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Extending The Options Of NZ Filmgoers

ACADEMY CINEMA, AUCKLAND April 14 – May 4

Extending The Options Of NZ Filmgoers

The New Zealand Film Festival Trust is pleased to announce the seventh annual WORLD CINEMA SHOWCASE, bringing to the big screen a fine selection of new and classic films from all around the world.

We are delighted to be able to bring you premiere screenings of the most anticipated films of the year including Pedro Almodovar’s complex noir melodrama, Bad Education as our opening night film, and 2005 Oscar Nominated real life drama Hotel Rwanda.

Our selection heralds the return to the big screen of some all-time classics such as Buster Keaton’s comic masterpiece The General and the film that helped launch Federico Fellini to international stardom, La Strada. There are plenty of NZ premieres, including some extraordinary documentaries, a gripping French thriller and Tony Gatlif’s (Latcho Drom, Gadjo Dilo) visually and musically exhilarating Exiles. As always there are some welcome reprises of some of the gems from last year’s International Film Festival that shouldn’t be missed on the big screen.

For the increasing number of animation fans out there – and those of us who just love a great story – are four films from the Ghibli Studio – the creative home of movies such as Spirited Away and Kiki’s Delivery Service. And for music lovers we present screenings of five of the documentaries from Martin Scorcese’s acclaimed The Blues series.

A complete guide to our 2005 line-up is available on the following pages.

The Lineup 2005

20:30:40 (Hong Kong/Taiwan) A welcome return from the 2004 International Film Festival, this gorgeous rom-com interweaves stories of three Taiwanese women, each at the age of one of the numbers in the title

A Letter To True (USA) Celebrated film maker and photographer Bruce Weber’s highly personal commentary on all of his personal obsessions, including - music of the 50’s and 60’s, America post 9/11, Elizabeth Taylor and of course his family of gorgeous golden retrievers

A State of Mind (North Korea/UK) A unique insight into North Korean society as the camera follows two schoolgirls and their families into the lead up to the Mass Games

A Touch of Spice (Greece) A bittersweet coming of age story that uses Greek spices to philosophise about the trials of life. The Mediterranean answer to Like Water For Chocolate

Bad Education (Spain) Dir: Pedro Almodovar Described as Hitchcockian, this sumptuous noir melodrama is classic Almodovar at his outrageous best. Starring Gael Garcia Bernal

Blues Series – featuring three of the excellent Martin Scorcese produced documentaries on the origins and influences of Blues Music.

Feel Like Going Home (USA) Dir: Martin Scorcese – Take a trip from Mali to the Mississippi Delta in search of the origins of Blues. Features Salif Keita, Ali Farka Toure, Taj Mahal et al

Godfathers and Sons (USA) Dir: Marc Levin – traces the connection between blues and hip-hop, succeeding in making the blues come alive for a new generation. Features Ike Turner, Pinetop perkins, Chuck D, Common et al

Soul of A Man (Germany) Dir: Wim Wenders –looks at the lives of three of Wender’s favourite musicians: Blind Willie Johnson, Skip James and J.B Lenoir

Red, White and Blues (UK) Dir: Mike Figgis – documents the effect Black American music had on British musicians in the 1960s. Features Tom Jones, Jeff Beck, Van Morrison et al

Warming by the Devil’s Fire (USA) Dir: Charles Burnett – the only film of the series to be made by a black director, it explores the tension between gospel and the blues in this dramatized, semi autobiographical tale. Featuring Son House, Willie Dixon, Bessie Smith et al

The Boy who Played with the Buddha of Bamiyan – (UK) A compelling documentary about the refugees who fled the Taliban’s brutality in Afghanistan, as told through the eyes of 8 year old Mir

Breaking News (Hong Kong) A mile a minute detective thriller from prolific and popular Hong Kong director, Johnny To

Brotherhood of War (Korea) A provocative and immensely powerful story of two brothers’ experience in the Korean War. Known as the Spielberg of Korea, director Kang Je-gyu’s epic is the highest grossing film of all time in South Korea

Certain Children (Italy) A candid portrayal of a young boy’s life on the harsh Napoli streets

Charlie: The Life and Art of Charles Chaplin (USA) An insightful documentary by Time film critic Richard Schickel featuring interviews with Martin Scorcese, Woody Allen, Marcel Marceau , Johnny Depp and Geraldine Chaplin among others – all who testify to Chaplin’s genius and influence on their own work.

Citizen King (USA) An absorbing and moving documentary which draws on copious archival footage, eyewitness accounts and contemporary interviews to give an illuminating account of the life of Dr Martin Luther King

Exiles (France) Tony Gatlif’s latest film is a whirlwind of colour, exotic music and self-discovery as we join Zano and Naima on a trip from France to their parents’ homeland in Algeria. Winner of Best Director award – Cannes 2004

The General 1927 (USA) Generally regarded as one of the greatest silent comedies ever made (and Buster Keaton’s own favourite). With new original music by Joe Hisaishi

Ghibli Series – (Japan) Four universally appealing films from the studio that brought us My Neigbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service and Spirited Away

My Neighbors the Yamadas – Based on a popular Japanese newspaper comic strip this funny and heart-warming film invites us to share the lives of the Yamada family – a rather ordinary, traditional family that is instantly recognisable the world over. Dir: Isao Takahata

Only Yesterday – The touching story of a 27 year old woman’s journey to the country and, through reminiscences, to her 1960’s childhood where she finds a part of herself that she had forgotten. Dir: Isao Takahata

Pom poko - When bulldozers invade the mountain foothills they live in, a tribe of raccoons fight back using the skills of disguise they are traditionally known for. A surprising film with an environmental message. Dir: Isao Takahata

Whisper of the Heart – Yoshifumi Kondo has been an animator with Ghibli films since the 1970’s but here is his highly acclaimed sole outing as director. Shizuki – a total bookworm discovers that the same boy’s name appears in all the books she takes from the library….

Head On (Germany) This mesmerising portrayal of the difficulties of immigrant life tells the tale of an unusual love story between two Turks struggling to live in Hamburg.

Heaven’s Gate 1980 (USA) This full-length (219 minutes) restoration provides the rare opportunity to catch Michael Cimino’s epic anti-western on the big screen.

Hotel Rwanda (UK/South Africa/Italy) Ten years ago nearly 1,000,000 people were killed in Rwanda’s bloody civil war. This is the inspiring story of real-life hero Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel manager in Kigali, who used his courage and cunning to shelter over a thousand refugees from certain death

In the Realms of the Unreal (USA) A fascinating examination of the mysterious life of recluse artist Henry Darger. The screenings coincide with the Auckland Art Gallery exhibition of his works.

Lands of Our Fathers – my African legacy (NZ) A New Zealand filmmaker revisits her Rhodesian childhood reconciling herself with the effects of the colonial past, in what turns out to be an emotional, deeply felt, risky, tour of the soul

Mademoiselle and the Doctor (Australia) Fuel for the euthanasia debate, this controversial doco follows the life (and death) of Lisette Nigot – a sane and healthy 79 year old Australian with a death wish - and her collaboration with Dr Philip Nitschke

The Master and His Pupil (Netherlands) An elegant document of the science, art and magic of orchestra conducting

Miracle of Bern, The (Germany) This masterful period piece intertwines an ensemble of stories around one of the most important events in post war Germany – their team’s victory in the 1954 World Cup…. Red Lights (France) A brilliant and sinister French thriller that will pin you to your seat. Based on a Georges Simenon novel.

La Strada 1954 (Italy) This is one of the great classics of Italian cinema, winning the first ever Oscar for Best Foreign Film and securing Fellini’s reputation as one of Europe’s leading post war directors.

The World According to Bush (France) Covering the 1000 days of Bush’s presidency from 9/11 attacks to the Iraqi quagmire this film offers the most coherent exposition of the slide into war, through high calibre interviews with the likes of Norman Mailer, Colin Powell and Hans Blix.

ENDS


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