Books, Music & Movies

Staying in with a good book just got better. Browse articles about the latest releases in books to read, music to listen to and movies to watch.

Cityscape Books, Music & Movies
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The Christchurch programme of the New Zealand International Film Festival has been launched, and as usual the 17-day schedule (7 – 23 August) is packed with almost distressingly high levels of intriguing and flat-out entertaining cinema – this year is the biggest Christchurch programme ever. Many of this year's films will be shown in the glam surroundings of the Isaac Theatre Royal, too, which is now packing shiny new digital projection equipment for the specific purpose of becoming the festival's new home. If you’re a cinemaphile you’ve probably already got major FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) already, so reduce those anxieties by getting hold of a festival programme or hit the web and getting organised – many films show in just one session, and you need to be onto those tickets. These go on sale on Friday the 17th of July, so be ready! Cityscape has sized up the programme and...
Cityscape Books, Music & Movies
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The New Zealand International Film Festival gets a long run in to its main programme later in the year with the staging of its Autumn Classic Movie Weekends. Each weekend over May at Hoyts Riccarton, the festival will present a stone-cold silver-screen classic the way it was meant to be seen – with an audience and on the big screen. Sure to please cinemaphiles, the Christchurch programme includes the Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn musical charmer Funny Face, Marlon Brando sizzling up the screen in On the Waterfront, Orson Welles’ masterful thriller The Third Man, great Japanese animator Miyazaki Hayao’s final film, The Wind Also Rises, and David Lean’s 1962 biopic Lawrence of Arabia, a film that has virtually come to define the term “epic” as it applies to movies. Films screen on Saturdays and Sunday afternoons and evenings throughout May; see the New Zealand International Film Festival website for ticket...
Cityscape Books, Music & Movies
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Pratiquez votre français – the largest French event on New Zealand’s cultural calendar has arrived for 2014. Showcasing the best of contemporary French film, the festival kicks off on the 20th of February at Hoyts Northlands. Here’s what we’ll be heading along to in this year’s extensive programme: Chinese Puzzle (Casse-tête chinois) – selected as an opening night film for a reason, this modern comedy features French acting royalty Romain Duris and Audrey Tatou (remember Amelie?) and is set against the colourful backdrop of New York, as Duris’ character Xavier tries to make sense of the Chinese puzzle that is his life. Variety billed it as “…a seductive advertisement for modern living.” Our Heroes Died Tonight (Nos Héros Sont Mort Ce Soir) – this neo-noir crime tale in the tradition of Scorcese and Tarantino is set in the professional wrestling world of the 1960s. Tough guys, tense moments and gripping set...
Cityscape Books, Music & Movies
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Lang Masters has no plans to retire. The octogenarian owner-operator of the Hollywood 3 Cinema in Sumner just keeps on trucking, with his lifelong love of – and service to –cinema in New Zealand recently officially recognised by a service award from the New Zealand Motion Picture Industry Council. Lang and his wife Maureen have kept the Hollywood running for over 50 years, through all the ebbs and flows of the movie business during that time – the rise of television, the advent of the mass-market multiplex, and now the age of home theatres and Internet piracy. The Hollywood is comfortably Christchurch’s oldest surviving suburban cinema. Lang’s own love of cinema goes all the way back to his immediate post-school days. "It's been over 50 years. As long as I'm alive, I'll be doing this," the octogenarian recently told The Press. "I enjoy it and if you enjoy it, it's not...
Cityscape Books, Music & Movies
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Some actors will go to any length to make a film, take Sharon Stone for example. When she was making the 1981 Wes Craven horror Deadly Blessing the then young actress agreed to have a live tarantula dropped into her mouth for one scene. She did, however, request the spider be de-fanged before the shoot, earning her the moniker ‘heart of stone’ from PETA....
Cityscape Books, Music & Movies
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Category Books, Music & Movies

With the last album Buffalo (2011) getting a European release, Fandango sees the band stretching musically, seemingly to take on the world. Fandango is the band's first double and as such, there are progressive rock elements aplenty. The 70's pastoral feel of Pink Floyd is evident on the superb 'Modern Rock' and 'Inside me Dead' is dripping in the psychedelic hues the band so love. 'The Captain' is a standout pop gem and a single in-waiting. Frontman Samuel Flynn Scott has called the 78-minute double "test match music" and it's languid, free-flowing nature confirms this. Nothing is hurried, and if anything, that may be an aspect that could have been tightened up. The 18-minute closer 'Friendly Society' is a good idea, but it never really arrives at any great payoff. Like a test match, Fandango takes its time and meanders through its 2 sides without ever really breaking sweat. Sure, 'Friendly Society'...
Cityscape Books, Music & Movies
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Haunted by his past, WWII veteran and drifter Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) crosses paths with a mysterious movement called 'The Cause', led by Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman) aka The Master and his wife Peggy (Amy Adams). Their twisted relationship is the core of this film that is "a glorious and haunting symphony of colour, emotion and sound with camera movements that elicit an involuntary gasp and feats of acting that defy comprehension" (A.O. Scott, The New York Times). Awarded Best Actor for both Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix and Best Director for Paul Thomas Anderson at the 2012 Venice Film Festival "The Master is a film which casts a spell like a fever dream," (David Ansen, Newsweek). Stunningly photographed in 65mm, The Master stands as an undeniable cinematic experience. Will Freddie be able to outrun his past? Will 'The Cause' help or hurt him? Can this tortured, violent creature...
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Cityscape Books, Music & Movies
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A jet-black British comedy in which a romantic break turns into a bloody killing spree. Sheltered teenager Tina (Alice Lowe) accompanies her new boyfriend, thirty-something misanthrope Chris (Steve Oram) on an 'erotic odyssey' – aka a caravan tour of the North of England. But unbeknownst to Tina, Chris harbours a dark secret: he is a serial killer whose explosive outbursts result in the violent deaths of any random strangers who happen to mildly inconvenience him. As the body count mounts, even the clueless Tina starts to suspect that her new boyfriend may not be quite what he seems. Review by Nick Paris, Alice in Videoland....
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Cityscape Books, Music & Movies
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Maria (Naomi Watts), Henry (Ewan McGregor) and their three sons begin their winter vacation in Thailand, looking forward to a few days in tropical paradise. But on the morning of 26 December, as the family relaxes around the pool after their Christmas festivities the night before, a terrifying roar rises up from the centre of the earth. As Maria freezes in fear, a huge wall of black water races across the hotel grounds toward her in this life affirming true-story from Spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona. Review by Nick Paris, Alice in Videoland....
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Cityscape Books, Music & Movies
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Julie Thomas' debut (originally self-published as an e-book) follows a priceless violin across five decades – from WWII to Stalinist Russia to the gilded international concert halls of today-and reveals the loss, love, and secrets of the families who owned it. From 1939 Berlin to present day, the violin crosses the path of two very different 14-year-old boys in this uplifting family story like no other. By Julie Thomas....