japanese Film Week continues underneath the General Library at Auckland University. On Friday night, they play Studio Ghibli's ARRIETTY (借りぐらしのアリエッティ), which was at last year's International Film Festival. That will be proceeded by PROTECTING TODAY (きょうを守る), a documentary about last year's major Japanese earthquake. Kick-off at 5:40 PM. But even before that, 7 PM Thursday sees Takeshi Kitano return to yakuza films with OUTRAGE (アウトレイジ) from 2010 (which already has a sequel in Japan). This guy scares the shit outta me; I'd even drink Pocari Sweat if he asked me to, and I don't even know what a Pocari is;

* National Theatre's LAST OF THE HAUSSMANS is on again Friday and Sunday at Rialto, Friday and Monday at Bridgeway, plus a screening at Capitol and one at the Monterey. With Narcissa Malfoy and Mrs. Weasley from the HARRY POTTER flicks, and some other dude I don't know.

* A collection of episodes from Cartoon Network oddity THE AMAZING WORLD OF GUMBALL has another weekend of early screenings at Event coming up. And while I won't be at Hoyts' continuation of MY LITTLE PONY: IT'S A PONY PARTY with the bronies, I'd kinda like to try this Gumball thing out. If I'm alive at that time...

* Monterey's weekly Pixar flick is TOY STORY 2 (1999) at 9:30 AM this Saturday and Sunday. I do love that film to bits. They also finish their David Lean retrospective with one more screening of RYAN'S DAUGHTER (1970), 2 PM Sunday.

* The Banksy documentary EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP (2010) has some screenings over at The Vic all week. In fact, they've got a lot planned over the next seven days! There is Vincent Ward's RAIN OF THE CHILDREN (2008) still at The Vic for Thursday and Friday; another screening of Mads Mikkelsen in A ROYAL AFFAIR (EN KONGELIG AFFÆRE) at 3:45 PM on Sunday; what appears to be a collection of short documentaries about pottery-folk under the heading 3 POTTERS will play at 4:30 PM Monday; there are five screenings of 3-2-1 A PORTRAIT OF KURT JACKSON, which I imagine is a doco about the British painter; OPEN AT PAGE 100 is a Robin Kewell doco about the teacher Robin Child and plays this weekend; and there are two different Michael Heath documentaries about the same NZ-born painter - EDITH COLLIER: A LIGHT AMONG SHADOWS (NZFF 2007) plays on Tuesday and VILLAGE BY THE SEA (NZFF 2012) on Wednesday.

All sessions 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, November 7, 2012

In Cinemas: November 8 - 14


* Vendetta & Ant Timpson have brought the ridiculously funny KLOWN (KLOVN - THE MOVIE) back from NZFF 2012! A filthy, awkward Danish comedy based on the filthy, awkward Danish sitcom. It's at the Academy Cinema on Lorne st and the new management is marking which sessions are playing in the cupboard, which is greatly appreciated!

* Sylvia Park Hoyts has got a copy of COLD WAR (寒戰) playing this week. Aaron Kwok (Johnnie To's THROW DOWN, Cloud from THE STORM RIDERS) and Tony Leung Ka-fai (DUMPLINGS, Johnnie To's ELECTION and TAI CHI HERO, also currently playing) are rival Police Commissioners trying to cope with a hostage situation when five cops are held for ransom. Andy Lau turns up in it too, apparently. Could be cool.

* THE SESSIONS is finally out properly in all the arthouses 'round town. John Hawkes (MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE, WINTER'S BONE, EASTBOUND & DOWN) plays a dude in an iron lung who hires sex surrogate Helen Hunt (um...MAD ABOUT YOU? TWISTER?) for...I won't spoil it. Yeah, William H. Macy is in it, too. But c'mon, John Hawkes, right?? Here is his cover of Jackson C. Frank's 1975 track, Marcy's Song...

* I can't find WHEN A WOLF FALLS IN LOVE WITH A SHEEP (南方小羊牧場) on IMDB, Wikipedia or and it has no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. I'm pretty sure it exists though and is playing at St. Lukes, Queen St. and Highland Park Event from this week. Looks like a cute li'l romance made in Taiwan, plus has a pretty great poster.

* Rialto has yet another new Audrey Tautou rom-com - DELICACY (LA DÉLICATESSE); also at Rialto, KATHMANDU LULLABY (KATMANDÚ, UN ESPEJO EN EL CIELO) is a Spanish film about a love blossoming within a marriage of convenience; indie coming-of-age film ELECTRICK CHILDREN has the interesting premise of a 15 year-old Mormon getting pregnant after hearing rock music for the first time, then fleeing to Las Vegas to find the singer on the cassette. Plays at Rialto, Academy & Bridgeway, plus Billy Zane and one of the Culkins are in it. Two new Bollywood flicks for next week - SON OF SARDAAR starts TUESDAY at Hoyts, while JAB TAK HAI JAAN begins Wednesday.

* If those nine aren't exciting you, don't forget BAIT 3D is still playing at most of the multi-plexes and HOW TO MEET GIRLS FROM A DISTANCE is still at about five cinemas around town. That Richard Gere thing ARBITRAGE may be worth a look, FRESH MEAT is now only playing at Manukau and TAI CHI HERO (太极2) is playing mainly only daytime slots now. But you've still got SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MANDREDDTĀTARAKIHIKILLING THEM SOFTLY, etc...


* It's Japanese Film Week at Auckland University! Every evening next week there's a FREE film in the lecture hall under the General Library building. Ninja flick KAMUI GAIDEN  (カムイ外伝)(2009) at 7 PM Monday; 7 PM Tuesday is Akira Kurosawa's MADADAYO (まあだだよ)(1993) about a professor's life after WWII; Takashi Miike's action-comedy YATTERMAN  (ヤッターマン)(2009) will be on at 7 PM Wednesday; plus Kitano & Ghibli are still to come! FREE! JAPANESE!

* Although, hitting all the freebies above means missing Event's preview of NITRO CIRCUS 3D at 6:30 PM Wednesday, a JACKASS-looking thing (which is the kind of film that really benefits from the 3D format, in my dopey opinion).

* The 7th annual Show Me Shorts Film Festival is in its second week. Six short film collections are screening at The Capitol Cinema in Balmoral still, with further screenings at Pukekohe Cinema 3, the Waiheke Island Community Cinema and even one left to go at The Internationalist in Rothesay Bay. Documentaries, premieres, animation and whatnot from all over the world.

* While I won't be at the kids screening of MY LITTLE PONY: IT'S A PONY PARTY this weekend at Hoyts or Berkeley (I imagine it's a collection of episodes, they're pretty vague), I've heard good things about the random humour in THE AMAZING WORLD OF GUMBALL, so may head along for that collection this Saturday or Sunday at Hoyts or Event.

* Auckland Art Gallery currently has a photo exhibition entitled Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 - Present. There are a few music films accompanying it as well; MONTEREY POP (1968) plays at 3 PM Saturday and THE STONES IN THE PARK (1969) is on Sunday at 1 PM. High def Janis, here I come:

RialtoCapitol & Bridgeway all have a screening or two of the latest National Theatre taping, THE LAST OF THE HAUSSMANS starring Narcissa Malfoy & Mrs. Weasley; The Shakespeare's Globe production of DOCTOR FAUSTUS turns up at Berkeley Mission Bay for the weekend, starring DOCTOR WHO's The Boy Who Waited; and there is also a few more showings of the latest three-hour Met Opera L'ELISIR D'AMORE at Rialto, Monterey & Bridgeway.

* Parts 3 & 4 of the documentary series EDEN: THE INSIDE STORY continue on from last week at The Vic daily 6 PM until Saturday, and then Vincent Ward's RAIN OF THE CHILDREN (2008) takes the 6 PM slot from Monday. Period drama A ROYAL AFFAIR (EN KONGELIG AFFÆRE) has also resurfaced over there in Devonport, which is one of those films I heard decent things about once I'd already missed it. Mads.

* A 95-minute collection of Pasifika-made short films under the title POLLYWOOD will be playing at the Pacifica Living Arts Festival in Henderson, Friday 7 PM; It will then play again over at the Mangere Arts Centre, 7 PM Wednesday.

* For those of us not making it along to the Coldplay gig in Auckland this weekend, Monday sees COLDPLAY LIVE 2012 hit the big screens of Event & Hoyts 7 PM Monday; Monterey continues its early morning Pixar sessions with TOY STORY (1995) at 9:30 AM Saturday & Sunday; they play David Lean's A PASSAGE TO INDIA (1984) again, too - 2 PM Sunday; And apparently the Uxbridge Arts Centre in Howick has $8 film screenings 8 PM Mondays! This week they are playing MAO'S LAST DANCER (2009), the biography of a young Chinese boy plucked from his village to study ballet. 

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!