Friday, 28 April 2017

Autumn Events Q&A - with Bill Gosden

Autumn Events Q&A - with Bill Gosden

It's here - the Autumn Events spectacular from the New Zealand International Film Festival!
You can get all the dates of the events in Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland here -

Festival director Bill Gosden was happy enough to brave a brief Q&A about the programming - so read on to see what he reckons will be worth slipping into the warmth of a cinema for as winter approaches.
NZIFF Autumn Events

Welcome back, we've missed you - what have you been doing since the end of the festival?
The lousy summer weather was perfect for getting a head start on film selection for Autumn Events and for NZIFF 2017.

Autumn events is now here, and there's a bit of difference with the regional arenas with Christchurch getting the local premiere of Pecking Order. How exciting! (And appreciate how I avoid the clucking puns)

You’ve spotted the major difference. We’d have loved to have toured the chickens, but if you’re not living in Christchurch your first chance to catch Pecking Order is on release on May 18. It’s a hoot.

The premiere of Terrence Malick's latest too - what can you tell us about this - is it Tree of Life-esque? And how stunning does it look on the big screen?
Voyage of Time

Stunning? Totally. It mixes the microcosmic and the macrocosmic to quite dizzying effect. The ‘history of life’ sections of Tree of Life only hint at the extravaganza on display here.

It seems appropriate that in these escalating times of potential nuclear war, we're heading back to the hedonism and freedom of Woodstock too...

Woodstock is so often cited as a pivotal cultural moment that it seemed worth revisiting in a present that is almost the polar opposite of the future it envisaged. The legendary performances have kept the film permanently in the Home Ent repertory, but the documentary content now feels more captivating than ever. It provides a vivid picture of a time when the American middle class was ascendant and the boomers began to feel their oats. There’s no shortage of conscious myth making going on in the film, but plenty of evidence too of some uncomfortable realities. The film’s release was a massive affair – the big sound and the multi-screens. Without those there’s no way to appreciate the original impact.
Le Roi et L'Oiseau

Le Roi et L'Oiseau has had quite a journey to the screen, and having seen, it's a gorgeous animation with all ages appeal - how would you best describe it?

Surreal is a word I seldom use, but it fits here. Children can explain the delightfully perplexing interplay of fiction and reality to their literal-minded adult companions.

Woody Allen's Manhattan too - perhaps the epitome of what he's achieved...?

It’s such a movie-movie, overflowing with references to the Hollywood past: the luminous B&W imagery, the shamelessly romantic settings – even a horse and carriage ride in Central Park - and the George Gershwin score. It’s easy to forget that it was made at a time when the world’s idea of New York City looked a lot more like Taxi Driver. But within this beautifully wrought setting and a roundelay of romantic dilemmas befitting a screwball comedy, the insecurities and missteps of the wise-cracker characters feel authentic, and ultimately quite isolating and painful. Is there another Woody Allen film where that is true?

And Werner Herzog, Judy Garland - really, we're being spoilt...

I’m looking forward very much to Fitzcarraldo. I remember we had to wait a whole year for it in New Zealand after Les Blank and Chris Simon had already been to the festival with Burden of Dreams. In the day the cool thing to say was that Burden of Dreams was better anyway, but who’d want to be without either of these ?

What's the plan for the main festival - give us a tease of what lies ahead....

Aha! It’s not too soon to say that the releases this month of Meat and Pecking Order mark the beginning of a great year for New Zealand documentaries on New Zealand cinema screens.

Get more about the Autumn Events and find the dates for the annual New Zealand International Film Festival at

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