New Zealand International Film Festival 2013 Is Here!

YESSSSSS! This is definitely my favourite time of the year. I was talking with a friend about watching movies and she told me she had never seen a film by herself before, which I actually thought was weird — I wonder what she thought of me? If you love something enough to show it then you’re a geek, part of which means not being ashamed of how much you like something 😀 and I surely like a good story, regardless of whether I’m alone or not.

Watching a good film on the big screen is something special indeed, an ingenious fad of the 1880s that many once believed would fade away, has become one of our most treasured destinations for escaping reality to journey on an epic adventure. The way our minds accept such a form of glamorised simulation to the point of catharsis is quite extraordinary. Sigmund Freud probably had something to say about that, but I like to believe that it’s because we are all storytellers at heart.

As a small child, my dad used to take me to see the animated shorts section of the festival. Some were great stories I still remember to this day, while others were wild and otherworldly even for the kid that I was to comprehend any logical narrative. I would describe those ones to my dad as being like a fever. But every year, my dad still took me along. It helped that he was a technical manager at Aotea Centre; I saw so many wonderful plays, events and things.

Even towards stuff (and sometimes people) I love, I always get analytical (It’s my nature I guess) and every year I ask myself whether I want to spend my time and money on seeing this many movies alone, and the one thing that convinces me that I should is the thought that, this is what I do. It has become a part of who I am — and who am I if I don’t?! Hmmm, how can I summerise this so I don’t sound so geeky? …I LOVE YOU NEW ZEALAND INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL!!! Yeah.

The first screening of the New Zealand International Film Festival is about to begin at The Civic! Have a great couple of weeks film lovers.

Not in any particular order; these are my definite picks, thus far:

33 years after Alfred Hitchcock left our world, he still manages to shock and amaze audiences. Dial M for Murder is Hitchcock’s classic claustrophobic murder-mystery thriller, filmed in 1954, and much to my surprise, was originally shot using a M.L. Gunzberg’s Natural Vision 3-D camera rig! Film festivals were made to showcase gems like this. How will I feel being a voyeuristic accomplice to murder? I shudder to think.

Blancanieves is an inspired Spanish retelling of the fairy tale, Snow White. Enough said, really. This looks visually compelling and it just all-round sounds cool, and by ‘sounds’ I mean description wise as this was made as a silent film. I look forward to it.

Carmencita (our Snow White) is a feminist heroine – pure in motive, adventurous and unconventional. Daughter of a flamenco dancer and a bullfighter, she is no passive spectator lying around waiting to be saved.

Replacing the spooky northern European romanticism of the Brothers Grimm classic is a rich 1920s Andalusia setting with luxuriant forest landscapes, mansions and matador arenas.

Upstream Color is written and directed by the multi-talented, Shane Carruth, who also stars in it and composed the soundtrack, which is all I need to know. The story has something to do with bioengineered narcotics and two lost souls finding each other, or themselves…I’m intentionally avoiding reading up about this so to control my expectation level. Carruth made a super ingenious, low-budget time-travel film 9 years-ago called Primer, so I trust Upstream Color will be just as clever and thought-provoking.

The East are a group of eco terrorists who target immoral corporations and give them a taste of their own medicine. Sarah is tasked with infiltrating this group to gather intelligence against them. You’re correct if you thought that the premise sounded vaguely familiar — Brit Marling played the time-traveling cult leader in last year’s Sound Of My Voice (which she also co-wrote), only this time round she plays the undercover infiltrator. With Ridley Scott as producer, The East is a grander scale espionage story, or as the San Francisco International Film Festival put it, “a thinking-person’s Bourne Identity…”

A Band Called Death is a rockumentary and family love story about three black teenage brothers who started a band in the early 1970s playing punk-rock music before punk-rock was even a phrase/existed, and they were doing it in the era of motown music, completely shattering the racial stereotypes of the time — and they were damn good too. This is what originality sounds like.

Playing music impossibly ahead of its time, Death is now being credited as the first black punk band (hell…the first punk band!), and are finally receiving their long overdue recognition as true rock pioneers.

Cheers dad.

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~ by Fionnlagh on July 20, 2013.

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