Sunday, 1 June 2014

POP goes the NZIFF

POP goes the NZIFF


The New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) today revealed seven films with a pop culture theme for the 2014 programme.

“Ari Folman follows his groundbreaking animated documentary Waltz with Bashir with an equally bold and brilliant movie. A meta-textual Hollywood satire starring the actress Robin Wright as herself, it morphs midway into a full blown sci-fi cartoon, but only to cut even closer to the philosophical bone in its investigation of femininity, fantasy and virtual reality.

Inspired by Stanislav Lem’s novel The Futurological Congress… Folman delves into a make believe world where a beautiful, talented, mature actress like Robin Wright (The Princess Bride; Forrest Gump) is considered all but washed up. Miramount studio head Danny Huston does have one last proposition for her though, a deal that will guarantee her riches for life and fame well beyond that. He wants to scan her, sample her, and take full rights to the virtual Robin Wright, the first true movie immortal. Only one condition: the actual Robin must never act again. It’s a Faustian bargain too good to turn down. But that’s only the beginning… A visionary film that takes its place alongside Brazil, Blade Runner and Solaris,

The Congress is a savagely funny and surprisingly moving commentary on our increasing reliance on screens – not just to watch, but to hide behind.” — Vancouver International Film

The Congress will play in Auckland and Wellington.

Twisted tales of desperate lives are lethally intertwined in this wondrously detailed epic of American Gothic, the black comic masterwork of Chris Sullivan, who produced, wrote, directed, animated, photographed, edited, and worked on the music over a period of 15 years. “Dense like a detailed graphic novel in the Chris Ware or R. Crumb vein, but a real movie in every way, Consuming Spirits is a strange and wormy accomplishment, the sort of personal epic only the most obsessive of cinematic madmen undertake, let alone complete.” — M. J. Philips, Chicago Tribune.

Consuming Spirits will play in Auckland and Wellington.

Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?

“It’s a delightfully odd pairing—philosopher-activist Noam Chomsky sits down with filmmaker Michel Gondry for an extended conversation. What do the father of modern linguistics and the man best known for helming the Charlie Kaufman–penned romantic fantasy Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) have to talk about? Plenty, it turns out, much of it predictably heady (you wouldn’t expect the origins of human language to be an uncomplicated subject).” — Keith Uhlich, Time Out New York

Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy? will play in Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin, Christchurch, Nelson, Hamilton and Palmerston North.

“After the interstellar disorientations of Gravity, here’s an anime which mucks with up and down. Patema, a perky teen girl, lives in a post-disaster underground world. During her explorations, she falls into a chasm and ends up on the surface. The snag is, it’s an upside-down surface, with upside-down people, where she’s always in great danger of plunging into the sky. Luckily, Patema’s helped by a surface boy her age (confusingly called Age).

The adventures which follow will flip both their perspectives… Patema Inverted is a highly likeable mix of simplicity and sophistication, an SF “conceptual breakthrough” yarn where a boy can fall for an upside-down girl. — Andrew Osmond, SFX

Patema Inverted will play in Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin and Christchurch

The Tale of The Princess Kaguya

“The co-founder of the legendary Studio Ghibli, director Isao Takahata, is perhaps not as well-known as his younger colleague, Hayao Miyazaki. His talents, however, are no less remarkable. In 1988, his animated masterpiece, Grave of the Fireflies, was released simultaneously with Miyazaki's much-loved My Neighbour Toroto. Twenty-seven years later, Miyazaki's reputed last film, The Wind Rises, is released alongside 78-year-old Takahata's The Tale of The Princess Kaguya. Takahata has always been considered the most realistic of the pair, but in his latest film he sheds that label. The story of a humble bamboo cutter who finds a miniature princess is Japan's oldest-known folk tale, dating back centuries. The princess and her elderly adoptive parents live a poor but idyllic life, until dreams of grandeur intervene. Takahata's exquisite animation renders this timeless tale in soft hues and delicate lines, like a beautifully illustrated fable complete with its requisite moral lesson.” — Sydney Film Festival 2014

The Tale of Princess Kaguya will play in all NZIFF centres.

The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet (3D)

A glorious storybook America of open prairies, cross-country railroads and zany inventions abounds with pictorial delights in this 3D extravaganza from Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amelie, Delicatessen). T.S. is a boy prodigy whose special scientific talents go unappreciated on the Montana ranch where he lives with his entomologist mother (Helena Bonham Carter), his Marlboro Man dad (Callum Keith Rennie) and his bored teenage sister. The accidental death of T.S.’s older brother is a sadness hovering in the background as each follows his or her pursuit – until T.S. is contacted about his perpetual motion machine by the Smithsonian Museum. Blissfully unaware that the brilliant inventor is only ten years old, they invite him to Washington. T.S. steals out one night to undertake the journey alone…

The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet will play in all NZIFF centres.

Why Don’t You Play In Hell?

“There is something inherently satisfying in pairing gangsters and movie makers…Totally outrageous but surprisingly successful on its own terms, this wild melange of yakuza wars and student filmmaking marks Japanese veteran Sion Sono’s return to the Suicide Club genre, with farcical teenage rom com thrown in as an extra.” — Deborah Young, Hollywood

Why Don’t You Play in Hell? will play in Auckland and Wellington.

In 2014, NZIFF will screen from mid-July through to late September:

Auckland 17 July – 3 August

Wellington 25 July – 10 August

Dunedin (with Gore) 31 July – 17 August, Gore 13 – 24 August

Christchurch (with Nelson and Timaru) 7 – 24 August, Nelson 6 – 24 August, Timaru 14 – 24

Central North Island: 20 August – 14 September

(Napier 20 August – 7 September | Tauranga 21 August – 14 September | Hamilton 21 August – 14 September)

Lower North Island: 3 – 21 September

(Masterton 3 – 17 September | New Plymouth and Palmerston North 4 – 21 September)

The NZIFF programme for Auckland will be announced on Monday 23 June and for Wellington on Thursday 26 June. Tickets will be on sale in Auckland from Friday 27 June via Ticketmaster, and in Wellington from Tuesday 1 July via the NZIFF website

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