NZIFF: First Showcase Announcements + Great Giveaways

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With February dawning, who wants to think that bright summer evenings will ever end?

Surely the discovery of hot cross buns in the supermarket this week doesnt mean Easter is just round the corner? For Easter is World Cinema Showcase time and while were programming hard we do hope that we still have two months up our sleeve before it all kicks off.

Heretics have been heard to say that the Showcase is preferable to the International Film Festival. Could it simply be because the quality is just as high but the programme is so much smaller and so much more manageable?This year were spelling out the Showcases relationship to the Big One, as we see it, with a simple catch-phrase, NZIFF Selects World Cinema Showcase. Showcase films are selected by the NZIFF programmers from the vast array of movies that we encounter every year and which, for one reason or another, are not eligible for NZIFF screening.

Unlike the NZIFF, where the financial risk is pretty much entirely ours, the Showcase is presented in collaboration with our enterprising venue partners; longtime Showcase hosts the Paramount, Wellington and The Regent, Dunedin; and newcomers in 2012, Hoyts Northlands in Christchurch, and two of Aucklands favourite arthouse destinations, Rialto Cinemas Newmarket and the Bridgeway.

We promise as energetic and energising a mix of features and documentaries in 2012 as weve ever assembled. Six of them are announced in this newsletter… So maybe you’ll be happy to anticipate the early of glorious summer too.

Bill Gosden

Festival Director

World Cinema Showcase: Design for Living

Two Showcase documentaries spotlight design on the urban scale and the domestic and a third provides an extremely entertaining account of what can happen when a community finds itself at odds with its elected representatives on the fraught subject of urban development.

URBANIZED

Gary Hustwits credentials as a commentator on design matters were established immediately by his Helevtica, the surprise hit of the 2007 NZIFF. His new film Urbanized applies the same deft visual style to the subject of urban design.

Click here to continue reading about World Cinema Showcase confirmation Urbanized.

THE TRIANGLE WARS

Architects, engineers and city planners take the lead in Urbanized, but politicians and developers hold all the cards in The Triangle Wars, an alarming (and disarmingly funny) account of urban development closer to home.

EAMES: THE ARCHITECT AND THE PAINTER

Jason Cohn and Bill Jersey’s lavishly illustrated documentary portrait of husband and wife design team Ray and Charles Eames accommodates many readings: its a classic American tale of domestic talent extrapolated into international stardom; of artisanal know-how and innovation tooled for the industrial age. Its a nostalgic evocation of a time when democratic ideals informed industrial outputs; and its a portrait of a creative marriage built on the shifting sands of gender equality in postwar America.

World Cinema Showcase: Big Hitters

OUR IDIOT BROTHER

A performance of perfect blundering innocence from Paul Rudd buoys this laugh-out-loud farce about a back-to-the-earth alternative lifestyler who disrupts the lives of his three uptight New York City sisters. Director (ex- Lemonhead bass player) Jesse Peretz made his feature debut with the sultry doomed love drama, First Love, Last Rites back in 1997 and made a big impression on the festival circuit. His latest film couldnt be more different, except in one respect: the generous space he allows actors yields great performances from all of them. Hes working with some refined comic talent here in Emily Mortimer, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel and, as the British weasel in the American family nest, the inimitable Steve Coogan.

Click here to continue reading about World Cinema Showcase confirmation Our Idiot Brother.

THE DEEP BLUE SEA

2011 marked the centenary of the birth of Terence Rattigan and an unexpected return to popularity for a prolific playwright whose once enormously successful plays had long been designated artefacts of the postwar era that they dramatized so exactly. Terence Davies’ film of his The Deep Blue Sea, illuminated by a performance of quiet intensity and subtlety by Rachel Weisz, shows just how abidingly resonant Rattigans observations of British anxieties about sex and class have turned out to be.

Click here to continue reading about World Cinema Showcase confirmation The Deep Blue Sea.

World Cinema Showcase: World Music

ANDA UNION: FROM THE STEPPES TO THE CITY

The Mongolian Steppes have graced many a film festival screen, but this may be the first armchair tour of those rolling grassy expanses that you cant sit still for. Anda Union: From The Steppes To The City follows a band of young Inner Mongolian musicians as they traverse 10,000 km to perform for each of the ten members’ far flung families.

Anda Union have toured extensively in the US and UK. Now you can experience the band live in their thrumming, full-throated glory at WOMAD (1618 March). (Then get to know all about their families at the Showcase a few weeks later.) And if you cant make it to New Plymouth, the armchair tour may be just the distraction to console you.

Click through to continue reading about the AnDa Union documentary.

Full WOMAD information here.

Great Giveaways for Festival Subscribers

Brad Pitt! Oscar Talk! MONEYBALL Double Pass Giveaway

The poster features Brad Pitts name in a typeface as big as the films name and why shouldnt it? Hes terrific in the film. But the name that might convey a clearer sense of the kicks Moneyball delivers is that of co- writer Aaron Sorkin.

Based on a true story, the film follows the travails of Oakland A’s manager Billy Beane who employed computer-generated game analysis to identify a motley group of affordable players – whom his appalled coach had then to draft into a coherent team. Earning the undying hostility of an old guard clinging to the mystique of their gut instincts, hes an archetypal upstart of our times: a Sorkin anti-hero to set alongside Social Networks Mark Zuckerberg.

A big thanks to Sony Pictures who have given us three special edition Moneyball books AND nine doubles passes to the nationwide release (in theatres from 16 Feb). To be in the draw to win either a book or a Moneyball movie double pass simply tell us one of the Oscar nominations Moneyball has received for the 2012 Oscars. Email your answer, name and postal address to moneyball@nzff.co.nz before 5pm on Thursday 9 February. One entry per person please.

Check out the trailer for Moneyball on Flicks.

 

St. Vincent Tour Confirmed for NZ

St. Vincent, a.k.a Annie Clark, has previously played NZ at the Arts Festival (2010). With latest release STRANGE MERCY, her star continues to rise with live performances that are garnering rave reviews. We highly recommend checking out her act now before she gets any bigger: Kings Arms, Auckland (18 March) and San Franciscio Bath House, Wellington (19 March). Limited tickets are available online from Under the Radar.

Thanks to Rushmore tours we have a DOUBLE PASS to giveaway for each of the St. Vincent NZ shows. To be in the draw to win simply tell us the name of one song from St. Vincent’s latest album (hint: check the Rushmore FB page here). Email us your answer, name and contact details to stvincent@nzff.co.nz before 5pm on Friday 17 February. One entry per person please.

 

The New Zealand Film Festival Trust

PO Box 9544, Marion Square, Wellington 6141, New Zealand

E festival@nzff.co.nz

www.nzff.co.nz

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