New Zealand International Film Festival 2016
It's that time of year where local film buffs will clearing the decks, dipping into their savings and setting up out-of-office email replies; the New Zealand International Film Festival returns to the city for another year from 28 July for two and a bit weeks of cinematic celebration at the Isaac Theatre Royal and Hoyts Northlands.
This year's line-up for Christchurch includes over 100 features and documentaries from New Zealand and around the world, with the Festival including a number of premieres, including a world premiere for Christchurch in the form of Le Ride, a new documentary from The Amazing Race host and go-getter (and Christchurch boy made good) Phil Keoghan that retraces the 1928 Tour de France route. The opening film of the festival in Christchurch is also a doozy: Poi E: The Story of Our Song tells the story of the Patea Maori Club's 1984 hit and has been described as "the feel-good Kiwi movie of the year".
10 films in the programme are hot off the reels from the Cannes Film Festival, offering New Zealand audiences the chance to be among the first in the world to see these films. Among them is I, Daniel Blake, director Ken Loach's latest, which took out the Palme d'Or.
Here are are few other films on the programme on Cityscape's radar:
The Rehearsal: Alison McLean's adaptation of Eleanor Catton's debut novel about the dramas that enfold a class of young Kiwi stage acting students.
The Red Turtle: Acclaimed animation house Studio Ghibli's (Howl's Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke) first international co-production is a dialogue-free tale of a man trapped on an island by a mysterious force of nature.
Toni Erdmann: A fan favourite at Cannes, this German comedy centres on a prankster dad's campaign to connect with his almost terminally embarrassed workaholic daughter.
Safety Last: This year's CSO Live Cinema presentation reconstructs the original score for Safety Last!, the film that famously gave us the image of Harold Lloyd hanging from a clock 12 stories above the streets of Los Angeles.
High-Rise: So-hot-right-now Tom Hiddleston in an adaptation of J.G Ballard's vicious satirical novel of class divisions sees him star as an architect who moves into a skyscraper that one never needs to leave.
Swiss Army Man: Is this the most bizarre premise for a movie ever? Daniel Radcliffe stars as a corpse that changes the life of a man (Paul Dano) when it washes up on the beach of the deserted island on which he is stranded. Yes, really – and it's earning rave reviews.
Wiener: This fly-on-the-wall documentarycharts disgraced Democratic congressman Anthony Wiener's puportedly redemptive bid for the New York city mayoralty, only to be on the spot as his campaign falls painfully apart due to more personal scandal.
Midnight Special (pictured): A tense sci-fi chase film, starring the always-reliable Michael Shannon and Kirsten Dunst, in which the government and a cult leader attempt to catch and control a boy who seems to have supernatural powers.
Tickets for the festival are on sale now: hit up www.nziff.co.nz/2016/christchurch for a full schedule and bookings!
New Zealand International Film Festival
28th July – 14th of August, Isaac Theatre Royal/Hoyts Northlands